RIM bullish on PlayBook despite price slashing

The BlackBerry maker remains confident about the future of the PlayBook, even in light of a significant price drop.

PlayBook

RIM today said it remains confident of PlayBook success, despite the price being cut to 169 in Currys for the 16GB model.

The cost of the PlayBook has gradually been coming down over the last year, going down from the original price of 399 to 249.

The PlayBook has seen lacklustre sales. In December, RIM revealed it had sold around 150,000 tablets in the third quarter ending 26 November, down from 200,000 in the previous quarter.

At the time, the mobile maker warned it would fall short of its financial targets, partly because of the weak PlayBook performance.

We continue to have a number of promotional plans in place with our partners that we expect to continue through our fiscal Q4 period.

Apple has sold over 11 million of its iPad devices. Yet RIM is remaining bullish about the PlayBook's prospects in the face of strong competition.

"As outlined on our Q3 earnings call, 15 December 2011, we continue to have a number of promotional plans in place with our partners that we expect to continue through our fiscal Q4 period (ending 3 March 2012)," a spokesperson told IT Pro.

"These promotional plans are intended to drive increased adoption of the BlackBerry PlayBook within the consumer and enterprise channels. The BlackBerry PlayBook is an ultra-portable, high-performance tablet and we believe these activities, along with the upcoming PlayBook 2.0 software update, will help generate increased demand and sell-through over the coming months."

At the time of publication, RIM had not requested to a response for comment on whether the company would be reassessing the state of the PlayBook on 3 March.

Late last year, RIM admitted it had a high level of PlayBook inventory, revealing the device had cost it $485 million.

The latest price drop comes amidst turmoil at the top of the company, with a report this week indicating it is close to a decision on stripping its co-chief executives of their shared role as chairman of the board.

The National Post newspaper, citing sources familiar with events, said Barbara Stymiest, currently an independent member of RIM's board was favourite to replace Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie to become chairperson.

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