RIM Warns on Lousy PlayBook Sales
We have real differentiation and real opportunities for the extension of the business. The pent-up interest in the PlayBook is really overwhelming.
— RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie, December 2010
More ugly news from Research In Motion. The company said Friday that worse-than-expected sales of its PlayBook tablet will cause RIM to fall short of its financial targets for its fiscal third quarter. Evidently, recent discounts on the device didn’t do much to juice sales. RIM sold just 150,000 PlayBooks “into the channel” this quarter, down from about 500,000 in the first quarter and 250,000 in the second.
Ironic, considering that it was just a year ago that co-CEO Jim Balsillie was claiming pent-up interest in the PlayBook was “really overwhelming.”
Anyway … Because of the tablet’s lousy performance, the company will take a $485 million charge and will not meet the $5.3 to $5.6 billion in revenue it had forecast when it last reported earnings. Worse, it won’t meet its full-year profit target, either.
Despite the PlayBook’s lousy performance at market and its deleterious effect on the company’s bottom line, RIM’s leadership says it has no plans to ditch the device.
“RIM is committed to the BlackBerry PlayBook and believes the tablet market is still in its infancy,” RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said in a statement. “Although a number of factors have led to the need for an inventory provision in the third quarter, we believe the PlayBook, which will be further enhanced with the upcoming PlayBook OS 2.0 software, is a compelling tablet for consumers that also offers unique security and manageability features for the enterprise.”