RIM Abandons the Baby of the PlayBook Family
Research In Motion is paring down its line of BlackBerry PlayBook tablets. The company confirmed today that it’s scrapping the 16 gigabyte version of the device to double down on its two higher-capacity brethren.
In a statement to AllThingsD, RIM said that the 16GB PlayBook will be available until inventory runs out, but it has already stopped making new ones. Why? According to RIM, “There is more value for our customers in the higher-capacity models (32GB, 64GB), and as such we have decided to focus our efforts here.”
Translation: There isn’t enough demand for the PlayBook to justify manufacturing a 16GB model anymore. Sales of the device have been lackluster since it first launched, causing RIM to fall short of its financial targets. Indeed, late last month RIM warned that it will have an operating loss in the current March-June quarter. So it’s not a surprise to see the company reevaluating its product lines. Which is not to say that it’s mulling an exit from the tablet market. According to RIM, it’s in the space for the long haul.
“We continue to remain committed to the tablet space and the 32GB and 64GB models of the BlackBerry PlayBook continue to be available from our distributors and retailers around the world,” the company said.