Has Research In Motion Scrapped the PlayBook? RIM Says No.

Published on September 29, 2011
by John Paczkowski

Collins Stewart semiconductor analyst John Vihn thinks RIM is burying its tablet. RIM called the speculation “fiction.”

In a note to clients this morning the analyst claims that the precipitous drop in PlayBook shipments that forced manufacturing partner Quanta to sack more than 1,000 employees was actually part of a broader move by RIM to reassess its plans for the tablet market.

“We believe RIM has stopped production of its PlayBook and is actively considering exiting the tablet market,” Vihn said. “While Quanta last week acknowledged that it had laid off a significant number of production workers from a factory focused on producing the PlayBook, our research indicates that the ODM has essentially halted production of the tablet. Additionally, our due diligence indicates that RIMM has canceled development of additional tablet projects.”

Interesting, particularly since Collins Stewart’s claim follows the decision of a number of retailers to heavily discount the PlayBook. That said, Vinh is a chip analyst who covers Cypress Semiconductor, which makes parts for the PlayBook. He doesn’t actively cover RIM. An important caveat to remember when mulling his report.

Oh, and there’s that other caveat: RIM’s unequivocal denial. “RIM doesn’t typically comment on rumors, but any suggestion that the BlackBerry PlayBook is being discontinued is pure fiction,” the company said in a statement. “RIM remains highly committed to the tablet market.”

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