updated 08:25 am EST, Fri January 28, 2011
BlackBerry PlayBook production kept at 200K
RIM may make just 200,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets a month, part makers said Friday. Production has reportedly already started at Quanta but has reached a range of between 150,000 and 200,000 a month. The Digitimes figure would leave RIM more cautious than before, when it was suggested it might have one million ready for March and attempt a wide release.
The company is also reportedly very strict about production and is hoping to avoid the rash of Chinese cloning that has affected Apple's iPad. It may have insisted that Quanta make all PlayBooks in Taiwan rather than outsource them to China. The tactic would prevent generic white-box companies from getting blueprints and would also safeguard the "security specifications" RIM uses.
RIM may still step up production, as Quanta reportedly still has enough production in Taiwan to satisfy the needs of customers who don't want to use larger-scale production in China. The decision could nonetheless lead to a slow launch and would help explain RIM's strategy of a US-first launch, due roughly in March, followed by international expansion in the spring.