updated 05:25 pm EDT, Thu October 27, 2011
British retail claims little effect to price drops
Steep BlackBerry PlayBook price cuts may not have had much effect in the UK, according to unofficial stories from local retailers. They claimed that sales had been given a "slight uplift," The Register said, but that results were still "disappointing." The nearly four-day BlackBerry outage was a partial factor, as it rattled confidence in the whole platform, tipsters said.
It's not clear whether a similar effect occurred in the US, although Best Buy and outlets are back up to the original $499 minimum pricing following drops to $300 around late September and early October.
Neither RIM nor the retailers have commented on the claims and aren't likely to reveal shipping numbers until RIM's next quarterly results, due in December.
As before and eventually acknowledged by RIM, the primary cause of the slump has been blamed on a decision to rush the PlayBook to market without native e-mail, calendars, contacts, or BlackBerry Messenger. Although RIM experessed hope that its Bridge support to get that content from a tethered BlackBerry would still muster enough sales, that never panned out and led to RIM shipping just 200,000 PlayBooks this summer as it worked to clear out unsold stock.
The issue was compounded just Tuesday, when RIM revealed that it was delaying PlayBook 2.0 to February and leaving most of its customers without native e-mail or other promised features for 10 months after launch. Executives had officially anticipated the features within 60 days of release before quietly moving them to the summer, then to October at DevCon, and now the most recent delay.