updated 06:40 pm EDT, Fri June 8, 2012
RIM to 'remain committed' to tablets
Research in Motion (RIM) is no longer producing the cheapest, lowest-memory version of the beleaguered PlayBook tablet. The 16GB model will be removed from inventory lists after the stock currently in retailer's possession is gone. Production will continue on the 32 and 64GB versions of the seven-inch tablet.
A RIM spokesperson said that the company "remains 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 PlayBook is RIM's first device to utilize a BB10-compatible operating system expected for BlackBerry phones later this year.
The RIM tablet was nearly universally criticized during the April 2011 launch. The original PlayBook lacked a native email application, didn't come with BlackBerry Messenger, and sold at a steep price -- the 16GB playbook originally retailed for $499, the same price as an entry-level iPad at the time. Apple sold 11.8 million 9.7-inch iPads in the first quarter of this year. During the same time period, RIM sold approximately 500,000 of the smaller PlayBooks which retail for less than half the price of the costlier iPad. Just after launch of RIM's tablet, RIM was shipping one PlayBook for every 19 iPads shipped.