RIM has been heavily discounting their BlackBerry PlayBook tablet recently. We’ve seen this sink to a low $199 price point, or if you’re an employee you’ve been able to score this for $99. This morning the Waterloo-based company issued a press release stating that they will miss their full-year financial targets, mainly caused by poor PlayBook sales and of “recent shifts in the competitive dynamics of the tablet market and a delay in the release of the PlayBook OS 2.0 software”. The company expects to lose $485 million this quarter.
PlayBook shipments to-date total 700,000 (Q1 had 500,000 and Q2 had 200,000), however there are some interesting numbers and statements in the press release. RIM said there has been “positive response to the promotions” and “RIM sold into the channels approximately 150,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets in the third quarter”. But something bizarre is in the text, “Both consumer and enterprise customers who purchase a new BlackBerry PlayBook at the current promotional pricing, along with existing PlayBook customers, will be able to upgrade to the enhanced PlayBook OS 2.0 software at no additional charge when it becomes available in February 2012″… they were at one time thinking about charging customers to upgrade to PlayBook OS 2.0?
Mike Lazaridis, Co-CEO at RIM said “RIM is committed to the BlackBerry PlayBook and believes the tablet market is still in its infancy. Although a number of factors have led to the need for an inventory provision in the third quarter, we believe the PlayBook, which will be further enhanced with the upcoming PlayBook OS 2.0 software, is a compelling tablet for consumers that also offers unique security and manageability features for the enterprise”.
A couple other important notes, so far in Q3 they have shipped approximately 14.1 million BlackBerry smartphones, but “RIM expects unit shipments in the fourth quarter to be below third quarter levels”, and the recent service outage cost them approximately $50 million