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RIM reportedly slows PlayBook production

Zach Epstein
September 21st, 2011 at 8:20 AM

Research In Motion is reportedly slowing production of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet following its second-quarter earnings report, during which the vendor stated that only 200,000 PlayBooks were sold into sales channels in the quarter. RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie confirmed on the company’s earning call that the PlayBook would begin to see price reductions, and the beginnings of RIM’s effort to push PlayBooks off store shelves can likely be seen in an employee-only sale at Rogers. According to a new report, however, RIM isn’t overly optimistic that its efforts with the PlayBook will pay off. Read on for more.

Industry watcher DigiTimes on Wednesday reports that RIM’s manufacturing partner Quanta has cut back its PlayBook production lines in light of decreased orders. Moreover, RIM seemingly has no intention of reviving heavier production in the immediate future, as Quanta is said to be laying off as many as 1,000 workers from its PlayBook lines. Quanta confirmed that layoffs are underway according to the report, but would not comment on whether or not the workforce reduction is tied to RIM or the PlayBook.

RIM had placed orders for between 4 million and 5 million BlackBerry PlayBook tablets back in April of this year according to DigiTimes, but the Waterloo, Ontario-based vendor has shipped fewer than 800,000 units at this point. The report also says orders have dipped substantially to just 100,000 units per month in the third quarter. Quanta will reportedly pay severances averaging $3,420 per worker dismissed from its PlayBook production lines.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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