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The BlackBerry PlayBook  (Source: RIM)
RIM spares two less popular models -- the 32 and 64 GB PlayBooks inexplicably

Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM) product has been beloved by a small set of fans, but has generally been considered a market dud.  A prelude to RIM's troubles in the smartphone market, the tablet was an expensive sales flop for RIM, despite repeated price cuts and an impressive operating system overhaul.

RIM originally offered 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB models at identical prices to market leader Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iPad.  But customers seemed uninterested in a $500 USD entry price for a 7-inch tablet -- especially that 7-inch tablet.  The tablet earned mixed reviews from most major news publications, with many arguing that its downsides made in remarkably inferior to the iPad and Android tablets.

Now RIM has officially axed the 16 GB SKU, writing to Engadget:

RIM will no longer be making the 16 GB model of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The 16 GB PlayBook will continue to be available for distributors and retailers while quantities last. We continue to remain committed to the tablet space and the 32 GB and 64 GB models of the BlackBerry PlayBook continue to be available from our distributors and retailers around the world.

There is more value for our customers in the higher capacity models (32 GB, 64 GB), and as such we have decided to focus our efforts here.

The 32 GB model now sells for $278.59 on Amazon.com, Inc.'s (AMZN) page, a 53 percent mark-down of the original asking price of $599.  The 64 GB model's price was slashed 57 percent from $699 to $299.98.
 
The 64 GB model ranked 39th in Amazon's tablets category, the 32 GB model ranked 46th, and the soon-to-be defunct 16 GB SKU ranked #9.  It's unclear why RIM would kill its most popular PlayBook SKU, rather than simply nailing the coffin shut on the device altogether.  
 
As it continues to wander aimlessly about the market, its tablet future appears murky at best.  Even if the company survives, it may be forced to simply abandon this high margin market for now.


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setting
By Nortel on 6/7/2012 4:30:31 PM , Rating: 5
Setting: RIM board meeting
Topic: Struggling product line

Opens with director covering topic of slipping sales figures and segues into the Playbook line.

exec 1. -"Our Playbook has been a financial flop with the most popular model being our 16gb model"

exec 2. -"We need to get more people interested in the upcoming BB10 phone, how are we supposed to do that when we are selling so many 16gb models"

exec 3. -"I agree, we should axe our most popular Playbook model, that will definitively show our consumers how serious we are about the BB10"

exec 1. -"Wait, I think we're on the wrong track here, I mean the 16gb model is what our consumers are buying, why discontinue it?"

exec2. -"You just don't get it, we need more attention on the BB10; tablet market is over-saturated"

exec 3. -"That's it, decision made, we're cutting the 16gb Playbook. Next topic, increasing our golden parachute clauses"




RE: setting
By The Raven on 6/7/2012 4:51:05 PM , Rating: 3
lol, good one.

But am I missing something here? They axed the smaller capacity but not the smaller price right? Isn't this saying that the 32gb model is the same price if not lower than the 16? The 16 gb is obviously more popular because of the lower price, right?


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