Research in Motion’s proverbial cup of woes runneth over. Just a matter of days after reports emerged that the Waterloo, Canada based company had over $1 billion worth of unsold inventory consisting of Blackberry phones and Playbooks, it turns out that it will be permanently discontinuing the 16GB version of the Playbook tablet.
The RIM Playbook tablet seemed destined for failure from the very beginning, given that its incomplete and rushed up Blackberry QNX OS lacked basic features such as an Email client and a Calendar – two of the key draws that had made Blackberry smartphones hugely popular among professionals for the best part of the last decade.
The Playbook’s much delayed OS update did come about earlier this year, but that was a perfect case of too little, too late, in all honesty. Plenty of price cuts followed, and a tablet that cost $499 at its launch was available at fire sales for less than half of that figure.
The fact that RIM is canceling the 16GB Playbook proves one thing for certain – RIM has already cut its tablet’s price to unfeasibly low levels, and the chance of earning greater margins from the 32 and 64 GB versions at this point makes more sense.
The PR team from RIM had this to say 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.”