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RIM Officially Nukes 16GB PlayBook Tablet

By - Source: Reuters | B 20 comments

Even with a $199 pricetag, RIM couldn't move its 16 GB PlayBook tablet off shelves.

Reuters reports that Research In Motion has officially discontinued the 16 GB version of its poorly selling PlayBook tablet. The company will phase out the PlayBook once current stock at retailers is finally depleted. RIM said it will continue to manufacture the 32 GB and 64 GB models.

News of the 16 GB model's discontinuation is a little surprising given that its pricetag was/is $199. The next largest version isn't all that more expensive -- costing $249 USD -- whereas the 64 GB model costs $299. If anything, the 16 GB version's demise is an indication that even a low pricetag could't help boost consumer interest and overall sales.

But let's face it: the PlayBook met stiff competition from Amazon's similar 7-inch tablet, the Kindle Fire, in 4Q11 and 1Q12. Although its storage capacity is only half, the Kindle Fire has the upper hand thanks to Amazon's retail presence and superior service. What made matters worse for RIM was that its tablet launched almost a year ago without the most basic features like email.

But next to Apple's iPad, RIM didn't have a chance. The company sold more that 500,000 PlayBook units in the three months to early March. Apple Inc sold 11.8 million iPads in its quarter to late March. Amazon's Kindle Fire was somewhere in between.

Still, RIM isn't calling it quits on the tablet sector. As previously stated, the 32 GB and 64 GB versions are still on the market, and the company reportedly has plans for another tablet launch. "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," RIM said.

"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 company added.

RIM's share of the U.S. smartphone market has taken a serious plunge over the last two years, falling from 44-percent to a mere 12-percent. Overall RIM has lost nearly 75-percent of its market value since last June. Just last week RIM told investors that it may face an operating loss for the current quarter. It even hired on bankers from JPMorgan Securities and RBC Capital Markets to help with a financial "transformation."

Although analysts don't think RIM will shut down immediately and render millions of BlackBerry devices as paperweights, consumers and investors are beginning to panic nonetheless. However there will likely be plenty of support to keep RIM gadgets up and running for the short term if the firm does in fact shut its doors.

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  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , June 8, 2012 7:31 AM
    This memory storage shit is SUCH A SCAM. Going from 16gb to 32 is a $50 dollar jump. Really? Memory is dirt cheap. Don't even get me started on Apple's bullshit.
  • 1 Hide
    del35 , June 8, 2012 7:40 AM
    Apple thrives on the cluelessness of its fans. Rim has no such luck. Few people well informed enough to ditch Apple jailyouin devices would consider a Rim tablet.
  • 1 Hide
    dameon51 , June 8, 2012 7:51 AM
    Quote:
    It even hired on bankers from JPMorgan Securities and RBC Capital Markets to help with a financial "transformation."


    Hiring BANKERS is NOT going to save the company. Its too bad they released the PlayBook before it was really completed because it had a lot momentum behind it... I don't know what can save them now, but its not the bank!
  • 1 Hide
    jerm1027 , June 8, 2012 7:56 AM
    Exactly. We go for Android, root it, recompile kernel, build custom software, and have it cook and do house-cleaning while using it as a remote for everything in the house. Too far?
  • 0 Hide
    mrmez , June 8, 2012 7:56 AM
    del35Apple thrives on the cluelessness of its fans. Rim has no such luck. Few people well informed enough to ditch Apple jailyouin devices would consider a Rim tablet.


    So, RIM fans are all extremely informed and well educated. Far from clueless, right?
    Id agree with that.

    It's these smart people who see the writing on the wall and are abandoning RIM in droves, and buying Apple at a rate of over 20:1

    Launch a tablet without email and provide foreign governments with your encryption key? Give me a break RIM. It's a piss poor effort and people are right to bail on your dinosaur phones and tablets.
  • 3 Hide
    mihaimm , June 8, 2012 8:37 AM
    Memory might be dirt cheap when you look at flash memory. But reliable and FAST memory is not dirt cheap. Memory cards that you plug into your phone are terrible in terms of speed, compared to the flash memory they build into those tables.
  • 0 Hide
    mrmez , June 8, 2012 8:48 AM
    Tru.dat

    64Gb of top end CF memory cost me over $400.
  • 0 Hide
    jurassic512 , June 8, 2012 11:22 AM
    16GB on any tablet is a joke to me. I got 16GB on my Galaxy S phone (not NAND i know but still), and it came out in 2010 ffs.
  • 2 Hide
    Antimatter79 , June 8, 2012 1:29 PM
    RIM has unfortunately become an iceberg in the wireless sector - 85% already underwater. I can't imagine what could possibly be done to truly turn the company around, but [making more] tablets certainly won't save them. I know for me, a few years ago when I got fed up with RIM's lack of desirable apps and the tiny screen, I migrated to a Droid OS phone and never looked back. I was never really a "phone person" and never cared, but once I got a Droid OS device, I understood why people had so much fun with their phones. I'm still not one to get excited over the latest greatest phone about to be released, but I am glad to have a device that has apps that let me do things I want to do; stream media from my PC from anywhere I have cell signal or wifi, and a display large enough to actually make the browser useful. Email was always excellent on my Blackberrys, but other than that, constantly seeing things other people could do with their phones that I couldn't do just became increasingly inconvenient and disappointing. Good luck, RIM.
  • 1 Hide
    eddieroolz , June 8, 2012 1:38 PM
    mrmezprovide foreign governments with your encryption key? Give me a break RIM. It's a piss poor effort and people are right to bail on your dinosaur phones and tablets.


    Better than your Android which has no encryption key to begin with!
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , June 8, 2012 1:39 PM
    jurassic51216GB on any tablet is a joke to me. I got 16GB on my Galaxy S phone (not NAND i know but still), and it came out in 2010 ffs.


    Yet you have those Android tablets running on 8GB still, what's the comment to that?
  • 2 Hide
    dark_lord69 , June 8, 2012 3:53 PM
    I wouldn't buy a tablet unless it had an external memory card slot that can use SDHC or SDXC. Then I would ignore how much internal memory it has and just buy a 32 GB or more memory card. If you get a class 10 it would be pretty fast...
    If it could take SDXC then you could put in REALLY big memory cards in the future and just upgrade as needed.

    Example:
    The ASUS Transformer Prime has a mini sd card slot for an SDXC card which will allow for expanded memory from 64GB all the way up to 2TB (Not currently available). So in the future when the 2TB mini SDXC cards are cheap you can expand to a whopping 2TB while everyone else is still stuck with 32GB - 64GB at most (depending on the tablet).
  • 1 Hide
    miguels , June 8, 2012 4:23 PM
    My 30$ MP3 player has a built in mini SSD card reader...

    Is it so hard to do that? We know that it's slower and bla bla but why can't you just have an alternative for extra storage?
    Because you prefer to charge 10$/GB?? Shame on you... It's the only think keeping me from not buying an iPad
  • -1 Hide
    edlivian , June 8, 2012 5:06 PM
    nothing beats the $99 Touchpad 16gb or $150 for Touchpad 32gb.

    I bought five of them, left them in different rooms in the house.

    They are running like a champ on cm9 nightly.

    I will never spend more than $150 on a tablet.
  • 0 Hide
    stevelord , June 8, 2012 5:09 PM
    Where are all the PB fanboys now?
  • 1 Hide
    husker , June 8, 2012 8:37 PM
    mrmezSo, RIM fans are all extremely informed and well educated. Far from clueless, right?Id agree with that.It's these smart people who see the writing on the wall and are abandoning RIM in droves, and buying Apple at a rate of over 20:1Launch a tablet without email and provide foreign governments with your encryption key? Give me a break RIM. It's a piss poor effort and people are right to bail on your dinosaur phones and tablets.

    Except Apple doesn't even employ an encryption key to begin with, nor does anyone else.
  • 0 Hide
    shqtth , June 8, 2012 8:46 PM
    16GB is too small. wish I bought the 32 or 64GB version
  • 0 Hide
    shqtth , June 8, 2012 8:50 PM
    edliviannothing beats the $99 Touchpad 16gb or $150 for Touchpad 32gb.I bought five of them, left them in different rooms in the house.They are running like a champ on cm9 nightly.I will never spend more than $150 on a tablet.



    A $200 playbook beats the touchpad hands down. I have both. A lot of bugs in WebOS, also the playbook has duial hd camera, where the touchpad is only vga. hmmm the playbook is dual core too. $200 was worth it for me.



    When the iPhone first came out it sucked balls. Lacked apps, and it took a while before any decent apps and games came out.

    There is a lot of apps for the playbook now, so its catching up. Any tablet/device without apps is very limiting unless you only use it for web/email.
  • 2 Hide
    mrmez , June 9, 2012 2:26 AM
    eddieroolzBetter than your Android which has no encryption key to begin with!


    I don't use Android, and i didn't buy a phone which touted unbreakable security that ended up being removed from underneath me.

    But i know LOADS of IT guys who (years ago) bought RIM devices largely because they had top notch security. They all freely admitted the phones were pretty poor otherwise, but tolerated them because they met security needs.
    After RIM servers got hacked, and keys released, it may not have diminished their security, but they suddenly felt their invincible security was fallible, and switched accordingly.

    Today, those same IT guys are all on Android or iPhone.

    Bottom line is, while Android and Apple have been improving services, operating systems and hardware, RIM has been letting services slip, and stagnant on h/ware and s/ware improvements.
  • 0 Hide
    Dark Comet , June 10, 2012 4:31 PM
    eddieroolzBetter than your Android which has no encryption key to begin with!


    A good Android tablet is easily a better choice than a Playbook... The only reason they sell is because of the low price tag and even then it seems that was not enough to save them.
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