Optical/IP Networks

RIM Plans a Q3 PlayBook Revival

At 200,000 PlayBooks shipped, BlackBerry second-quarter tablet sales were nothing short of abysmal, falling well below analyst estimates and RIM’s own forecast. The device maker is hoping to rectify its poor showing with a price cut and a number of software updates slated for the third quarter. (See RIM's Q2 Profit Falls on Weak Shipments.) RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis outlined the planned upgrades, set to be officially unveiled at its Developer Conference next month, during Thursday's earnings call.

PlayBook 2.0 will include:

  • Built-in native email, calendar and contacts, compatible with BlackBerry Enterprise Server and other email services
  • Enterprise features like BlackBerry Balance
  • Enhanced Web browsing
  • New consumer apps, multimedia and video content, including BlackBerry Video Star, a movie rental service
  • HDMI output to watch videos on the TV
  • Android app player
  • Improvements to BlackBerry Bridge

In addition, the tablet maker plans price cuts in the form of additional rebates and incentive programs for enterprises, alongside new loyalty programs and more aggressive marketing to boost sales into the holiday season.

"We are confident these activities will increase demand in Q3 and into the holiday season," Lazaridis said, after admitting second-quarter shipments were well below where he'd like.

Boosting PlayBook sales won't be easy, though. (The company shipped 200,000, which means it sold even fewer.) The device has been criticized for its lack of a native email client, its shortage of apps, its $499 price tag and several delays on the 4G versions. (See RIM Delays 4G PlayBook to the Fall and Investor to RIM: Sell Something.)

Beyond the PlayBook, RIM's CEO team talked up BlackBerry 7, the company's largest and most well-received smartphone launch to date, and its plans to migrate to QNX, which they say will "re-imagine the power of BlackBerry." (See RIM Revamps the BlackBerry, OS Watch: RIM Rushes a Recovery and RIM LTE Phones Expected Early Next Year.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

eaqle3c 12/5/2012 | 4:53:34 PM
re: RIM Plans a Q3 PlayBook Revival

Finally the product looks a lot more complete than what was served in initial launch. Android app player will enable it to have best of both the worlds. Hopefully android app player's quality is good.

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:53:31 PM
re: RIM Plans a Q3 PlayBook Revival

Yeah, but if that's why you're buying the PlayBook, might as well buy an Android tablet. It may be too little, too late.

kaop 12/5/2012 | 4:53:27 PM
re: RIM Plans a Q3 PlayBook Revival

You get the QNX experience you can't have from Android.  (Best of both worlds)  Also the form factor/hardware that you can't get from anything but a Blackberry.  (Build quality is still excellent).  And most importantly, the brand image and social status of owning a Blackberry.  Reference: http://celebrityblackberrysightings.com/



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