Poor BlackBerry PlayBook sales see profits crash at RIM

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has had to admit that its shiny new tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook, isn’t doing as well as it had hoped.

The company has reported that it has shipped just 200,000 to shops in the last 90 days. To put that into perspective, Apple sells 200,000 iPads in a little over 2 days.

The number is considerably lower than the 500,000 shipped in the previous quarter and even lower than the 700,000 Wall Street was expecting. What’s worse is that the actual number of sold devices is likely to be even lower as the earnings report details units shipped, not units sold. 

And the bad news doesn’t stop there with the company shipping (again not necessarily selling) approximately 10.6 million BlackBerry smartphones in the same time frame, below what analysts were expecting, and half that of Apple’s iPhone for the similar period.

As you might imagine that’s had a negative impact on revenue with the figures down 15 per cent from the previous quarter and down 10 per cent from the same quarter last year.

Profits are down 47 per cent on the previous quarter.

It’s not all bad news however. RIM says the latest BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Curve BB OS 7 smartphones have been well received by shoppers:

"We successfully launched a range of BlackBerry 7 smartphones around the world during the latter part of the second quarter and we are seeing strong sell-through and customer interest for these new products," said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at Research In Motion trying to put a good spin on what the markets are bound to call a bad quarter for the company and blaming “lower than expected demand for older models."

Where next for RIM? Balsillie says that the company is going to continue to push the new phones and focus "our development efforts on delivering the next generation, QNX-based mobile platform next year."

RIM has said in the follow-up conference call that it plans to offer discounts for the PlayBook in the hope of boosting sales whilst also releasing a major software update for the tablet in October at the company's annual DevCon event in San Francisco. 

- UPDATE: Big PlayBook update coming October, adds Video Store, Android, email and more



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