RIM Kills 16GB PlayBook, Pledges Tablet Commitment
The New Reality for Customer Engagement
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has discontinued the 16GB version of its PlayBook tablet. The device currently sells for $200 at Best Buy and elsewhere, while a 32GB version is priced at $250 and a 64GB version at $300.
"We continue to remain committed to the tablet space, and the 32GB and 64GB models of the BlackBerry PlayBook continue to be available from our distributors and retailers around the world," the company told Cnet in a statement. RIM didn't respond to an eWEEK request for additional comment.
The decision to discontinue its least-beefy tablet could be part of RIM's efforts to slim down in a number of regards.
"RIM has a little fat on the hips and we need to be lean, mean," CEO Thorsten Heins told the media during a May 2 meeting at RIM's BlackBerry World 2012 show in Orlando.
Heins himself is part of RIM's plan to trim down, as he replaced co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis in January. Soon afterward, Heins began the process of thinning down the rest of company s management staff and reining in its to-do list.
"We believe that BlackBerry cannot succeed if we try to be everybody s darling and all things to all people," Heins said during a March 29 earnings call. While focusing on what RIM does best, it plans to better leverage relationships to address other areas.
"We will seek strong partnerships to deliver those consumer features and content that are not central to the BlackBerry value position," Heins said, offering the example of applications for media consumption.
Heins went on to identify four strategic areas where RIM will focus its efforts. One of these was on improving efficiencies and toward this end it s rumored that RIM plans to let go of several thousand more employees. Another focus is on the successful launch of the BlackBerry 10 platform. While not arriving until the end of the year, the experience of the PlayBook 2.0 for now offers a taste of what's to come with BlackBerry 10, Heins said during the call.
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