back to article PlayBook stock mountain: RIM slashes prices

RIM has started to slash prices for its little-loved BlackBerry PlayBook tablet in the US amid channel talk on this side of the pond that the fondleslabs are shifting more slowly than expected and inventory levels are out of control. The troubled Canadian firm is taking a lead from HP which saw demand for its TouchPad go …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The word "PlayBook" is plain stupid. It will never catch on in the UK.

    1. ThomH

      What are you talking about?

      It's a name sure to attract every fan of basketball or American football living in the UK.

      1. The First Dave

        It's a wonder they didn't manage to get the words "world series" into the name somehow...

    2. Solomon Grundy

      No Doubt

      If your mission is to keep the enterprise space then "Play" anything doesn't come off well. The lack of features not withstanding; the name alone killed the device. Those crazy Canadians.

  2. Arrrggghh-otron

    Don't all rush at once...

  3. James 51
    Thumb Up

    the playbook is the tablet I'd go for if I had the money, perhaps bringing the price down will make that a bit easier to afford. I for one don't find the idea of tethering the way it's done as a problem. If anything it's a bonus, not paying for two data contracts plus if it's lost/stolen no data left behind to pilfer.

    1. a_been

      You do know RIM are likly to sack you anyway?

  4. Pete 43

    Day Jar


  5. Ian Ferguson

    We trialled one

    Nobody could use it at even a basic level without training; as opposed to the iPad or even an Android device, which are completely intuitive.

    Several said 'So can I have a tablet instead of a Blackberry?' Well... no.

    Now the iPad supports Exchange security features, there's really no point in denying requests for them. In fact, I see little point in the Blackberry either if an employee prefers an iPhone or other.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      My shop is vehemently anti-Apple and pro-BB, they don't want the grief of maintaining iTunes libraries on desktops or letting the wally users just grab apps themselves but after a big fan-fare about going BB PlayBook the testing proved that PlayBook was a bit of a "lame-nag"!

  6. gautam

    Tethering only?

    Now whose brilliant idea was this in their design department? When there are generic tablets around, this is/was a retrograde step.

    The designer of such a closed system must be shot! Just like the UBS rogue trader. They thought they'd control the market ?

    Screw them, all dumbasses.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh please.

      As if the designers get to overrule all the stupid decisions made by everyone over them, who don't understand the product as well, but still outrank you.

      1. a_been

        Yes please

        It's the designers who design the thing. Do you think the management said "oh and by the way make sure the email doesn't work"!

        1. semprance
          Paris Hilton

          Um ...

          Yeah they did, but it sounded more like: "We want to release this product far too early, what features can we drop? You're right, email is so 2010!"

          Paris, because she can't help being naive either.

    2. zanto

      shot is too mild

      he should be tarred then feathered publicly before being made to commit seppuku as an example to other bright sparks who might get similar brilliant ideas.

  7. Hardcastle the ancient

    No sympathy

    I really am not at all surprised. They were selling a not-a-ipad for the price of an ipad, and expecting to carve a slice of market action. Just like HP, they were greedy. I've written on here before about my old Dad's dictum, that to compete with the market leader you have to be one or both of:

    * twice as good

    * half the price

    Because they have already done the hard work before you and taken the high ground.

    I really hope that this is the end of Mee-toooo engineering.

    It has been all too aparant in the world of digital cameras where man+dog was making the same indistinguishable box for drunken office girls to point at each other in italian restaurants. That was a long tradition of copying going back to the days of the Instamatic, and it sort of worked for cameras because you could buy one and it worked and you didn't need anything else.

    Fondlepads are not like that. They are part of a system. It's like trying to sell dodgem cars when no-one has put up the chicken wire for the electric supply.

    I am sick of people saying "there is a proven market of X million, if we get 15% of that it is Y million". For heavens sake, lads, go out and invent something for yourselves.

    Where is my voice-based computer? what about a way to get the BBC radio while driving through poland? Why aren't all the new phones dual- or triple- sim? What about a bonephone layer on the head? spectacles with zoom lenses? What about a camera with IR visualisation for spotting people with a fever? What happened to data gloves? eye movement tracking instead of a mouse (all you need is two cameras on a notebook)

    Or even some boring peripherals? what about a printer and scanner the same size as an ipad, that will do a sheet or two at a time? Remember home automation? temperature indicating tableware? Where are the standing stair lifts, the cycle detectors for the left side of large vehicles? What about private family networks on phones, a sort of always-on walkie talkie with intercontinental range? and position tracking? gadgets to weigh things or measure them in 3D? Cheap domestic solid printers? electric cycle retrofits? Why do cars have the same key on every door, central locking, and remote openers, and houses don't? Where is my pocket device to scan bank notes for forgeries? a minature soldering station for reflow soldering IC packages? peltier based spot heating or cooling for foodstuffs? domestic energy recycling for b athwater and flue gasses? a method of keeping next door's cat from using the flower beds as a latrine? linked watches, so you can remind yer partner of an appointment, or know what direction they are in some cavernous shopping mall? Cheap space flight? window glass that goes reflective in hot weather? an UV based bacteria scanner for domestic and catering food preparation surfaces?

    There are still a billion things to invent. Stop bloody copying the latest fad and use some brains for a change!

    1. gautam


      Im impressed Hardcastle. A-greed. Why not? Ride on the badwagon is the operative word.

      I still defy the masses to come up with a good excuse to buy this fondleslab, except as a wifi web browser. Really. How many doorstoppers by now?

    2. King Jack

      You must be Dr Emmet Brown

      You forgot about the flux capacitor.

    3. Dark haired lord of the undercliff

      Sounds like the prize list on the gadget show.

    4. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Unfortunately they won't shift them unless they're free with Blackberrys

      As you need a Blackberry to use them and even then oddly enough not everyone wants a Blackberry.

      All in all probably the worst idea since the last idiotic decision taken by a CEO (too many to count).

    5. cloudgazer

      'Why aren't all the new phones dual- or triple- sim?'

      This one actually has a really simple answer, it's because the mobile carriers absolutely hate the idea!

      1. Robert E A Harvey


        I don't enter into a contract to buy 30 gallons of petrol a month from BP and get a free Astra. I go and buy my Alfa and then fill it up whereever I choose.

        People should buy their own handsets, then they will have the authority to decide what features shoulod be in it, not some vested-interest bandit

    6. TheRealRoland

      @No sympathy -- For a while i thought...

      You would start saying something about 'British engineering' and 'in charge of the world' -- especially after this statement

      what about a way to get the BBC radio while driving through poland?

      I think you forgot to copy/paste that other email, something about the mysteries of life -- why is abbreviation such a long word, what is the name of the plastic things at the end of your shoe laces,

      etc. etc.

      Chill - take a breath, then a beer. Almost Friday. Hang in there.

      As far as the bbc radio in Poland -- have some company invest in a number of satellites, and set up a radio service similar to SiriusXM. Simple as that, right? There's probably a nice market study about that one ;-)

    7. zanto
      Thumb Up

      already there

      what about a way to get the BBC radio while driving through poland?

      i get bbc streamed to my e71 through the internet radio app. don't they have gprs/3G in poland?

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A reason most of these haven't been invented?

      Nobody bloody wants them however...ever tried google?

      Central locking for houses

      ....and position tracking (for phones)

      err loads available

      Where is my pocket device to scan bank notes for forgeries?

      a method of keeping next door's cat from using the flower beds as a latrine?

      12 Bore / Air-rifle / good kicking

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dog with Fleas ?

    You can sort that out with some Frontline - the cost to fix is marginal. I'm not sure there is such an easy fix for the Playbook - or indeed RIM. Shame - Canada has suffered, first Nortel, now RIM.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Frontline's not strong enough.

      You would need the 3x more costly (with shorter, but much wider effectiveness) Advocate instead.

      I think a simpler approach is to revive the myth that fleas are a sign of health*. YMMV.

      (*The nazi camp doctors believed that if you were really at death's door, fleas will desert you -- so at times they let those with fleas live in preference over those without. And subsequently killed all anyhow as far as capacity would allow.)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    For £100 I wanted a TouchPad. Not interested in a PlayBook even if the price was similarly low.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      I dunno, I'd go for one if the price was low enough, and there was an android port for it as well...

  10. Seb123

    Oh dear

    RIM's executives will have a lot to answer for when the same hardware (Amazon Kindle Fare), made by the same company in nearly the same design is selling and their version is a flop.

    Should be fun.

  11. ElNumbre

    A sales winner.

    Slash it to £80-£100, accidentally leak a way to load 'proper' Android (presumably Honeycomb or ICS) onto the net, offload tens of thousands. Espesh if RIM then released an app which gave full BES compatibility.

  12. Dapprman

    I agree it's an unintuitive device

    I tried one in PCW a few weeks back. It's so difficult to use I could not get it out of the music player application it appeared to be stuck in, nor could i turn it off and on to see if that fixed things.

    1. JamHead

      All about the bezels.

      It's basically all controlled through the bezels at the top and bottom of the device (when you set up the device for the first time there is a tutorial that you have to run through which explains it, but you won't have seen it if the device was already configured.

      You swipe up from the bottom bezel towards the middle to minimise the currently open app. It shrinks it down into a small box in the middle of the screen and from here you can switch between other running apps, or close them.

      Swiping down to the middle from the top bezel brings up the options menus while in apps, though for most of them there seem to be very few options to change.

    2. Marvin the Martian

      If it were so difficult as to be babyproof, I'd buy it.

      But it seems it's just so hopelessly unintuitive to make random actions possible but voluntary ones not.

    3. OrsonX
      Thumb Down

      unintuative - agreed

      I couldn't get past the WiFi log-on screen. The 2nd screen after the Welcome screen! Please tell me how...., somebody!

  13. wibble001

    Flash aaaahhhhhaaaaa!

    It was all the adverts on UK TV flouting Flash support as its main selling point that put me off.

    1. James Dore

      Flash? Naa-aaah!

      Iknorite? I though that if that was all that was good enough about it to make the adverts, then they were beyond the event horizon of screwed. Blackberry are circling the drain, and have been for months. Release their BBM and mail cleverness as an Android and iPhone app, and leave the hardware and OS manufacture to those that know what they're doing.

  14. Gil Grissum

    Junk Kit

    The idiotic Co- CEO's probably thought the Playbook would be a great stealth plan to sell more Blackberry's, since the thing is useless without one. The Kindle Fire will sell because it fills it's intended purpose, an e-reader with a web browser, whereas this piece of junk kit "PLAYBOOK", was designed to be useless without a Blackberry. The idiots ignore the fact that not everyone has or even wants a Blackberry. Stupid plan. Junk Kit. They can lower it to the same $100 that the Touchpad sold for bit there will not be a frenzy to buy, for anyone who doesn't have a Blackberry and Blackberry users have already yawned at this thing.

    I suspect that either one or both of RIM's Co- CEO's may be on the chopping block soon, like Leo was over at HP.

    1. Andy Hards

      Maybe cos

      there are not many people who have an iPad who don't have an iPhone they thought they there would be the same sort of fanatacism amongst the Blackberry fans but I think the 'Crackberry' has had it's day. It was everywhere in the US for a while, then the texters over here made use of them while they were cheap at 3 and vodafone etc but as someone else's dad said above, it needed to be either twice as good and half the price to compete with the iPad, not the same price and half as good.

      Shame really. I thought that they might be the ones to compete but it seems that Apple will be at the top of this market they created for a while yet.

    2. John Sanders


      Lost the plot completely.

      The best example of a company going the way of the Palm is when the high-end device can do exactly the same as the lower end one, and none of them do what the competitors can.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    so that will be why they've only sold 23, and all to girls?

  16. Devon_Custard

    I think everyone has forgotten the point of the PB

    As I understand it the PB was targeted at the coroporate environment. The reasone the PB is tethered to a BB is to ensure that the device never holds any sensitive coporate data. As soon as its out of BlueTooth range, its just a semi decent tablet.

    I appreciate that the iPad is a far superior experience, but the controls around remote wipe are immature and dependent on Apple services and they are playing catch up to RIM in that respect.

    I have been testing a PB for some time now and I do agree that for the most part its a toe dip into the pad marketform by RIM but I am sure that if the tethered mail client gets features that at least match those found on the BB and its more nativelyt supported by the BES, it will be a decent alternative.

    1. jai

      if mail client gets feature

      horse, bolt, door, stable

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just No

      The reason it's tethered is the shite OS.

  17. Fartin Fantastic


    I got one of these for free, back when they were giving them away to developers who made apps before their app store opened. Its actually a pretty decent device, but I'd never pay the current asking price for it. Maybe half this price would be fair, especially considering the low cost of the pending Kindle Flame.

  18. Peter Johnstone


    I bought one for my wife as she has a blackberry. I've got a Motorola xoom. The blackberry has some nice features, but is on the whole disappointing. Not a lot in the app world and very few free titles. With the exception of docs to go, which is free on the blackberry but is paid for on the android market(if you want the version that allows you to edit documents), apps on the blackberry are being charged for that free equivalents are available for on android or are more expensive than their paid for android counterpart. Astonishingly the Chinese IME, which allows Chinese text to be entered costs £3. Free on all versions of Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Android. Way to go RIM, alienate one fifth of the world population from your market.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You bought a Xoom then a Playbook!

      1. James Dore

        Recession? What Recession?

        Glad to see someone's got money to burn! Trebles all round!

      2. Peter Johnstone

        @ac 22:40

        Actually, yes and no. The tablets were gifts to each other on our wedding anniversary, so bought at the same time, although the XOOM arrived first. Only bought the playbook because my wife has blackberry phone. Other than having to pay for the Chinese IME, it does meet her needs. The XOOM does piss over it though in terms of apps and customisation (The play book is very limited when it comes to grouping app/shortcuts and no widgets) but the play book is not completely devoid of merit; Pairing the phone with the tablet is incredibly easy and I wish the android os had close gadgets. I originally only had a couple of 'use cases' for wanting a tablet but some of the apps from the android market have extended that somewhat. On the other hand, my wife simply wants to view her text/mail on a bigger screen and not to have to type on the phone's keyboard. For that purpose the play book does the job.

  19. Toothpick


    .... not In Motion

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    developer toolchain

    To make apps for Blackberry is a nasty experience, a convoluted toolchain that is windows only, a myriad of devices to support some with touch some not.

    Most people don't care to aim for it for the extra cost involved - that is not going to get apps in the store!

  21. James Pickett


    "electric cycle retrofits"

    You need(ed) a Sinclair Zeta...

    If anyone else had made it, it would have taken over the world by now.

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      >If anyone else had made it, it would have taken over the world by now

      Yes. Arriving working, and not falling to bits in 2 weeks would have made a huge difference

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like