RIM insists that it is not getting out of the tablet business, but there are signs that PlayBook production may have stopped. And retailers are beginning to offer the device at deep discounts.
Brooke CrothersFormer CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Research In Motion says it is not getting out of the tablet business, contrary to analysts who say the company may have halted production of the PlayBook and despite near-fire-sale pricing by a major retailer.
PlayBook production has hit a wall, said market research firm DisplaySearch. "We heard from the supply side that RIM's ODM (original design manufacturer) partners don't have plans for production beyond this year," Richard Shim, an analyst at DisplaySearch, told CNET, referring to the PlayBook tablet. "And it is unusual for a manufacturing partner not to have plans for next quarter," he said.
Shim added that he doesn't have any knowledge of RIM exiting the tablet business, however.
A Reuters report earlier today cited Collins Stewart semiconductor analyst John Vihn who said, "We believe RIM has stopped production of its PlayBook and is actively considering exiting the tablet market."
RIM is denying that it will exit the tablet business. "Any suggestion that the BlackBerry PlayBook is being discontinued is pure fiction. RIM remains highly committed to the tablet market," RIM said in a statement today.