RIM Ships Only 200,000 PlayBooks Last Quarter, Price Cuts Coming?

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The bad news continues for RIM in regards to its PlayBook tablet. The BlackBerry maker shipped only 200,000 PlayBooks in the last quarter, according to its financial results, and neglected to offer estimates for further shipments.

Analysts expected RIM to ship 490,000 to 500,000 PlayBooks this quarter, which many thought would be a disappointing number.

By comparison, Apple sold 9.25 million iPads during its last quarter, which was the first full quarter it was available, according to Apple.

The important distinction is in the meaning of “sold” and “shipped.” Customers actually purchased 9.25 million iPad 2s, while RIM simply shipped 200,000 PlayBooks into the sales channel, meaning that the 200,000 figure includes sales and PlayBooks sitting on store shelves and in warehouses.

The subpar sales figures are yet another setback for the BlackBerry tablet. Earlier this summer, Sprint announced it was abandoning plans for a 4G WiMAX PlayBook, while rumors indicate RIM was scrapping a planned 10-inch version in order to concentrate on its smartphone business.

On a conference call with reporters following the announcement, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis claimed RIM would offer rebates, deals and incentive programs to jumpstart PlayBook sales, particularly with enterprise customers, according to CNET.

The same report also indicates that RIM will finally unveil BlackBerry Tablet OS 2.0 in October, which will bring a native email and calendar app, as well as the promised Android app player.

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