This time last year, Canadian mobile phone maker Research In Motion was unveiling to the world its first tablet PC, the BlackBerry PlayBook, a device that was expected to sell in high volumes, and which sees cut back production now.
If it weren't for a series of delays that had the device available on shelves over half a year after being announced, it might have made a big difference, that's for sure.
Some of the early analyst estimates on the PlayBook suggested that RIM
might have been able to sell over 6 million units in about 12 months after the initial launch.
However, the tablet PC landed on shelves much too late to make a difference, and the sales previsions dropped significantly as well.
In early 2011, RIM expected over 4 million units to have been sold before the end of the year, yet only 100,000 of them landed in users hands in the past month.
Reportedly, only 800,000 PlayBook
units were sold during the first half of the ongoing year, far more less than what was anticipated.
Quanta Computer, the company in charge with the PlayBook manufacturing, has cut the PlayBook production significantly, a recent report from DigiTimes reads
Moreover, the company is said to plan giving the pink slip to a number of around 1,000 workers, a move that was already confirmed.
Given the fact that sales were very slow, and orders for the device decreased dramatically, Quanta decided to downsize its production so as to ensure minimum losses.
However, things might change, soon, as RIM was rumored before to plan the launch of new versions of the PlayBook, including a larger model.
The tablet segment debuted in force this year, with the release of numerous large, 10'' devices aimed at competing with Apple's iPad, and with the availability of smaller, 7-8-9'' models that should appeal to users due to increased pocketability. RIM's PlayBook
is a 7-inch tablet.