RIM's PlayBook tablet pulled from US online stores

Analyst says that RIM could be preparing a successor to the BlackBerry PlayBook, which has failed in the marketplace

Models of Research in Motion's PlayBook tablet have been pulled from online stores of some top retailers in the US and Canada, a move one analyst said could be a sign that the company is readying a successor tablet.

The PlayBook tablet is no longer listed on the online stores of US consumer electronics retailers including Wal-Mart, Best Buy, RadioShack and Staples. The products are listed as being out of stock in Office Depot's online store.

In the BlackBerry maker's home country of Canada, only the 32GB model is available on the websites of retailers Futureshop and Best Buy Canada, at a discounted rate of C$149.99 (US$153). The 16GB and 64GB PlayBook models are out of stock.

However, the tablets remain available on RIM's own online store.

RIM did not respond to requests for comment.

The first PlayBook shipped in April 19, starting at $US500 for a 16GB model, but has sold poorly since. PlayBook sales dropped to about 130,000 in RIM's most recent fiscal quarter, which ended on Sept. 1.

The company's existing stock of PlayBooks may have run out, and the company may be getting ready to launch a new version of the tablet, said Bob O'Donnell, program vice president for clients and displays at IDC.

RIM has said nothing recently about a new PlayBook, but if one were to come, it could be running the upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system, O'Donnell said. RIM is aggressively pushing the new OS, which will be on new BlackBerry smartphones later this year.

"There have been rumblings of RIM doing a second-generation [PlayBook] product," O'Donnell said. "I don't think they are going to quit the market yet."

RIM said in August it would refresh the PlayBook lineup with a 4G LTE model that would be initially available through Canadian carriers and in other countries at a later date. The PlayBook LTE model is already available through Canadian carriers, and is listed on RIM's as "coming soon" to the U.S. However, the model is not available through retail stores.

In early October RIM pushed out an update to the BlackBerry PlayBook OS, version 2.1, for the LTE and existing Wi-Fi only versions of the tablet. The update includes features such as the ability to compose SMS messages when connected to a BlackBerry smartphone over Bluetooth. There is also improved support and compatibility for Android apps.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?