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RIM Stopping Wi-Fi Playbook Production Rumor – Anybody Else Confused?

Circle of BlackBerry bridgePair

I am running into a bit of circular logic with the latest rumor about the Wi-Fi BlackBerry PlayBook. The Financial Post which supposedly broke the story starts by saying that RIM shares fell about 3.5% today. They then go on to quote RBC Capital Markets financial analyst Mike Abramsky saying that the "stock slide was due to media reports claiming RIM is considering stopping production of the WiFi-only PlayBook."

The thing is the only media reports that claim RIM is stopping production of the Wi-Fi only BlackBerry PlayBook (BoyGenius Report) credit Mike Abramsky, the same analyst mentioned above who covers RIM regularly, for saying that RIM is considering possibly maybe reducing BlackBerry PlayBook Wi-Fi only production. They then go on to quote Mike Abramsky for possible reasons why the rumor, which according to all accounts he started, is possibly true because:

In our view WiFi PlayBook build reductions may: 1) reflect a pullback in production following global channel fill to 16 countries; 2) align channel inventory with slower than expected forecast sell-through; 3) accommodate a shift in production to the 3G/4G PlayBook (launches expected in 2-3 months); and 4) reflect expectations that 3G/4G PlayBook may outsell/cannibalize WiFi-only models (considering carrier alignment and customer/enterprise feedback). RIM also appears to be re-prioritizing its R&D from PlayBook to its QNX-based ‘superphones’ expected early 2012, considering its importance to stemming US share losses.

So now I am still confused as to if RIM is stopping production or simply building less of them now that they have fully stocked their sales channels. The Financial Post then makes a fantastical jump to RIM planning on ceasing production of the Wi-Fi only model. At least I follow Mikes reasoning that RIM may be focusing on their 3G/4G PlayBook along with their 7 new phones and upcoming QNX superphones. On the other hand who knows what is actually going on but RIM is pushing the PlayBook hard. It could be they simply are moving everything over to 4G models in the future but that seems to be a monumental waste.

Anybody else seeing something a bit off about this rumor?

13 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. you mean aside from the fact it’s pure BS? lol

  2. I give it the same creedence I give any analyst-propagated idea, rumor, or speculation: none without sources or proof. Because in the end, within a month or three, we’ll know anyway. THe knowing or not knowing of it now doesn’t really matter.

    In this case it looks like you’ve found a perfect example of one organization leaping to an unsupported conclusion… and then that ripples through the “blogosphere” as if it were actual news.

    What I find really interesting when these articles show up is to just search the headline. You turn up literally hundreds or thousands of sites carrying every single one of these analyst reports and/or rumors and/or speculations as if it were actual news, usually within *minutes* of the original report.

    By the time a few iterations have passed, it gets tweaked and sensationalized, and yo uhave to trace it back five levels to find out there was never a story to begin with.

    But then… that’s what happens when bloggers think what they do is journalism 😉

    Eh, I rambled a bit. The not-journalism of copy-paste “reporting” in the tech space is a pet peeve of mine …

  3. From BlackBerry- @BGR Pure fiction. No plan to discontinue. In fact, WiFi PlayBook is launching in new countries practically every week.

  4. Nothing RIM does makes sense anymore, I’m giving up on them big time, anyone else coming with me?

  5. I can see them lowering the inventory for 4G to come out, but not canceling altogether. That would be kinda crazy to invent bridge and ditch it 3 months later. Bridge is obviously not anything like “Surepress”.

  6. Its the first i’m hearing about this but i doubt its something RIM is planning to do. But thinking about it if you have a Wifi Playbook and 4G Playbook and the 4G playbook offer wifi and more for the same price as the Wifi playbook. Why wouldn’t you wanna buy the 4G playbook?? Everyone wants the best for their money.

  7. Wow. So, what is it with some of these tech blogs? You just put up bogus stories for kicks? Do not get it. In addition, I want to be an analyst. Just sit around and conjecture on various subjects. kewl.

  8. So, again..why does anyone pay attention to BGR? It’s all sh*t

    • Agreed. It is very unfortunate we give this guy such an ego boost by constantly referring to him and his beloved site almost daily. We all should just stop. Unless, of course, you just want to complain about shite that will not change. Not my bag.

  9. Guys – the source of this rumour is a research shop called OTR, short for “off the record” research. They specialize in supply chain checks out of Asia, and they have a reasonably good track record for asian supply chain stuff, but no more.

    In my opinion (and I’ve done supply chain checks), OTR did some checks to suggest RIM is ordering fewer components. They drew conclusions based on this, incorrectly. It happens all the time.

    The analysts quoted in the media probably have a subscription to OTR, the true original source of the stories. Or they got a leaked copy of OTR’s report.

    Regardless, I’m thrilled to see RIM killing the rumour using Twitter. Finally they are defending themselves from such stupid rumours floated by sites such as BGR, and perpetuated by Business Insider.

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