RIM hit with $485m charge as Playbook sales struggle

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The Independent Online

Research in Motion, the beleaguered BlackBerry maker, has written off $485m related to the poor sales of its tablet device, the Playbook.

The Canadian group revealed the profit warning yesterday, sending its shares down more than 8 per cent. It admitted that it would need a further promotional drive to shift the huge numbers of the devices remaining unsold.

RIM blamed the "recent shifts in the competitive dynamics of the tablet market" and the delays to the updated software. The group managed to sell just over 150,000 Playbooks in the third quarter after slashing the costs. This marked a decline from 200,000 sales from the previous quarter as the device struggles to compete with Apple's iPad as well as a range of Android tablets.

Mike Laziridis, co-chief executive of RIM, said the company is committed to the Playbook, saying it is "a compelling tablet for consumers that offers unique security and manageability features for the enterprise".