BlackBerry stock slips as tablet gets lukewarm responseApril 20th, 2011 - 1:39 pm ICT by IANS
Toronto, April 20 (IANS) The launch of its PlayBook tablet didn’t reverse the fortunes of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) on the Toronto stock market Tuesday as its stock slipped almost four percent.
RIM stock, which has plunged about 20 percent since last month, further dived 3.77 percent to close at $50.85. The iconic company’s stock has plunged almost 65 percent from its high of almost $150 in June 2008.
Tuesday’s decline followed after RIM joined battle with rival Apple in the tablet market by launching the PlayBook in North America.
The tablet, which doesn’t give users access to email, contacts and calendar and is way behind Apple’s iPad in apps, received lukewarm response, compared with the frenzy generated by the iPad when it hit markets last year.
While the Apple tablet sold more than 300,000 units on its launch day, the BlackBerry tablet fared very poorly in comparison.
“…Most of the people buying the PlayBook are office (corporate) guys. Others are coming in just to have a look at the tablet,” a salesman at the city’s Best Buy store in downtown told IANS.
RIM has not announced any sales target, but analysts expect it to sell about half a million tablets in the current quarter which ends in six weeks’ time, generating about $300 million for the company.
On the other hand, iPad sales have generated $4.6 billion for Apple in the recent quarter, accounting for almost 17 percent of Apple revenue. In fact, the iPad has raked in $9.6 billion for Apple since its launch last year.
Though RIM is primarily targeting the tablet at its 60 million BlackBerry subscribers as the Wi-Fi tablet links with BlackBerry smart phone through BlackBerry Bridge without needing a wireless carrier, only about 12 percent of BlackBerry users say they will buy it.
According to a survey by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), the majority of BlackBerry users say they will wait for at least four months before deciding whether to buy the tablet.
The current seven-inch, Wi-Fi-only PlayBook is available in three models of 16, 32 and 64 gigabytes of storage capacity in the price range of $499 to $699.
RIM has announced to launch 3G versions later this summer.
(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Tags: 60 million, apple tablet, bank of canada, best buy, best buy store, fortunes, half a million, ipad, launch day, lukewarm response, rbc, research in motion, rim, royal bank of canada, sales target, smart phone, tablet market, toronto stock market, wi fi, wireless carrier