Fear not Apple! Steady as she goes, Samsung! Hold fast Huawei! Don't panic, Dell! BlackBerry maker Research In Motion intends to stay steadfast to the tablet - even as it cans its entry-level device. Thus it will stand guard over the hole where its 16GB PlayBook used to be while remaining committed to the "tablet space". "Tablet space". Give me strength. Like the man said, "You'd have to have a heart of stone not to laugh". By Martyn Warwick.
Consumers have choice and they have chosen not to buy many PlayBooks - except when RIM cuts prices to the bone to shift "excess inventory" (the thousands upon thousands of unsold devices gathering dust on warehouse shelves) and loses money in the process.
When the web site "The Channel" first broke the news that RIM has served the coup de grace on its 16GB PlayBook, the company first blustered and prevaricated before later issuing a printed statement sort-of confirming the decision. It wrote, "The 16 GB PlayBook will continue to be available for distributors and retailers while quantities last." In other words it's cut-price goner.
Then comes the killer pay-off. RIM added, "We continue to remain committed to the tablet space and the 32 GB and 64GB models of the BlackBerry PlayBook continue to be available from our distributors and retailers around the world." It's the way they tell em' that so tickles the ribs.
The fact of the matter, according to the latest research from the kit-tracking company IMS Research, is that the average, across-the-board price of tablet devices fell by 21 per cent between January and March this year and the decline has continued into Q2. As at March 31 this year, that price was US$386 and falling - it's just that RIM's are falling that bit faster.
And why are tablet prices falling so consistently everywhere? Because market leader Apple has cut its prices, forcing every other manufacturer to follow suit.
Gerry Xu, and analyst with IMS said, “There are few innovations from vendors to differentiate their tablets.
Low price seems to be the major factor to attract consumers to buy tablets other than iPads. The price drop is putting strain on vendors who are struggling to balance performance and profitability with a low price." Says it all really, doesn't it?
Meanwhile, back in Blighty, it has been revealed that giving Blackberries to the British Bluebottles has been a big waste of brass. The much put-upon UK taxpayer (i.e. me and other suckers like me) have stumped-up £71 million to provide BlackBerry mobile devices to British police forces in an exercise that has been a complete waste of money. The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament says so and it know a farrago when it sees one.
The wheeze was sold to the public on the grounds that the costly exercise would pay for itself in the long-run by reducing bureaucracy and so allowing the police to spend more time out on the beat and actually doing a bit of real front-line patrolling rather than sitting in the local nick filling in forms and eating doughnuts.
The politicians claimed that "Give a Bluebottle a BlackBerry" scheme would save £125 million in the course of a year. In fact, it "saved' just £600,000 (and that figure was reached via some extremely creative accounting) and auditors found that coppers with BlackBerrys were actually spending more time in the station than those who haven't been issued with them.
So, it'll be back to the whistle's, notebooks and and bulls eye lanterns for the Boys in Blue then. All we need now is some pea-soupers and a Jack-the Ripper look-alike to appear on the scene for us to observe some real heritage policing and a proper return to Victorian values - just in time for the Olympics.
please sign in to rate this article