Research in Motion executive confident in PlayBook

Oct 10, 2011 By ADAM SCHRECK , AP Business Writer

(AP) -- Research in Motion Ltd. is "absolutely confident" in its PlayBook tablet despite disappointing sales and aims to appeal to customers already hooked on its BlackBerry smartphones, a company executive said Monday.

Patrick Spence, RIM's managing director for and regional marketing, told The Associated Press in Dubai that the Waterloo, Ontario-based company was not as clear as it could have been in defining the for the devices.

RIM's focus now, he said, is on trying to convince to existing BlackBerry users to consider the PlayBook. It plans to announce new features and functions for the computers soon.

"We still could've done a better job of appealing directly to those BlackBerry customers," he said, adding the company is now and "trying to approach more of them."

The company's focus, he said, is on "targeting the 70 million BlackBerry subscribers around the world, and saying: 'this is the tablet for you.'"

RIM's earnings fell by nearly half in the last as it sold just 200,000 PlayBooks - far fewer than it and analysts had been expecting. The lackluster sales have weighed on RIM's slumping share price, which has lost about two-thirds of its value since February.

The company faces stiff competition from Apple Inc.'s iPad, by far the biggest-selling tablet computer. Apple sold almost 29 million iPads from April 2010 through June of this year. Inc. is also getting into the tablet business. It recently unveiled the Kindle Fire, a that is listed at $199, making it cheaper than either the PlayBook or the .

Separately, Spence said RIM is committed to rolling out higher-end phones using its new QNX software sometime in 2012. He declined to specify how soon they would be on store shelves.

"Getting it right trumps saying it's going to be 'X' date. ... I want to make sure we get it right," he said.

Spence was in Dubai along with RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie to attend the city-state's annual GITEX electronics show.

Balsillie used his appearance at the show Monday to showcase the company's commitment to the Mideast and unveil a new service for the BlackBerry OS 7 operating system known as BlackBerry Tag. It is designed to allow users of some of its latest BlackBerry phones to share documents, web links and other information with others by tapping their smartphones together.

Balsillie didn't take questions from the audience and dodged reporters' queries after his speech.

The Mideast is an important market for RIM. BlackBerrys are the top selling smartphones in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the two biggest Arab economies.

Spence said he believes that regulatory concerns which threatened to shut down BlackBerry services in both countries last year are now behind the company.

RIM was able to resolve government watchdogs' concerns through "education and engagement," and not through concessions like installing servers in the countries, he said.

Explore further: SK Hynix posts near 30% drop in Q2 net profit

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

RIM shares down on BlackBerry revenue miss

Mar 24, 2011

(AP) -- Research in Motion Ltd.'s stock took a hit Thursday after the maker of the BlackBerry reported revenue from its recently concluded quarter that fell short of expectations and warned that sales in ...

RIM shares fall on disappointing results

Sep 15, 2011

Shares in Research In Motion (RIM) fell sharply in after-hours trading on Thursday after the BlackBerry maker said it shipped fewer smartphones and tablet computers than expected in the quarter.

RIM recalling 1,000 PlayBook tablets

May 16, 2011

Blackberry maker Research In Motion (RIM) said Monday it is recalling around 1,000 PlayBook tablet computers because of an operating system issue.

Recommended for you

Nokia profits rise after sale of handset division

7 hours ago

(AP)—Telecommunications and wireless equipment maker Nokia Corp. saw its shares surge on Thursday after it reported higher profits and an improved earnings outlook in the wake of its sale to Microsoft of its troubled handset ...

Swiss drug maker Roche posts 7 percent profit drop

10 hours ago

(AP)—Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG on Thursday posted a net profit drop of 7 percent compared with a year ago, weighed down by a strong Swiss franc and charges from one of its diagnostic units.

Cheaper wireless plans cut into AT&T 2Q profit

21 hours ago

(AP)—AT&T Inc. on Wednesday posted lower net income for the latest quarter due to cheaper cellphone plans it introduced as a response to aggressive pricing from smaller competitor T-Mobile US.

Facebook 2Q earnings, revenue soar (Update)

21 hours ago

(AP)—Facebook is on a roll. The world's largest online social network posted sharply higher earnings on Wednesday as revenue from mobile advertising continued to grow, and more people used it, more often.

User comments : 0