Sprint cancels plan to sell beleaguered RIM’s 4G PlayBook

“Research In Motion Ltd.’s tablet hopes were dealt another blow as Sprint Nextel Corp said it canceled plans to sell a version of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet on its speedier network,” Greg Bensinger reports for MarketWatch.

“The decision means the device hasn’t yet found any support from the three largest U.S. wireless carriers, which includes AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless,” Bensinger reports. “Without their backing, RIM will have to bear the burden of sales and marketing support for the device, as well as application development.”

MacDailyNews Take: DCW.

Bensinger reports, “In contrast, Apple Inc.’s market-dominating iPad is advertised and supported by both AT&T and Verizon Wireless, and the tablet is displayed prominently in stores.”

MacDailyNews Take: Boom! Greg, with the kick to the teeth!

Bensinger reports, “Sprint had said in January it would sell a version of the device as soon as this summer that would run on its fourth-generation network. The carrier said this week that those plans had been halted because the market for tablets has became too crowded. Representatives from Research In Motion did not respond Friday to requests for comment.”

MacDailyNews Take: Probably DCW’s half-CEOs are too busy preparing their answer to the “What did you know and how soon did you know it” question. Or trying to buy a hockey team.

Bensinger reports, “Rival device-makers have had little success so far in catching up to Apple after its launch of the iPad in April 2010. Estimates vary, but analysts suggest Apple has two-thirds of the market, if not more.”

MacDailyNews Take: More. Shipping doesn’t equal selling. Apple’s so-called “rivals” do a whole lot of the former and very little of the latter while Apple can’t make iPads fast enough.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Buh-bye, RIM.


[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “N8nNC” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
People don’t want fake iPads, they want real Apple iPads; HP slashes TouchPad dud by 20% – August 12, 2011
Analyst: Beleaguered RIM to pull plug on weak-selling Wi-Fi PlayBook – July 18, 2011
Half-CEOs claim ‘RIM’s foundation is very strong’ as shareholders grumble – July 13, 2011
Beleaguered RIM slashes PlayBook production plans – June 22, 2011
O2 rejects RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook; won’t sell in UK due to end user issues – June 16, 2011


  1. As much as I respected RIM in the past, PlayBook is just a 4 letter word now, D.E.A.D.

    Sad to see a leader fall, but they were the master of their fate and simply did NOT master innovation needed to keep up.

    I truly think RIM thought they could match wits with the biggies in Silicon Valley while keeping operations in Canada, but RIM couldn’t manage it. You have to be where the rumors and the action is to keep up.

    1. I think they just got lucky with the Blackberry; they can’t repeat it. The type of thinking to compete at even an Android-level is not in their make-up.

      I used a company-issued BB for one day in in early January, 2007, so before the iPhone was even announced. The UI was so terrible that I gave it back that day, and said I didn’t want to have a smartphone. It wasn’t worth the hassle. I remember thinking, “I wish smartphones / PDA’s were good for more than just solitaire.”

      The worst thing was that awful scroll / click-wheel. you had to scroll to the menu option you wanted and click the tiny wheel. Of course, if you moved the wheel when clicking, you chose a wrong option. Almost every menu option opened an, “Are you sure?” dialog. Then they replaced it with that awful tiny perl, and a cursor. A cursor – are you serious!?! Did they even try to use it internally before shipping it?

      1. Got lucky? Are you really an idiot? RIM invented the smartphone demand by bringing mobile email to the masses. It wasn’t just a thought and a 1 year program. These guys have been around for 20 yearsand have spent much of that time building this market. There are some very brilliant people working at RIM. Second to none, including the big boys at silicon valley.

        There’s a reason why google, Microsoft, mcafee and many others have presence in Waterloo. Have you ever heard of the Perimeter Institute? Stephen Hawkins spends 6 months per year in Waterloo. This town is full of brilliant people so stop the “only in America ” crap.

        That being said. The RIM leaders made some fatal mistakes. let’s see what they conjure up. Their failure will be about leadership not the lack of brilliance.

        1. You’re right. The towns full of geniuses that are so smart, they can’t even come up with one solid idea on how to save this company. They’re all going to be present when this company goes under. Real smart!

  2. “I truly think RIM thought they could match wits with the biggies in Silicon Valley while keeping operations in Canada, but RIM couldn’t manage it. You have to be where the rumors and the action is to keep up.”

    Yeah, like Eric who spied on Apple from his position as a member of the board of directors to give birth to a revised baby Android when Google’s first baby Android version looked like an unsellable Windows Mobile Beast?

    Rim could have been like Google if they were incapable of innovating for themselves.

    Why try if you can lie?

  3. RIM was actually one of the companies which could have given Apple’s iPhone and iPad some competition, especially given RIM’s former entrenchment in the corporate markets.

    But this is what happens when you are arrogant and fail to recognize reality.

    RIM could still come out as a player in the smartphone and even tablet markets, but it needs to can the co-CEOs and bring in someone who is a tech guy, not a sales or marketing or finance guy. RIM has to focus HARD on the product and customer service, and it might survive. We Apple fans know what can happen with the right guidance.

    But it’s not looking good.

  4. This exposes the danger of being reliant on third-party carriers for promotion of your product. Apple has a huge advantage with their stores, being able to sell iPhones themselves, and keeping the iPad almost entirely independent of the carriers.

  5. Anyone’s guess when RIMM gets acquired or goes belly up?

    I’m thinking 3 years.

    I bet the UK betting houses probably have a few books open for just that type of gamble.

  6. At this juncture it is possible to take stock of the market and review who the survivors of the tablets war will be. While it is obvious who is thriving, that would be Apple, one has to look a little further out to see who is floundering. 

    It seems to me that RIM are looking increasingly like bedraggled survivors of the Apple blitzkrieg. They seem to be clinging to pieces of wreckage floating in dark waters after their ship was torpedoed by USS Cupertino. There is no rescue in sight and they are drifting aimlessly with the currents, carried against their will to the shores of destruction, floating without a life jacket waiting for the sharks to feed on them in the dark waters while they, terrified out of their minds, have to battle internal dissension and lack of morale within the ranks of the company.

    In the meantime the co-tards are utilizing every means possible to grab on to the lifeline thrown to them by corporate IT even if it means cutting functionality away like not having an inherent email client that can fetch mail without needing to tether to another obsolete device like a BlackBerry.

  7. Only mega-serious innovation will save RIM.

    Come out with a 2 oz thin small bbPhone (size of 3 iPod nanos in a row) and a rollout flexible screen for web & graphics & they will have a chance.

    Anything less & they might as well cash out now, though admittedly I can’t think of why anyone would buy RIM.

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