Even without the added pressure of a very inexpensive Kindle Fire tablet from Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN), the tablet market is bound to see some more contenders fall by the wayside joining HP (NYSE: HPQ) and its TouchPad. And so it came as little surprise today to see a report that BlackBerry maker RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) was halting production of its PlayBook and considering a move out of the tablet market altogether. Turns out, though, it’s not true.
In a research note from Collins Stewart Analyst John Vinh that was then picked up by Barron‘s and Business Insider, among others, the chip analyst noted that “…the ODM [RIM] has essentially halted production of the tablet. Additionally, our due diligence indicates that RIMM has canceled development of additional tablet projects.”
He writes that he based this conclusion on chip maker Quanta, which supplies components for the PlayBook, laying off people working at the factory that makes the PlayBook, along with other research.
Upon reading this, we immediately reached out to RIM. A spokesperson offered the following emailed response:
“RIM doesn’t typically comment on rumors, but any suggestion that the BlackBerry PlayBook is being discontinued is pure fiction. RIM remains highly committed to the tablet market.”
Today, Best Buy further discounted the PlayBook — which some have pointed out looks a lot like the Kindle Fire — by some $200. There have been other signs of a very slow burn for the device: in its last earnings report from two weeks ago, RIM noted that it had only shipped 200,000 units of the tablet.