BlackBerry PlayBook suffers as RIM profits drop

From one extreme to another. The last Apple results couldn't have been much better, but the most recent figures for RIM, makers of the BlackBerry, make grim reading.

Profits are down 47 per cent on the last quarter, although to be fair, the company still posted net profits of $329m and earnings of $4.2bn for the second financial quarter of 2011. That's not a bad turnover. But there is likely to be huge concern over the performance of the company's tablet. According to Pocket Lint, just 200,000 were sent out to shops in the last 90 days. That's the same number of iPad 2 tablets Apple sends out in two days. It's also lower than the 500,000 shipped in the last quarter. Not only that, the figure is only 'shipped' - sales are likely to be lower. Hmm.

RIM confirmed it had sold 10.6 million BlackBerry smartphones in the same time period, but that was also well below expectations. However, things might be looking up, with the company claiming that the recent BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Curve BB OS 7 smartphones have gone down well: 'We successfully launched a range of BlackBerry 7 smartphones around the world during the latter part of the second quarter and we are seeing strong sell-through and customer interest for these new products,' said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at RIM.

QNX smartphones could be the company's potential saviour, but that's not until next year. In the meantime, the PlayBook needs help. That should come in October, with a 'big update' planned for the tablet. That should bring it level with the competiion, with native email, calendar, and contacts as well as the Android App Player incoming. The should also be enhanced web browsing and the launch of a BlackBerry Video store, wih over 10,000 films and TV shows playable on users TVs via the HDMI out socket on the RIM tablet.

Will that be enough? We might know when the next set of results come in.

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