RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet hasn’t sparked consumer interest has much as they expected. Initially, RIM forecasted sales of 4 to 5 million PlayBooks last April, but the actual sales peaked at 800,000 units in the first two quarters of 2011, then sharply dropped to 100,000 units in Q3 2011.
RIM had asked Quanta to set up shop in Taiwan instead of China to prevent clonetablets from appearing in the Chinese market. Quanta obliged, setting up a workforce of 2000 people for the PlayBook production line. However with the huge drop in orders from RIM, Quanta has decided to lay off about half of their workforce, giving those 1000 workers preferential compensation of US$3420 per person.
With recent news of PlayBook prices being deeply discounted (though not as discounted as HP’s $99 TouchPads), this doesn’t paint a good picture for RIM in the tablet space. However, RIM has not yet said that they’re giving up on the tablet market, so who knows if a sequel to the PlayBook is in the works?