RIM calls Playbook cancellation rumor "pure fiction"

Posted by Raven Lovecraft

There is absolutely no truth to speculation that the WiFi version of the Blackberry Playbook is being canned, RIM says.

RBC Capital Markets managing director Mike Abramsky wrote in a note to investors that RIM could possibly pull the WiFi-only Playbook models and focus exclusively on mobile carrier-support 3G-enabled versions of the device.

Abramsky posited that RIM would immediately stop production of the WiFi model but continue to market and sell through its existing inventory.

But it seems whatever basis Abramsky was going on was completely bogus.

In a Twitter message responding to a GBR Tweet about the cancellation rumor, RIM wrote the story was "pure fiction. No plan to discontinue. In fact, WiFi PlayBook is launching in new countries practically every week."

The Playbook, which launched in April, is noteworthy not only because it's RIM's first foray into the tablet market but also because it abandons the company's decades-old Blackberry operating system and uses a new QNX-based platform. One of the stumbling blocks from RIM had been its highly outdated OS and failed attempts to bring it into the competitive arena of Android and iOS.

Because of its new and fresh approach, the Playbook has received a handful of positive reviews, but it has also faced criticism for its lack of apps and because it heavily relies on users having a Blackberry phone nearby to access certain features.

However, there's certainly no end in sight for the Playbook, and it has indeed given RIM a boost of confidence. The company hasn't released any new Blackberry phones for months, but is poised to launch a new slate of phones with a brand new smartphone OS later this year.