Plenty has already been said about the damage the unsuccessful BlackBerry PlayBook has caused to Research in Motion's reputation, but in real financial terms RIM is currently in the hole to the tune of half a billion dollars.
That's the total value of the stockpile of PlayBooks RIM has made but can't sell – despite a series of price cuts to try and boost its appeal.
The BlackBerry PlayBook was announced in February running not BlackBerry OS but the new QNX platform, but far from being a bold stab into a new market, the PlayBook was panned from the start for being unfinished, with elementary basics such as native email and BBM support nowhere to be seen.
Unsurprisingly, sales have completely failed to take off, yet RIM has remained resolutely positive – which some have suggested is part of the problem.
And even in the face of RIM's admission that some $485m worth of PlayBooks are gathering dust on the shelves, the company was at it again this week.
“RIM is committed to the BlackBerry PlayBook and believes the tablet market is still in its infancy,” co-CEO Mike Lazaridis insisted.
“Although a number of factors have led to the need for an inventory provision in the third quarter, we believe the PlayBook, which will be further enhanced with the upcoming PlayBook OS 2.0 software, is a compelling tablet for consumers that also offers unique security and manageability features for the enterprise.”
Now if he could just get the rest of us to agree...