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Story updated with comment from RIM



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Research In Motion


denied an analyst report that the company has ceased production of its PlayBook tablet and could be considering shutting down its tablet business.

"RIM remains highly committed to the tablet market," a company spokesperson said in an e-mail.

The analyst, Collins Stewart's John Vinh, had cited news that RIM manufacturing partner


had laid off workers from a factory producing PlayBooks.

The report comes after RIM failed last quarter to make headway in the tablet market, which is dominated by


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iPad. Competition in the space is increasing too as


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officially entered the fray Wednesday,

launching a new tablet called the Kindle Fire

intended to rival the iPad on price.

The PlayBook has been dogged by negative press and critics

who complained the tablet was unfinished

and lacking in key features, such as e-mail, calendar and address book applications, following its April launch.

RIM shipped 500,000 PlayBooks during the first quarter and just 200,000 during the next.

Best Buy

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on Thursday slashed the price of the PlayBook by $200. A 16GB device can now be purchased for $299, rather than $499.

Shares of RIM dropped 4.9% to $20.82 in afternoon trading on Thursday.

RIM could not be reached for immediate comment.


Written by Olivia Oran in New York


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