On Thursday, shares for Research in Motion Ltd. continued dropping as the BlackBerry PlayBook remains in production. With two senior staff resigning, RIM is fighting rumors that their commitment to the tablet market is coming to an end.
Jeff McDowell, who was the senior vice-president for marketing and alliances, is said to have left to pursue other interests. Senior VP for global alliances and developer relations Tyler Lessard also left for that reason, sources say. However, RIM has only confirmed the resignation of Lessard so far. The company also mentioned plans for cutting up to 11 percent of their workforce due to falling shares and sales. With the facts confirmed, could this mean RIM's products will be off the shelves soon?
Especially with the introduction of upcoming wanted items like Amazon's Kindle Fire, it will only become more difficult to break into the tablet market. Major retail sellers like Best Buy have slashed their PlayBook prices from $499 to $299. In its launch quarter, 500,000 PlayBook tablets were shipped. By the end of that full quarter, only 200,000 more shipped out.
If RIM's shares keep slipping, the company may have more than tablet production to be concerned about. The PlayBook's doom may not have been a huge surprise, after all. Rumors of the halt in production are still just rumors, but the staff leaving is likely to be true. For now, the fate of the PlayBook tablet will have to survive rumors before it can outsell Apple's iPad.