RIM with 800k PlayBooks stuck in inventory

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RIM with 800k PlayBooks stuck in inventory

Research in Motion (RIM) may have a stockpile of 800,000 PlayBooks sitting in its warehouse, according to an analyst, while the device's manufacturer has slashed its workforce by half. 

RIM manufactured about 1.5 million PlayBooks through to September, according to James Wang, an analyst for Taiwanese hardware news site, DigiTimes, suggesting it had a massive stockpile of unsold devices. 

Based on RIM's reported shipments of 500,000 in the five weeks after its launch and just 200,000 last quarter, Wang estimated RIM may now have 800,000 units on hand.

The estimated size of its stockpile followed confirmation that the Taiwanese maker of the PlayBook, Quanta Computer, had laid off 1000 workers.

The company had employed 2000 people to deliver the product, according to DigiTimes. 

The cuts emerged after RIM’s second quarter earnings announcement last week, when it outlined a range of discounts it planned to help clear out supplies.

Expensive PlayBook inventories were behind part of $US400 million growth in inventories it carried last quarter, bringing its total value to US$1.4 billion.    

An analysis by The Guardian put its total inventory weight at 15 percent, based on the device's estimated cost.

According to DigiTimes' Wang, the massive inventory, RIM's failure to mention a subsequent model and the headcount cuts meant it was “unlikely” production would continue through the fourth quarter.

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