Company says it is taking a $485 million charge because they are selling the Blackberry Playbook at around $200. The good news is that they are actually selling. The bad news is that they are sold about about a $150-$200 loss per unit.
A $485 million writedown for the discounting, along with costs related to a worldwide shutdown of BlackBerry service in October, caused RIM to warn that third-quarter revenue would be “slightly lower” than the $5.3 billion to $5.6 billion it had previously forecast.
In a statement, the company also said that it did not expect to meet its earnings target for the year. RIM will announce official results for the third quarter on Dec. 15.
RIM has repeatedly struggled to meet targets this year as it worked to stem a loss of market share for BlackBerry phones in North America. Friday’s restatement sent RIM’s shares down by $1.81, or 10 percent, to $16.77 a share, on Nasdaq.
Its stock is down 76 percent from the 2011 high of $69.86 posted on Feb. 18.
The base model Playbook, once priced at $500, is now being offered for $200. Tavis McCourt, an analyst with Morgan Keegan in Nashville, estimated that the tablets cost RIM $350 to $400 to manufacture.
I heard on the radio today that the per unit cost is around $265 and this site says that they only cost $205 to manufacture if you marketing and research and development costs are not included. It was odd to look back and read that RIM was going to ship this and that within 60 days of it’s launch and nothing has shipped yet. It’s what stopped me from purchasing a Playbook a couple of months ago. The other thing that has to hurt is when you see the Acer Iconia and the Motorola Xoom running Android which actually include Skype, IM, and email.
RIM has consistently overpromised and under delivered which is one of the reasons I traded in my Blackberry for something else, I lost confidence in the company.