Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) has dropped plans to produce a 10-inch version of its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet so that it can focus on delivering its first smartphones based on QNX software, which runs the PlayBook, according to the technology blog N4BB.
The blog, without citing its sources, said RIM had initially planned to make a larger version of its 7-inch PlayBook, but scrapped that plan to instead work on its QNX phones, which are expected early next year. The blog said that the first QNX phone will have a single-core 1.2 GHz processor and 4.3-inch screen with HD-quality display. RIM executives have repeatedly said they will not make the transition to QNX until they deliver dual-core smartphones, and the blog noted a dual-core processor is still a possibility.
A RIM spokeswoman declined to comment.
RIM said it shipped 500,000 PlayBooks in its most recent quarter, though the company declined to say how many units it sold to end users. RIM's PlayBook shipment figures are notable considering the troubles the company faced on launching the gadget. They also compare favorably with the results of Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI), which reported sales of 250,000 Android Xoom tablets in its first quarter.
In other RIM news, additional investors are calling for RIM to change its management structure so that both Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie do not retain the role of co-CEO and co-chairman. Northwest & Ethical Investments, a RIM investor, launched a proxy battle last week to split up the roles, and proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services joined calls for the management structure to change . Shareholders will vote on the proposal at RIM's July 12 shareholder meeting.
"Strong, consistent leadership is critical," Lazaridis said on the company's earnings conference call earlier this month, defending the dual-CEO structure of RIM's front office.
- see this N4BB post
- see this Toronto Star article
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