RIM's PlayBook shipments drop in half

The company continues to struggle, with its tablet sales dropping off and revenue continuing to sink

PlayBook shipments dropped in half for Research In Motion during its second quarter, which also saw revenue continue to plummet.

RIM shipped just 200,000 PlayBooks in the second quarter, down from 500,000 last quarter, when it started selling the tablets.

Revenue was US$4.2 billion, hitting the low end of the company's expectation and down 10 percent from the same quarter last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected $4.47 billion.

RIM's net income was $329 million, or $0.63 per share. Adjusted net income was $419 million, or $0.80 per share. Analysts were expecting better: Those polled by Thomson predicted $0.87 per share.

RIM shipped 10.6 million smartphones during the second quarter. In June, RIM warned that the second quarter might be weak because of delays in shipping new phones. The delays meant RIM would miss the back-to-school sales period, negatively impacting sales, it said at the time.

The company expects revenue for its third quarter, ending Nov. 26, to be in the range of $5.3 billion to $5.6 billion. It hopes to ship between 13.5 million and 14.5 million smartphones but did not say how many tablets it expects to ship. For the year, earnings per share should hit the low end of its previous guidance of $5.25 to $6.00, RIM said.

RIM hasn't managed to keep up with advances in smartphones and has lost market share to both Apple and Android phones. It had high expectations for its PlayBook tablet, but that device has been criticized in part for lacking crucial software like an email client and for offering few applications.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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