All is not well at RIM

Research in Motion (RIM) has confirmed that lackluster PlayBook tablet sales forced the company to take a $485 million charge.

Indeed, flagging sales of the QNX-powered device recently prompted retailers to kick off a fire sale, with many stores slashing up to $300 off the Playbook in a somewhat desperate attempt to move inventory.

According to AppleInsider, RIM only managed to sell half a million PlayBook units during the first quarter after launch, a figure which soon plummeted to 250,000 the following quarter, and 150,000 in Q3.

Nevertheless, RIM reiterated on Friday that it is committed to the Playbook, as the new price points (as low as $199 for some models) have apparently helped to spur sales across North America.

Overall, though, the situation could definitely be better at RIM, with the company warning investors that is tracking “lower sell-through and demand” of its products, which will affect not only its third quarter, but also fourth quarter earnings.

RIM’s tablet woes illustrate the difficulty in competing against Apple’s wildly popular iOS-powered iPad. 

Thus far, Android-based tablets seem to be having the most luck taking on the iPad, although Cupertino still dominates the competitive market by a wide margin.

Tablets running Windows 8 will soon enter the mix, and should make it even harder for RIM’s QNX device to compete in the lucrative mobile space.