Most observers were caught off guard when HP abruptly axed its Touchpad and firesold remaining inventory at just one-fifth of its original retail price, all less than two months after launch.
Said observers will be less surprised if and when RIM puts its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet out of misery in the same fashion.
Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blar says that within the next year, "RIM will likely send the PlayBook into the same graveyard as the HP TouchPad.”
Lacking for sales and consumer enthusiasm, the PlayBook hasn't exactly felt the love since launch. Despite solid hardware specs and the ability to play the supposedly important Flash, the 7-inch tablet shipped without native email, BBM, or many apps. Plus, there's something called the iPad available for the same price.
Android apps may resurrect the PlayBook, and native email and BBM are coming, but critics suggest all of this is too little and far too late. RIM's device is doomed for failure, word on the street suggests; the question is simply whether the company decides to drag around the corpse or bury it.