Cynics who claim you can’t even give RIM’s PlayBook tablet away might want to check their acerbic assumptions, because a shipment of PlayBooks heading from Plainfield, Indianapolis, to Ontario (presumably Waterloo) was jacked and at least $1.7M worth of merchandise (and maybe as much as $5M) was stolen. The truck was taken during a stop in Madison county and, of course, no tracking system was installed, thus making it pretty darn hard to locate. If you’d like to make any jokes about a truck full of GPS devices being impossible to find, now would be the time.
This hasn’t exactly been RIM’s best year. After beating their chest and announcing “Amateur hour is over,” their gamble of betting the farm on the PlayBook hasn’t paid off: The PlayBook was intended to be one of 2011’s “iPad-Killers”, but things didn’t go exactly according to plan. Tagged with nearly $500M (reports range from $350M-$450M) of unsold PlayBook inventory and desperately trying to sell off what they can for bargain basement prices (PlayBooks have been discounted by as much as $300 for the holiday season), the device has failed to garner either the critical or public acclaim they were hoping it would enjoy. Add some embarrassing public antics by RIM higher-ups and 2011 is definitely going to leave a bad taste in the Canadian company’s mouth.
There’s no word yet on the stolen tablets, but it doesn’t look likely that they’re going to make their way into the stockings of good little boys and girls before Christmas. That, unfortunately, means it’s likely that RIM shareholders may find their stockings a bit light as well.