RIM says it still loves the Playbook

Research In Motion is having to deal with rumours that it is considering killing off its PlayBook tablet and considering an exit from the market.

Yesterday the outfit went as far as dismissing the rumours as tablet as “pure fiction” after a Collins Stewart analyst said the company may be considering pulling the gadget.

Analyst John Vihn said that RIM may have halted PlayBook production and cancelled additional tablet projects.

“We believe RIM has stopped production of its PlayBook and is actively considering exiting the tablet market,” he wrote.

RIM spokeswoman Marisa Conway told Reuters that RIM remains highly committed to the tablet market and the future of QNX in its platform.

QNX is the PlayBook’s operating system. RIM has said it will launch “superphones” next year using the QNX software to replace its ageing existing phone software.

But while RIM is denying everything, Vihn points out that contract manufacturer Quanta Computer had laid off a significant number of workers at a factory focused on producing the PlayBook.

He claimed that RIM has cancelled development of additional tablet projects. Other rumours are that Amazon’s Fire is so similar to the Playbook that it can’t be coincidence.

RIM said it shipped 500,000 PlayBooks in the last six weeks of its fiscal first quarter and another 200,000 in its full second quarter.