RIM stock slumps on critical PlayBook reviews

rim stock chartClick the chart for more on RIMM. By Julianne Pepitone, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The early reviews are in for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, and the results are tepid at best -- which sent Research in Motion's stock lower Thursday.

Reviewers generally liked the user interface of the 7-inch PlayBook, which is built around a new platform from QNX Software Systems. But many criticized the tablet's "unfinished" feel.

In response, RIM's (RIMM) stock was down more than 3% through most of trading Thursday. The stock recovered a bit later in the day, ending 1.7% lower at $53.92. The PlayBook will be available next week -- on Tuesday, April 19 -- with a price tag starting at $499 for a 16GB model.

RIM started talking up the PlayBook six months ago, and the company is relying on it to generate some badly needed excitement. Investors hope it will solidify RIM's grip on the corporate market, where iPads are starting to sneak in.

But the reviews suggest that this hotly awaited gadget could turn into RIM's Ishtar.

No 3G without tethering: One widely read review came from Walt Mossberg, who wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the PlayBook's user interface is "handsome and quick." But he decried the tablet's "odd system" that requires tethering to a BlackBerry, through an app called BlackBerry Bridge, in order to connect to 3G service.

App gap: Like Mossberg, David Pogue at the New York Times criticized the PlayBook's lack of built-in apps -- including e-mail, calendar, address book and BlackBerry Messenger. The tablet must be connected to a BlackBerry for that functionality as well.

"You read that right. RIM has just shipped a BlackBerry product that cannot do e-mail. It must be skating season in hell," Pogue wrote, noting that RIM says those built-in apps will come this summer.

Unfinished software: Tim Stevens of Engadget noted that RIM is still updating its software "at the eleventh hour." He concluded that PlayBook is "a framework with solid fundamentals but a framework that is, right now, unfinished. We have hardware that looks and feels great but isn't being fully served by the software."

Enterprise appeal: MG Siegler at TechCrunch gave the PlayBook a mixed review, focusing on the lack of apps and its "wonky" web browsing, but he praised RIM's decision to "make the PlayBook a completely different form factor and give it BlackBerry Bridge to appeal to corporate users." To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,279.74 13.75 0.08%
Nasdaq 4,579.79 -13.64 -0.30%
S&P 500 2,010.40 -0.96 -0.05%
Treasuries 2.59 -0.04 -1.60%
Data as of 6:11am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Yahoo! Inc 40.93 -1.16 -2.74%
Microsoft Corp 47.52 0.84 1.80%
Bank of America Corp... 16.95 -0.09 -0.53%
Oracle Corp 39.80 -1.75 -4.21%
Facebook Inc 77.91 0.91 1.18%
Data as of Sep 19

Sections

The automaker is recalling Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impalas because of a problem with the electronic parking brake arm. More

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given more money than many western nations. More

It's really good to be Larry Ellison. The Oracle founder is stepping down as CEO, so maybe he'll have more time to enjoy his glamorous life. More

As Occupy Wall Street goes on its debt-abolishing tear, thousands of people across the country are begging them to forgive their loans. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.