RIM recalls PlayBook Tablets

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BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. has recalled about 1,000 of its PlayBook tablets that were already shipped. It seems there is a problem with the operating systems, which may have prevented users from performing the initial setup of the device.

In a statement, RIM said the majority of the affected devices are still in the distribution channel and haven’t reached customers. “RIM is working to replace the affected devices,” the statement said. “In the small number of cases where a customer received a PlayBook that is unable to properly load software upon initial set-up, they can contact RIM for assistance.”

The news is the latest setback for RIM, which recently issued a first-quarter profit warning, citing lower-than-expected BlackBerry sales. RIM’s stock breached its 52-week low in Toronto trading and is hovering just above its 52-week low on the Nasdaq Stock Market, finishing Friday at $43.24 a share on Nasdaq.

The highly-anticipated PlayBook launched to lukewarm reviews last month. The device features a new operating system from QNX Software Systems, which RIM acquired last year. It also features Adobe Inc.’s Flash software. However, it has a relative dearth of third-party applications, which are a key reason for the success of Apple Inc.’s iPad.

RIM hasn’t yet indicated how many PlayBooks it has sold to date. It is expected to provide this information when it reports its results in June.

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