RIM writes off value of tablet inventory

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NEW YORK (AP) — Research In Motion, the struggling maker of the BlackBerry phones, is writing off much of its inventory of PlayBook tablets, since it has to sell them at a deep discount.

The Canadian company said Friday that it’s taking a pre-tax charge of $485 million in the just-ended quarter to account for the declining value of the tablets. The model originally priced at $500 now costs $200.

Research In Motion Ltd. launched the tablet this spring. Reviewers puzzled over the lack of email software, saying the device seemed half-baked. RIM now promises updated software in February.

RIM also said it sold 14.1 million BlackBerrys in the quarter, slightly better than analysts expected. Revenue and profit figures were lower than previously projected, but in line with analyst expectations.