Blackberry owner hit by tablet marketing costs

Blackberry maker Research in Motion has warned that profit will be lower than expected in its current quarter because of the cost of marketing and developing its soon to launch Playbook tablet device.

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The company adds that customers opting for lower-priced handsets in its range will also hit profit in the first three months of its financial year.

Shares in the Canadian company fell by more than 10% in trading following the update yesterday (24 March).

Despite a worse than expected start to its current financial year, net profit for the year to 26 February rose to $3.4bn (£2.1bn). Revenue rose to $19.9bn (£12bn), up 33% from $15 billion (£9bn) last year.

RIM hopes BlackBerry Playbook, which launches next month, will compete with the iPad 2 in the growing tablet market, which offers higher profit margins.

Launch plans suffered a blow last month after it emerged that CMO Keith Pardy is to leave for “personal reasons” after almost two years.

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