Five Companies That Dropped The Ball This Week

RIM Said To Be Mulling PlayBook Dirt Nap Amid Slash Pricing

RIM is calling reports that it's thinking of killing the PlayBook "pure fiction." But in the wake of Amazon's unveiling of its $199 Kindle Fire tablet, e-tailers began offering discounts of up to $200 on the beleaguered PlayBook. At Best Buy, RIM's 16GB PlayBook is now $299, while the 32GB is $399 and the 64GB model $499.

As HP is well aware, Best Buy cutting the price of your tablet is like having the Grim Reaper stop by your place for tea and biscuits. The PlayBook price cuts may yet spark sales, but at this point the odds of this happening are getting into astronomical territory.

Google Whines About Microsoft's Android Tax, Again

Samsung's decision to ink an Android patent cross-licensing with Microsoft this week elicited the by-now customary howls of protest from Google, although this time the search giant upped the ante a bit.

"This is the same tactic we’ve seen time and again from Microsoft. Failing to succeed in the smartphone market, they are resorting to legal measures to extort profit from others’ achievements and hinder the pace of innovation. We remain focused on building new technology and supporting Android partners," Google PR said in a statement to Techcrunch.

As happened when this scenario last played out in August, Microsoft officials had a field day with Google's angry claims. "Let me boil down the Google statement .. from 48 words to 1: Waaaah," Microsoft's PR Chief Frank Shaw tweeted by way of response.

AMD Cuts Q3 Guidance Due To Manufacturing Issues

AMD cut its Q3 revenue guidance from 10 percent to between 4 and 6 percent due to "manufacturing issues" that are pinching supply of its long-awaited "Llano" chips. The chip maker also reduced its gross margin forecast from 47 percent to between 44 to 45 percent.

AMD said lower-than-expected preliminary results "are primarily due to 32-nm yield, ramp and manufacturing issues at GlobalFoundries in its Dresden, Germany factory that limited supply of Llano."

That's not all: AMD also saw shortages of its 45-nm microprocessors due to "complexities related to the use of common tools across both technology nodes", and next-generation server processor, code-named "Interlagos, shipped later than expected in Q3.


Nokia Chops Another 3,500 Jobs

Nokia's downsizing continued this week as the once high-flying mobile device maker revealed plans to lay off an additional 3,500 employees and shutter a number of manufacturing facilities.

In April, Nokia confirmed plans to cut 7,000 jobs overall and move responsibility for software development on its Symbian OS.

The "burning platform" image that Elop used back in February to describe Nokia's precarious position appears to be pretty accurate.

DOJ, SEC Launch Bribery Probe Of Motorola Solutions

As Scooby Doo would say, "Ruh-roh, Shaggy." The U.S. DOJ and SEC are investigating whether members of Motorola Solutions paid bribes to win business in Europe in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, The Wall Street Journal reported this week.

This is a potential spot of bother for Motorola Solutions, a channel focused organization that has been streamlining its business since splitting off from Motorola Mobility in January.