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Analysts: PlayBook in 'same graveyard' as HP at 490K shipped

updated 05:50 pm EDT, Wed September 14, 2011

Analysts harsh on RIM ahead of summer results

Analysts were pessimistic about RIM on Wednesday as few expected strong results for the BlackBerry PlayBook. A new consensus of several major analysts had RIM shipping an average of 490,000 of the tablets in the summer quarter it will report tomorrow. The Bloomberg overview would have RIM's shipments lower than the spring and would have it down to an average estimate of 2.2 million PlayBooks the entire year.

At the going rate, RIM would be shipping one PlayBook for every 19 iPads Apple sells, with Apple having shipped 9.25 million iPads just in the spring alone.

Reasons for the lower estimates vary, though Needham & Co. analyst Charlie Wolf said RIM had "overplayed" the tablet. Many have pointed to RIM presuming that its control of the corporate smartphone world and its brand name automatically translating to strong PlayBook sales. Although not yet confirmed, RIM is rumored to have cut its targets dramatically after a cooler response.

As supporting evidence, many have pointed to the ironic claims RIM made when the PlayBook first launched. The firm claimed to have the first "professional-grade" tablet and argued that "amateur hour is over," implying directly that the iPad was unsuited to work. In practice, the PlayBook was rushed to market without native e-mail, BlackBerry Messenger, or calendars, making it unsuitable for work unless paired up with a BlackBerry phone at the same time. The update was once promised for 60 days after launch but, after a delay to the end of summer, still hasn't arrived.

The harshest words have come from Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair, who stated in his own note that he didn't see RIM reversing its current positions either in phones or tablets. He saw no "meaningful evidence" of a recovery in phones and added that phones like the Bold 9900 should have been available 1.5 to two years ago. He was skeptical of RIM's PlayBook sell-through, or its deliveries to real customers, and imagined that RIM might have to drop the PlayBook like HP killed its webOS hardware.

"RIM will likely send the PlayBook into the same graveyard as the HP TouchPad," Blair claimed.

The PlayBook has been successful enough to outsell a large number of Android tablets and has been well-received in some areas, such as its build quality and adeptness at handling multitasking. By skipping important on-device apps, however, it automatically limited most of the appeal to a declining BlackBerry phone subscriber base. RIM's short-term hopes are now back on a massive refresh of its BlackBerry phones that brought in phones like the Bold 9900, Curve 9360, and Torch 9860 that finally have modern performance, 3D games, and features like fast web browsers.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. lkrupp

    Junior Member

    Joined: May 2001

    +21

    Keep on trying...

    It's good to have stuff like the Playbook and TouchPad around for the "anything but Apple" crowd to fawn over. Otherwise they might just explode from a nervous breakdown.

  1. Geoduck

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jan 2010

    +18

    Here in Canada

    Up here in Canada there's a lot of jingoistic "RIM is the best" chauvinism. I'm not very popular when I predict RIM's demise. But I stand by my prediction. RIM will continue to lose market share and be sold or ;liquidated within 5 years.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010

    +13

    RIM is the new Palm

    Palm did almost everything other than burn down their headquarters building to avoid improving Palm OS over the last 10 years of its existence. Wasting time and money on the near-useless Foleo didn't help either. Palm got leapfrogged, and webOS was too little too late.

    RIM is now doing the same thing. Flogging the same old warhorse of an OS, pretending that Apple doesn't exist, and wasting time and money on the near-useless PlayBook. RIM got leapfrogged, and QNX is too little too late.

  1. facebook_Robert

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2011

    -7

    Excellent results for RIM

    When you 'ship' 500,000 per quarter, for 4 quarters - that isn't channel stuffing thats a remarkably consistent sell through rate of about 500,000 per quarter.

    And 2.2 million per year is about 10 times what most Apple fans thought RIM was doing.

    Look RIM doesn't get a booby prize for selling 2 million clients without including standard apps like e-mail.

    But can you imagine if they did finish the playbook OS? They might be sitting at 10% marketshare.

    Frankly for RIM 10% marketshare wouldn't be bad - it'd be a catalyst for more phone sales, and they'd be happy they released the product.

    Well - RIM might still get it right, they are working on it - we'll see in the next few months.

  1. facebook_Robert

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2011

    -7

    Excellent results for RIM

    When you 'ship' 500,000 per quarter, for 4 quarters - that isn't channel stuffing thats a remarkably consistent sell through rate of about 500,000 per quarter.

    And 2.2 million per year is about 10 times what most Apple fans thought RIM was doing.

    Look RIM doesn't get a booby prize for selling 2 million clients without including standard apps like e-mail.

    But can you imagine if they did finish the playbook OS? They might be sitting at 10% marketshare.

    Frankly for RIM 10% marketshare wouldn't be bad - it'd be a catalyst for more phone sales, and they'd be happy they released the product.

    Well - RIM might still get it right, they are working on it - we'll see in the next few months.

  1. thebiggfrogg

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2007

    +1

    Yeah, RIM might get it

    right with their iPad 1 clone.
    Meanwhile at Cupertino: Introducing 3D Holographic iPad 6 with Teleportation! Beam me up, Tim!

  1. facebook_John

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2011

    0

    RIM released an incomplete product

    RIM released and rushed to market and incomplete product. Why they expected anyone to purchase it when it can't do something as basic as get its own email is beyond me. Now they are to late to the game to get it right. I don't think they even have a corporate lead anymore because they keep rushing incomplete products to the market.

  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +2

    So much for that prediction

    Well, so much for that prediction. 200K actually shipped last quarter, and who knows how many of those sold.

    Of course, given how incomplete the Playbook is as a product, it's a miracle they sold as many as they did. But sales not holding up isn't exactly surprising.

  1. facebook_Justin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2011

    +1

    comment title

    Perhaps if they put effort into making a good product instead of including Adobe Ad Player the devices would sell better!

  1. beb

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Jan 2002

    0

    Windows 8

    I wonder if Microsoft has a shot with a Windows 8 tablet. I seriously doubt it though. So that really leaves us with Apple and Google.

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