06-19-13 01:28 PM
167 12345 ...
tools
  1. drum's Avatar
    If you still have the box, on the spline is a sticker bearing the serial number and a six-digit date code directly below "Accessories made in China". Mine is "060411", which in DDMMYY format means April 6---which I received in late Nov from Newegg.
    just had a look and mine says 051211 = 5 Dec 2011
    12-28-11 08:50 AM
  2. bbfan1040's Avatar
    64G purchased in October - date 10-05-11.

    Yes, Playbooks are still in production!
    12-28-11 08:53 AM
  3. hpjrt's Avatar
    I got mine during the first sale and if that code on the box is accurate, mine was produced in April. My husband got his on December 26th and his box gives a date of December 15th.
    12-28-11 09:01 AM
  4. BB.Forever's Avatar
    We have 2 in our house.

    011211 Dec 1 2011 received Dec 23 2011
    141211 Dec 14 2011 received Dec 26 2011

    So they must be making them still.
    12-28-11 09:09 AM
  5. nasa25's Avatar
    It was a $485m charge off for unsold inventory. But, I'm not sure what that means. Did that represent the stock's diminished value in terms of the $300 discount? If so, stock could have been as many as 1.6 million units. However, with at most a few hundred thousand unit sold during the firesale, RIM did seem to be running out of 16GB units, at least. Someone here probably knows the answer.
    The writedown represents a $485M reduction of inventory asset value on RIM's balance sheet. This is, at the very least, due to a reduction in the inventory's value (due to the $300-350 per unit decrease in sales value).

    This could also be comprised a a full write off of inventory that is not expected to sell. Say, for instance, RIM has 1M playbooks in inventory but only expects to sell 500k of them (due to market conditions, popularity of the device, etc). The excess 500k units would basically be written down to a nil value, as RIM would not keep inventory on its balance sheet that it has no hope of selling (or at least shouldn't keep on its balance sheet).

    I am flummoxed at how they could still be producing playbooks with a seemingly massive stockpile in existence. Maybe all of the units were made prior to June/July but some only boxed and shipped within the past few weeks? Can anyone confirm that the date on the box is the actual manufacture date?
    12-28-11 10:50 AM
  6. cogsinister's Avatar
    We all seem to be assuming this code is a manufacture date, it may not be that at all.
    12-28-11 10:56 AM
  7. sasquatch99's Avatar
    Looks like I have one of the earliest PBs, dated 030311.
    12-28-11 10:57 AM
  8. asherwiin's Avatar
    The writedown represents a $485M reduction of inventory asset value on RIM's balance sheet. This is, at the very least, due to a reduction in the inventory's value (due to the $300-350 per unit decrease in sales value).

    This could also be comprised a a full write off of inventory that is not expected to sell. Say, for instance, RIM has 1M playbooks in inventory but only expects to sell 500k of them (due to market conditions, popularity of the device, etc). The excess 500k units would basically be written down to a nil value, as RIM would not keep inventory on its balance sheet that it has no hope of selling (or at least shouldn't keep on its balance sheet).

    I am flummoxed at how they could still be producing playbooks with a seemingly massive stockpile in existence. Maybe all of the units were made prior to June/July but some only boxed and shipped within the past few weeks? Can anyone confirm that the date on the box is the actual manufacture date?
    Don't assume the inventory write-down was just on completed units. It could also be raw parts that still need assembly. So RIM could still need to build new units in order to clear out its inventory...
    12-28-11 11:00 AM
  9. nasa25's Avatar
    Don't assume the inventory write-down was just on completed units. It could also be raw parts that still need assembly. So RIM could still need to build new units in order to clear out its inventory...
    good point. Although I wonder if they could simply return the non-customized raw materials in their WIP to the manufacturer, as opposed to being forced to produce units that they know will likely not sell.
    Last edited by nasa25; 12-28-11 at 11:17 AM.
    12-28-11 11:11 AM
  10. gladiatorofyale's Avatar
    didnt they say theyare sticking with their present ceo.
    mariobastros likes this.
    12-28-11 11:26 AM
  11. Dapper37's Avatar
    RIM is doing a good job of keeping their cards close to their chest for a good wile now. Lets hope they learned a leson from the recent past. Until next earnings call we can all carry on guessing.
    My guess is that the sale has moved old product and they are making new. As PlayBook gets developed for so does BB10. Enough said realy, As said before by another cber, get PB out the door at current price, increase the price a bit for 3/4g Bring on more function.
    Phones and mobile computing is RIMs future!!
    2012 The year we look beyond phones and tablets for mobile computing!
    12-28-11 12:01 PM
  12. VerryBestr's Avatar
    The dates reported in this thread are interesting. However, the dates may refer to moment when the PlayBooks are actually boxed up with accessories and the country-appropriate power supply.

    RIM's latest financial report says that RIM "has a high level of BlackBerry PlayBook inventory." I previously estimated around 1.6 million unsold PlayBooks. One financial analyst estimated a million more.

    With so many PlayBooks yet unsold, it is doubtful that RIM is still manufacturing very many more, if any. I believe that most unsold PlayBooks will eventually be reboxed with the new PlayBook 2 system software already installed, once that is available. There may be some other selection of accessories (a rumor mentioned some kind of stand). If RIM does come out with a new PlayBook model, it will surely be a LTE version that could be pushed by large US carriers, and their willingness to do that will probably depend on the reception accorded the version 2 software.

    I'm going to recopy below the same estimate that I posted here a few weeks ago, without modification.

    This estimate leans heavily on reports from the electronics indusrtry news source named DigiTimes. DigiTimes is a Tiawan-based outfit which has inside sources in Asian electronics industries. Their reports may not be totally correct, but I think they provide the best information available.

    After the September down-sizing of the PlayBook production line, several conflicting reports in Taiwanese English-language papers indicated either the imminent end of PlayBook production or continued production at a low level -- see the quotes below.

    The latest financial report adds two pieces of information, which I have not yet tried to fit into my previous estimate.

    Firstly, there was some speculation that RIM counted PlayBook sales as revenue only when the PlayBooks were sold through to the end consumer (as opposed to the accounting treatment of phones, which are counted as revenue when they are sold to carriers or distributors). The latest financial report illuminates this speculation: during the last quarter, about 150,000 PlayBooks were shipped but only 37,000 were recognized as revenue (probably because resellers agreed to take the 37,000 with no right of return to RIM). The other shipped PlayBooks are held on the books awaiting sales to end customers or returns to RIM.

    Secondly, the cost of those PlayBooks shipped but still held on the books are said to "mainly" account for an asset increase of $294 million. This number suggests that the value of these PlayBooks has not yet been written down, as they appear to be valued at $400 or more per PlayBook. I had assumed these would also have been written down along with the PlayBook inventory.

    So here is a repeat of my post from Dec 9, uncorrected by the latest info:

    I suspect that RIM has written down to zero or near-zero all of the unsold PlayBooks. I would love to get the reaction of the accounting aces here (I'm not one). My estimate is a write-down of approximately $300 per PlayBook, for 450,000 PlayBooks in the sales channel and 1,150,000 in RIMs inventory.

    A total write-down makes some sense, if RIM management wants to get a big chunk of bad news out of the way in one fell swoop. The write-down per PlayBook is much larger than one would estimate by examining pricing. Getting rid of a million-plus PlayBooks is going to be expensive: advertising, rebranding, product promotions, repackaging for V2 relaunch (with new software, manual, & possibly other accessories). Do accounting rules permit the consideration of such future expenses in calculating the current inventory value of PlayBooks?

    If this is correct, then RIM has simply declared all unsold PlayBooks to have been a total financial loss (but a loss of $0.45 billion, not $1.5 billion). RIM will be able to book as profit whatever it can make on clearing them out.

    RIMs press release does contain some weasel words: the announced provision is related to PlayBook inventory and is expected to be predominantly non-cash. (An inventory wriite-down is entirely non-cash.)

    I have not considered write-downs for PlayBook raw materiels in RIMs inventory. The Q1 over Q4 increase in raw materiel inventories was only about $85 million. There was a larger Q2 over Q4 increase, but according to the Q2 report this increase was mainly attributable to BB7 launches.

    DigiTimes reports have described PlayBooks being produced at a rate of 150,000 to 200,000 per month from January into September, by a team of over 2000 workers operating in 3 shifts at a Taiwan assembly plant. On Sept 20, DigiTimes reported that about half the employees at the PlayBook production site were to be laid off. The next day, Taiwanese English-language papers contained various reports (somewhat inconsistent): "voluntary" lay-off requests were addressed to 2000 workers due to the conclusion of a contract manufacturing project RIM and Quanta will soon end their cooperation after downsizing, the plant will continue to operate a small-sized production line.

    Based on the DigiTimes reports, Ill assume production of 200,000 PlayBooks per month through September, and 100,000 per month for October and November.

    RIM has indicated PlayBook sell-in of approximately 500,000, 200,000, and 150,000 for Q1, Q2 and Q3 respectively.

    I have seen some good arguments for there having been approximately 200,000 PlayBook users prior to the PlayBook blow-out sale. So Ill assume sell-out of 200,000, zero (0), and 200,000 during Q1, Q2 and Q3 respectively. Im ignoring possible returns from users and stores.

    These simple assumptions would give, at the end of each quarter:

    Q1 [end May]: 500,000 in stock, 300,000 in channel, 200,000 users

    Q2 [end Aug]: 900,000 in stock, 500,000 in channel, 200,000 users

    Q3 [end Nov]: 1,150,000 in stock, 450,000 in channel, 400,000 users

    So writing down 1.6 million PlayBooks (stock + channel at the end of Q3) by $485 million would indicate a book value of $300 per PlayBook.

    Can these assumptions and estimates be reconciled with previous balance sheet reports? There is no problem with Q2, but is a tight fit with the Q1 report.

    Suppose all the PlayBooks in sales channels are booked as finished goods rather than as realized revenue. (Some new language in RIM's financial reports this year suggests that is the case, without being definitive.) Q1′s increase of finished goods over that of Q4 is about $80 million ($94 to $175 million) and is probably largely or entirely due to the PlayBook. $80 million for 300,000 PlayBooks in sales channels corresponds to a book value of $265 per PlayBook, which is close enough to $300 for my purposes. (Actually, fewer than 300,000 would remain in the sales channel if there were a large rate of returns to RIM. Does anyone know where would such returns show up on the balance sheet? Could open-box and repairable tablets go back under RIMs control in the work in process line?)

    PlayBooks could be in two other places on the balance sheet: as work in process (unfinished) and also as other accounts receivable (undelivered). The Q1 report notes that the increase in other accounts receivable was primarily due to advances that the Company made to third party manufacturers. These two lines increased by about $325 million during Q1, far more than necessary to account for 500,000 unfinished PlayBooks.

    In this scenario, all the finished goods are already in sales channels at the end of Q1. That leaves 500,000 PlayBooks (2 1/2 months of production!) not yet counted as finished goods. That sounds wierd ... unless they were not yet boxed up with accessories.

    In the Q2 report, the much larger inventories are probably dominated by BB7 phones. At these inventory levels, there is no problem in accounting for my PlayBook estimates.

    The above PlayBook production estimates are on the high side of the DigiTimes reports, which described a maximum production rate of 200,000 per month. The above estimate has 1.8 million PlayBooks manufactured by the end of September, while a DigiTimes analyst has stated that 1.5 million were manufactured by then.

    Suppose there were significantlly fewer than 1.8 million PlayBooks at the end of Q3. Then either the write-down per PlayBook would be even higher than $300 (unlikely), or part of the provision must apply to something else (such as raw materiels). A similar problem is posed if in-channel PlayBooks have been booked as revenue rather than finished goods. Then either the write-down per inventory PlayBook is much higher than $300 (unlikely), or there are many more PlayBooks in inventory (unlikely, according to DigiTime), or part of the provision must apply to something else (e.g. downwardly adjusting previously-booked revenues.)

    To summarize, I think the above PlayBook numbers are roughly consistent with DigiTime reports and with the announced provision being a total write-off. Some people estimate many more PlayBooks in inventory, by working backward from PlayBook prices and the write-down. But many more PlayBooks would be incompatible with DigiTime production reports. Far fewer PlayBooks would be difficult to reconcile with the size of the provision.
    12-29-11 07:18 AM
  13. Dapper37's Avatar
    ^ Nice little story their new guy, thanks but thats a pile of regurgatated bile. Truth is you have no clue. If you have anything, rely anything to back up any of that lets see it.
    12-29-11 08:52 AM
  14. VerryBestr's Avatar
    Nice little story their [there?] new guy, thanks
    Ummm ... am I the "new guy?" You're perfectly welcome.

    but thats a pile of regurgatated bile. Truth is you have no clue. If you have anything, rely anything to back up any of that lets see it.
    Oh. In case I am this new guy, I do have a lot of clues. The problem is trying to fit them together. It is interesting to try to solve the puzzle, because a good solution will help indicate what RIM will do in the future. What I see makes me think that RIM is going to spend a lot of money on the current model of the PlayBook (ads, price promotions, perhaps app development).

    Every number I used above came either from DigiTime reports (easily found on the internet), from RIM financial reports (you want page numbers or something?), or retail sales estimates like that of Mr. CrackBerry Kevin.
    Last edited by VerryBestr; 12-29-11 at 09:35 AM.
    peter9477 and Heavens1 like this.
    12-29-11 09:32 AM
  15. barkomatic's Avatar
    I'm not sure RIM knows which direction they want to go at this point. I imagine in the new year around the time of the OS2 release we'll have an indication as to whether they are going to continue with the Playbook or pull out of the market.
    12-29-11 09:36 AM
  16. nasa25's Avatar
    This is, of course, all speculation. But here is what I think:
    RIM had at least 2M playbooks (either fully constructed units or work in progress (WIP) units) when they wrote down their assets by the $485M figure that was reported.

    The wild card here is the inventory value that RIM placed on each playbook. The production cost was reported to be around $205 per 16gb unit produced – although it has not been stated whether or not this is just the bill of materials cost or the total production cost including overhead, direct labour, etc.

    So, without knowing the components that go into the value of each playbook on RIM’s balance sheet, it is very difficult to estimate a fairly accurate inventory figure. I’ll venture to say it would have to be between 1.5 and 3 million, most likely in the low 2M’s (like I stated above).

    I’d be very surprised if this $485M figure did not include a portion of the inventory being written down to zero. If RIM estimates that can only sell 1M of the, say, 2M playbooks it has in inventory, then the most conservative thing to do would be to write the remaining 1M units down to zero inventory value.

    The revenue recognition issue is a completely different beast. RIM cannot say, with assurance, that units shipped to retailers will ultimately be sold (due to dismal sales records, market conditions, etc). So, the most conservative thing to do is to only recognize the revenue once the unit is sold to the end customer.
    Last edited by nasa25; 12-29-11 at 02:47 PM.
    JK-PhD likes this.
    12-29-11 09:52 AM
  17. JBSpeed's Avatar
    I purchased my 16GB PlayBook on 12-26-11 and it has a build date of 12-12-11. So I'm guessing they're still manufacturing them somewhere.
    12-29-11 09:55 AM
  18. Dapper37's Avatar
    feel free to speculate, stating it as such is just honest. Using bgr or digitime and quoting as fact is garbage. At his best Kevin is purely speculating.
    12-29-11 10:02 AM
  19. VeGiTo's Avatar
    I applaud the analysis that VerryBestr put together.

    In the Q&A session of RIM's conference call, they mentioned that they wrote down the PlayBook inventory to a level where they will be expecting a 1% gross margin going forward. Does this change your estimates?
    12-29-11 12:40 PM
  20. conix67's Avatar
    feel free to speculate, stating it as such is just honest. Using bgr or digitime and quoting as fact is garbage. At his best Kevin is purely speculating.
    You seem to know better, please share.

    The numbers are mostly based on RIM's report, aren't they?
    12-29-11 01:19 PM
  21. ffosse's Avatar
    I purchased my 16GB PlayBook on 12-26-11 and it has a build date of 12-12-11. So I'm guessing they're still manufacturing them somewhere.
    I got mine today - 12-29-11 - and its build date is 06-22-11
    12-29-11 01:20 PM
  22. app_Developer's Avatar
    ^ Nice little story their new guy, thanks but thats a pile of regurgatated bile. Truth is you have no clue. If you have anything, rely anything to back up any of that lets see it.
    His (hers?) was the most intelligent analysis I've read of this situation yet.

    Shoot the messenger much?
    kevinnugent likes this.
    12-29-11 01:42 PM
  23. Thunderbuck's Avatar
    I like VerryBestr's analysis a lot, but I'm an optimist.

    My takeaway is that RIM decided to sweep the decks and write down the full value of their stock in hand. Theoretically, though, that's 100% margin as those units sell off. Are we missing something?

    Possibly, there will be some costs incurred in updating and repacking the in-stock devices, and that's maybe where that "1% margin" comment on the conference call comes from? That the devices on hand will essentially be priced to cover the cost of selling them?

    In any event, I don't see RIM abandoning the tablet business any time soon. A) they have too much invested already and B) they're leveraging QNX into the phone line. Keeping the tablet business doesn't really cost them anything when they're leveraging their smartphone OS to stay there.
    12-29-11 02:24 PM
  24. nasa25's Avatar
    I applaud the analysis that VerryBestr put together.

    In the Q&A session of RIM's conference call, they mentioned that they wrote down the PlayBook inventory to a level where they will be expecting a 1% gross margin going forward. Does this change your estimates?
    If they are expecting a 1% gross margin (in essence a 1% markup) then their cost of goods sold (inventory value) will be basically the same (1% less) than the revenue they expect to generate from the playbook sales.

    If we knew the new value of the playbook inventory it would be fairly simple to calculate stock at the time that the writedown took place (assuming all raw materials included in the inventory valuation will be converted to finished goods without the need for extra materials).

    If we assume a 50/35/15 split between 16/32/64 models,and, for example say that the new value of inventory is $500M, then the number of units in stock would be:

    16gb - $500M * 0.5 = 250M / ($199*0.99) = 1,268,971 units
    32gb - $500M * 0.35 = 175M / ($249*0.99) = 709,910 units
    64gb - $500M * 0.15 = 75M / ($399*0.99) = 189,869 units

    Total inventory = 2,168,750

    Hey that ties into my "low 2's" estimate from a previous post - although I pulled the $500M inventory value figure out of the air.




    This is obviously a simplification and doesn't include margins for retailers and the different price points outside of north america, but would be good for a ballpark estimate.
    VerryBestr and kevinnugent like this.
    12-29-11 03:05 PM
  25. Carme99's Avatar
    Just picked one up today with a build date of December 9th
    12-29-11 03:26 PM
167 12345 ...
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD