1. rkennedy01's Avatar
    We're constantly being told that the Playbook is a failure - that the over 850,000 (at last count) units shipped in 2011 represents a disaster for RIM of biblical proportions.

    Well, guess how many Xooms Motorola managed to ship last year? Just one million. Here's the link to the news story:

    Motorola only shipped 1 million tablets in 2011 - Neowin.net

    So, if the overhyped, heavily advertised Xoom is sporting these kinds of numbers, then the Playbook's showing suddenly doesn't look so bad, especially since it's a smaller form factor device and thus suffers from "it doesn't look like an iPad" syndrome.

    My take: None of the Android offerings is doing particulary well against the iPad. And when you compare any single device against the Playbook (and not the entire Android market as a whole), RIM's performance looks quite respectable.

    RCK
    Last edited by rkennedy01; 01-27-12 at 08:41 AM.
    01-27-12 08:37 AM
  2. Economist101's Avatar
    The problem is that the real issue is developer and ecosystem support. When developers and accessory manufacturers look at tablets, they go platform vs platform, not device vs device. Even if the PlayBook outsells every single Android tablet, Android overall is shipping more units. While we don't have sell through numbers on the 10+ million Android tablets shipped, we can assume that the numbers sold are probably at least 1/3rd of that. Add to this the fact that at this point there's no evidence that the PlayBook has sold even 1 million units, and you have PlayBook stuck behind Android's army of tablets, which themselves are all behind the iPad.
    shawnmobile likes this.
    01-27-12 09:26 AM
  3. eric89074's Avatar
    "Quite respectable" for a $500.00 tablet that's being sold at a loss for $199.00 just so they can move some of them.

    Economist101 also makes an excellent point about the "shipped" game RIM and Android tablet makers like to play. Tell us the number of products SOLD like Apple does unless you're too embarrassed.
    01-27-12 09:31 AM
  4. VeGiTo's Avatar
    Mind you that PB's 850,000 number was only for 3 quarters, and mostly sold at full price as it doesn't include most of the promotion period.

    There are various usage stats that showed PlayBook usage went up 2x or 3x after the promotion period. Sell through was also good as we experienced shortage in various retailers. So for the full year, PlayBook's number will definitely beat Xoom, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's pushing beyond 2M units.
    Last edited by Gene Chan; 01-27-12 at 09:44 AM.
    Willard814 likes this.
    01-27-12 09:41 AM
  5. LoganSix's Avatar
    I think iPad, Android and PlayBook/QNX can all survive in the market. Most of it has to do with perception and marketing helps with that.

    The other part is carving out a niche. BlackBerry should find that niche for PlayBook. Which is probably the corporate world, to go along with the BB phones. Another thread talked about how real world usage comparison between the three tablets in a doctor's office ended up with the PlayBook as the winner. RIM needs to exploit this by giving away PlayBooks and helping develop custom applications aimed at work spaces. Once you get your foot in the door, then you get a lock, as long as you keep moving forward.
    Willard814 likes this.
    01-27-12 09:44 AM
  6. zorecati's Avatar
    I'm curious as to how many android tablets have been sold. I mean, realistically, for me anyway, and android tablet is an android tablet. One may come with more bells and whistles but essentially they are similar. I'm discounting the cheap throw away tablets and nook, kindle fire type devices.
    01-27-12 09:46 AM
  7. rkennedy01's Avatar
    I still think it's a mistake to keep comparing PB numbers to the "generic Android tablet" totals. Perhaps if the PB OS were being licensed across several hundred different manufacturers the comparison would be valid. But the fact is that PB is a single product in a sea of iPad wannabes, and unlike most of them, it's managing to tread water while achieving something they'll never be able to: Differentiation.

    It would behoove RIM to publish updated numbers, especially any sell-through data they've collected via the PB's initial registration process (even I have a Blackberry ID now, though I've never owned a RIM product before the PB).

    RCK
    Willard814 likes this.
    01-27-12 09:47 AM
  8. dandbj13's Avatar
    How many ways can you prove that there is no tablet market? This thread represents one of them. I do not define a market by the number of products sold at a loss. Who cares if the PB sold more than another tablet that didn't sell. Neither of them sold well! It does not make the PB sales numbers look any better than they are: dismal, unprofitable, and embarrassing. That Moto ought to be more embarrassed is irrelevant.
    01-27-12 09:55 AM
  9. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
    I would resist comparing the PB to the Xoom. The Xoom, IMHO, was a failure. It was grossly overpriced at launch.

    Then again, RIM learned nothing from that debacle, so the comparison is probably deserved.

    Mobile post via Tapatalk
    01-27-12 09:58 AM
  10. rkennedy01's Avatar
    Yes, but the perception has been that the PB was a worse failure than most. I'm just pointing out that, device for device, it's placing well within the pack. The fact that the pack, as a whole, has failed to make any inroads is not being debated.

    However, when you look at the long term viability of the various contenders, I'd rather be the platform with a little something different/extra than just a clone-of-a-clone-of-a-clone. RIM seems to realize that the PB is a diamond in the rough and that its perseverance will pay dividends (literally and figuratively) down the road.

    RCK
    kbz1960 likes this.
    01-27-12 10:09 AM
  11. peter9477's Avatar
    Add to this the fact that at this point there's no evidence that the PlayBook has sold even 1 million units, and you have PlayBook stuck behind Android's army of tablets, which themselves are all behind the iPad.
    Obviously the PlayBook's sold fewer than the total set of Android tabs, or the other one (as though it needed to be said).

    There is evidence they've sold lots though. Activations have exceeded 1M at this point; the sales have been doing very well for the thing.

    I won't be surprised to hear at this quarter's end (March 3, report on March 29) that shipments ended up exceeding 500K.

    This should give pause to those who misinterpreted the trend from the earlier quarterly shipment numbers because they weren't paying attention to the actual timing and took a too-simplistic view of what the numbers really mean.

    A corner's been turned, folks. PlayBook's already a success, though it cost RIM dearly to get it there. The 2.0 release and this quarter's numbers will show that it's now adequately established, and everything should be up-hill from here on. This will also be the year enterprise finally gets on board, and RIM can finally get some return on the heavy investment and their continuing (if weakening) leadership in that area. (I'll just ignore for now the possibility of a smaller iPad coming out...)
    highos, kbz1960 and asherwiin like this.
    01-27-12 10:23 AM
  12. kennyliu's Avatar
    Sorry but you picked the wrong tablet to compare the Playbook to. Xoom has been seen as a total failure almost since launch. Even by die-hard Android fans. Not because it's a bad tablet, but because it was ridiculously expensive to start with and Motorola has failed to update the Xoom with promised features many times.
    01-27-12 10:38 AM
  13. pmccartney's Avatar
    ..... (I'll just ignore for now the possibility of a smaller iPad coming out...)
    there is a smaller iPad, it's predecessor the iTouch.
    01-27-12 11:36 AM
  14. robsteve's Avatar
    I think all the tablets other than the iPad are having a tough time of it.

    If you think RIM is having to sell the PlayBook at a loss, you should look at what some of the others are selling at now compared to their introduction. For example, Rogers was giving away the Galaxy Tab if you signed up for two new Galaxy phones. I don't know if it is Samsung or Rogers taking the hit, but it is telling me that Rogers or Samsung has a bunch of the Galaxy tabs they want to clear out.

    When I was in Costco earlier this week I noticed the Galaxy Tab on sale on its own. I don't remember the price exactly, but it was under $200, maybe $179. The PlayBooks were there too, but the display model had the full prices listed. I asked the sales rep and he said the PlayBooks were on sale. In that case, a cellular kiosk would rather sell you a tablet with a cellular data plan and make the carrier commission, rather than sell a wifi tablet.
    Last edited by robsteve; 01-27-12 at 12:12 PM.
    01-27-12 12:08 PM
  15. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
    Obviously the PlayBook's sold fewer than the total set of Android tabs, or the other one (as though it needed to be said).

    There is evidence they've sold lots though. Activations have exceeded 1M at this point; the sales have been doing very well for the thing.

    I won't be surprised to hear at this quarter's end (March 3, report on March 29) that shipments ended up exceeding 500K.

    This should give pause to those who misinterpreted the trend from the earlier quarterly shipment numbers because they weren't paying attention to the actual timing and took a too-simplistic view of what the numbers really mean.

    A corner's been turned, folks. PlayBook's already a success, though it cost RIM dearly to get it there. The 2.0 release and this quarter's numbers will show that it's now adequately established, and everything should be up-hill from here on. This will also be the year enterprise finally gets on board, and RIM can finally get some return on the heavy investment and their continuing (if weakening) leadership in that area. (I'll just ignore for now the possibility of a smaller iPad coming out...)
    Define "success" though. Do you think RIM considers it a success?

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    01-27-12 12:23 PM
  16. peter9477's Avatar
    Define "success" though. Do you think RIM considers it a success?
    For purposes of how I used it above: having passed the point at which it "fails", which would have been continued decreasing sales until it reached the point no store would carry it, nobody wanted it, and RIM had little choice but to abandon the product (which would largely have spelled their business failure, longer term).

    Yes, I think they're probably breathing some sighs of relief and considering that the worst is past, and now there's just a whole big pile of hard work ahead, with little room for mistakes.

    (If anyone wants to debate the semantics of "success", go ahead, but it doesn't interest me and I'm unlikely to respond. Cheers.)
    bluezone1 likes this.
    01-27-12 12:28 PM
  17. PineappleUnderTheSea's Avatar
    Yes, but the perception has been that the PB was a worse failure than most. I'm just pointing out that, device for device, it's placing well within the pack. The fact that the pack, as a whole, has failed to make any inroads is not being debated.

    However, when you look at the long term viability of the various contenders, I'd rather be the platform with a little something different/extra than just a clone-of-a-clone-of-a-clone. RIM seems to realize that the PB is a diamond in the rough and that its perseverance will pay dividends (literally and figuratively) down the road.

    RCK
    I understand the point you are trying to make, and I think it is valid, i.e. the sales numbers are more or less up to par with other Android tablets. The issue is that, apart from Samsung, most Android tablet manufacturers are selling their wares at very low prices, which means that the PB might need to do the same. That worries me because such low margins on the PB might force RIM to give it up.
    01-27-12 12:29 PM
  18. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
    I understand the point you are trying to make, and I think it is valid, i.e. the sales numbers are more or less up to par with other Android tablets. The issue is that, apart from Samsung, most Android tablet manufacturers are selling their wares at very low prices, which means that the PB might need to do the same. That worries me because such low margins on the PB might force RIM to give it up.
    I don't disagree.

    Mobile post via Tapatalk
    01-27-12 01:18 PM
  19. howarmat's Avatar
    samsung and asus both have very successful tablet sales IMO. Toshiba and acer probably are bad either. The rest struck out i would say in the big picture but they might have done decent, just depends on how much the manufacturer was thinking they would sell
    01-27-12 04:48 PM
  20. Economist101's Avatar
    Mind you that PB's 850,000 number was only for 3 quarters, and mostly sold at full price as it doesn't include most of the promotion period.

    There are various usage stats that showed PlayBook usage went up 2x or 3x after the promotion period. Sell through was also good as we experienced shortage in various retailers. So for the full year, PlayBook's number will definitely beat Xoom, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's pushing beyond 2M units.
    Let's assume 2 million units sold at 8.5 months on the market. That figure would place the PlayBook behind Android (who is moving units almost by sheer volume of products available), and of course 2 million units is less than 2 weeks of recent iPad sales.
    01-27-12 04:54 PM
  21. ADozenEggs@aol.com's Avatar
    For purposes of how I used it above: having passed the point at which it "fails", which would have been continued decreasing sales until it reached the point no store would carry it, nobody wanted it, and RIM had little choice but to abandon the product (which would largely have spelled their business failure, longer term).

    Yes, I think they're probably breathing some sighs of relief and considering that the worst is past, and now there's just a whole big pile of hard work ahead, with little room for mistakes.

    (If anyone wants to debate the semantics of "success", go ahead, but it doesn't interest me and I'm unlikely to respond. Cheers.)
    This read like double speak. The already took a write-off of $485mm. So the product "failed". Anything they sell is financially an effort to get back to Zero.

    PB were manufactured to make money. Bottom line.

    Breathing a sigh of relief? Bizzaro talk.
    01-27-12 05:18 PM
  22. cleacy's Avatar
    Mind you that PB's 850,000 number was only for 3 quarters, and mostly sold at full price as it doesn't include most of the promotion period.

    There are various usage stats that showed PlayBook usage went up 2x or 3x after the promotion period. Sell through was also good as we experienced shortage in various retailers. So for the full year, PlayBook's number will definitely beat Xoom, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's pushing beyond 2M units.
    The 850,000 number you're referencing is sales to the channel, not sales to the end user. Yes likely all of that amount of 16GB sold out from retailers at a $200 price, but that just leaves them having to move on to the (however many) RIM currently has warehoused in inventory.

    Their main problem is going to be the number of playbooks manufactured. If we assume a book value of $300 each written down to a resale value of 0, $485m/$300 = 1.6 million playbooks in inventory that hadn't been sold into the channel.
    01-27-12 05:52 PM
  23. peter9477's Avatar
    The already took a write-off of $485mm. So the product "failed".
    You apparently misunderstand what that write-off really meant. It was on paper, merely adjusting for an earlier higher estimate of the expected value of the inventory which could no longer be obtained by selling them at current prices.

    It's like if I produce 100 widgets and have them on my books as worth $100 apiece (because that's what I originally think I can sell them for). Then the market goes south, and I decide I can sell them for no more than $60 apiece. So I write off $4000. It cost me only $50 to produce each one though, so I'm still making $1000 on the deal. Ignoring the specific numbers, that's basically what happened here...

    It remains unclear whether they've lost a dime on the sales so far (including all revenues associated with it, including accessories, and ignoring development costs). Whether they have or not, however, is almost entirely irrelevant to the question of whether they've failed or not. Calling it a failure based on that is short-term thinking, which is not something RIM is guilty of.
    01-27-12 06:34 PM
  24. cleacy's Avatar
    You apparently misunderstand what that write-off really meant. It was on paper, merely adjusting for an earlier higher estimate of the expected value of the inventory which could no longer be obtained by selling them at current prices.

    It's like if I produce 100 widgets and have them on my books as worth $100 apiece (because that's what I originally think I can sell them for). Then the market goes south, and I decide I can sell them for no more than $60 apiece. So I write off $4000. It cost me only $50 to produce each one though, so I'm still making $1000 on the deal. Ignoring the specific numbers, that's basically what happened here...

    It remains unclear whether they've lost a dime on the sales so far (including all revenues associated with it, including accessories, and ignoring development costs). Whether they have or not, however, is almost entirely irrelevant to the question of whether they've failed or not. Calling it a failure based on that is short-term thinking, which is not something RIM is guilty of.
    Book value of inventory is the lower of cost or market value. The inventory valuation of those widgets would be 100x$50= 5000. The example you gave wouldn't allow for a write down.
    01-27-12 06:48 PM
  25. caggie77's Avatar
    Table tinterst is based on available content. The true success behind the iPad, iTunes. Then comes along the Kindle Fire, access to Amazon's content...sold a couple million in Q4.
    I think when the real numbers come out Fire will be a big success. The other tablets are just big Android phones without the content.
    01-27-12 06:50 PM
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