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01-06-12 03:26 PM
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  1. Economist101's Avatar
    Wow...I think you pretty much cornered blackjack with logic, reason, and, most importantly, evidence.
    "Nobody puts Blackjack in a corner."
    Pearl9100, spike12 and JBenn911 like this.
    01-05-12 01:55 PM
  2. Pearl9100's Avatar
    Only some of this is relevant. Continuing work on the PB isn't distracting resources when you bear in mind that pretty much all of that engineering work applies to the BB10 phones too. Call me when RIM announces they're dropping that.

    "Indifferent sales"? Sure. They've taken a half-billion writedown on that already. Meaning any remaining stock is essentially pure profit for this year. The current stock of devices is paid for. I'll be the first to admit the PB was priced wrong out of the gate, because no matter how nice the device was, without Apple's supporting ecosystem the Playbook simply did not represent the same value as an iPad. RIM had no business pricing them that way. I think RIM has the chance to improve the value proposition for the Playbook with the 2.0 reboot, and I hope they take full advantage of that.

    "Terrible reviews"? Really? I don't even recall seeing a "bad" review. I even recall an editor at BGR calling the Playbook his favorite tablet, even with reservations about the app ecosystem. Most reviews I saw gave high praise to the Playbook's quality, aesthetics, performance, and swipe-based UI, and questioned its lack of native PIM, dearth of apps in App World, and the design of the power button. The app situation has improved considerably, the native PIM will be here soon. I can live with the power button (NOTE: I'm operating under the assumption that PB OS 2 will drop roughly around the time RIM has said it would. If I'm wrong I have to take much of this back, I know).
    I don't agree that the pb should have received such scathing reviews, but critics are panning the pb. You cannot deny that.

    They may be able to make a profit on the current stock that they have, but how are they going to make a profit in the future after this inventory is gone? You have to think ahead. How are they going to make money after all this damage has already been done to their image and the pb brand? There is a reason why the storm branding has been abandoned...
    01-05-12 01:58 PM
  3. Pearl9100's Avatar
    "Nobody puts Blackjack in a corner."
    touche sir.
    01-05-12 01:59 PM
  4. Economist101's Avatar
    And agreed, the whole native PIM thing is central to why the Playbook as a product has gotten screwed around, but again, it's fixable and it's not a reflection on the product.
    You're right, it's not a reflection on the product. It's a reflection on the product's creator.

    It's not rocket science to implement an e-mail interface on QNX. That's never been the problem. The problem has been in making the decision as to HOW that e-mail interface would store account info, and whether it would use BIS or not.
    Well let's hope they don't run into any "rocket science" type problems, since we're now 6+ months beyond that 60 day window for something you suggest is not difficult to remedy.

    I don't doubt they could have made that "60 day" target. What happened was they chose not to, likely due to some in-fighting. I'm more concerned about RIM's ability to address THAT.
    "They chose not to" for what purpose? To allow the criticism to continue? To slow sales? To trigger a massive charge for discounting? To further depress the stock price? Why would they give critics an additional reason to come after them for a readily solvable problem?
    Pearl9100 and spike12 like this.
    01-05-12 02:02 PM
  5. blackjack93117's Avatar
    First time I've agreed with Economist! lol You got THAT right. Don't even bother trying. Or do - it's your wasted time.
    pkcable likes this.
    01-05-12 02:04 PM
  6. Thunderbuck's Avatar
    I don't agree that the pb should have received such scathing reviews, but critics are panning the pb. You cannot deny that.

    They may be able to make a profit on the current stock that they have, but how are they going to make a profit in the future after this inventory is gone? You have to think ahead. How are they going to make money after all this damage has already been done to their image and the pb brand? There is a reason why the storm branding has been abandoned...
    I have seen many critics panning RIM for the astonishingly bad way they launched the Playbook (and the astonishingly bad decisions they've made since). I have seen few poor reviews of the device itself.

    As for the future, you bring up a fair question: can new hardware be sustainable going forward? I'll say, that if RIM can deliver on this 2.0 update and attract more developer support then, sure, that will justify further production. It's going to depend on the market.

    The reason I think RIM has a chance of succeeding here where they've failed before goes back to their decision to push back the release of PB 2.0; I suspect this decision was made deliberately to give the product team time to regroup. It was a hard decision, since having 2.0 would have made their device a lot more attractive for the Christmas buying season, but I honestly believe they pushed back to February not so much for technical reasons (the developer preview runs great, actually, and as far as I'm concerned could be pushed out now), but because of some business and marketing reasons.
    01-05-12 02:13 PM
  7. Pearl9100's Avatar
    You're right, it's not a reflection on the product. It's a reflection on the product's creator.



    Well let's hope they don't run into any "rocket science" type problems, since we're now 6+ months beyond that 60 day window for something you suggest is not difficult to remedy.



    "They chose not to" for what purpose? To allow the criticism to continue? To slow sales? To trigger a massive charge for discounting? To further depress the stock price? Why would they give critics an additional reason to come after them for a readily solvable problem?


    First time I've agreed with Economist! lol You got THAT right. Don't even bother trying. Or do - it's your wasted time.
    I thought you were only going to lurk I kid I kid. Would love to hear more of your perspectives.
    01-05-12 02:16 PM
  8. Pearl9100's Avatar
    I have seen many critics panning RIM for the astonishingly bad way they launched the Playbook (and the astonishingly bad decisions they've made since). I have seen few poor reviews of the device itself.

    As for the future, you bring up a fair question: can new hardware be sustainable going forward? I'll say, that if RIM can deliver on this 2.0 update and attract more developer support then, sure, that will justify further production. It's going to depend on the market.

    The reason I think RIM has a chance of succeeding here where they've failed before goes back to their decision to push back the release of PB 2.0; I suspect this decision was made deliberately to give the product team time to regroup. It was a hard decision, since having 2.0 would have made their device a lot more attractive for the Christmas buying season, but I honestly believe they pushed back to February not so much for technical reasons (the developer preview runs great, actually, and as far as I'm concerned could be pushed out now), but because of some business and marketing reasons.
    I think the fate of the pb is locked in. I don't think os 2.0 will not change the minds of the average consumer because they are not tech savy.

    People are banking on os2.0 to be rim's hail mary pass, which is remarkably similar to how people were banking on bbos 6.0 and 7.0 to be rim's hail mary pass...and we all know how that turned out.
    01-05-12 02:23 PM
  9. Thunderbuck's Avatar
    "They chose not to" for what purpose? To allow the criticism to continue? To slow sales? To trigger a massive charge for discounting? To further depress the stock price? Why would they give critics an additional reason to come after them for a readily solvable problem?
    Excellent questions, and I don't know the answers. If I had to guess, though, I think there has been heavy management in-fighting, likely going right up to the executive.

    There's not a doubt in my mind that a team at RIM had a working PIM on the Playbook maybe even pre-launch, but that the software took an approach that was somehow unacceptable to somebody powerful enough to kill it. And my speculation is that the problem was a business one, not a technical one. I'll extend my speculation further (and my neck with it) and say that it likely had something to do with the role of either BIS or the user's Blackberry ID, or both (though I won't lose sleep if I'm wrong on that part).

    I think in the weeks following the launch that much of RIM descended into total chaos due to the in-fighting that went on over this, as evidenced by the number of disconcerting management departures and missed deadlines, and that much of the company adopted something of a siege mentality and started reacting to news instead of trying to get "in front of the story" (to use a PR term).

    Sometime in October, I'm guessing the board put the brakes on. I think the situation was reviewed, and the board made some tough decisions (including pushing back the 2.0 release and taking the write-down). I think this is about the time they scheduled the management review, as well, and Mike and Jim have done their best to play nice ever since. (BTW, I have no evidence that the fight went all the way up to the Mike/Jim level, but if it turned out to be between the two of them I wouldn't be surprised).

    I still believe in the talent and expertise at RIM, and I believe something significant will come from the management review.

    And, ultimately, I continue to believe in the quality of the Playbook as a product. If handed over to a product team that knows what needs to be done and has the power to GET it done, there's a chance it can be saved.

    My 2 cents
    01-05-12 02:29 PM
  10. ralfyguy's Avatar
    Thunderbuck, that was an excellent statement and I believe that you hit it spot on there.
    01-05-12 02:33 PM
  11. Thunderbuck's Avatar
    I think the fate of the pb is locked in. I don't think os 2.0 will not change the minds of the average consumer because they are not tech savy.

    People are banking on os2.0 to be rim's hail mary pass, which is remarkably similar to how people were banking on bbos 6.0 and 7.0 to be rim's hail mary pass...and we all know how that turned out.
    Playbook as a brand is in tough shape, for sure, but I think there's hope for exactly the same reason you think its failure is "locked in".

    I don't think consumers at large have paid enough attention to this whole debacle to care. A rebranding would be great, but there's some bad PR around that (it looks like a retreat), and there's likely still enough unsold stock that such a rebranding would be expensive.

    The best outcome for RIM would be to get that native PIM out there, make a few key product announcements, and price it realistically. If RIM can put out a device that people find attractive, I doubt any of what's happened to this point will matter.
    01-05-12 02:36 PM
  12. FF22's Avatar
    I think there's room for the Playbook in the current market, or at least it's possible for RIM to elbow themselves out some room.

    The device is still great. The ecosystem is growing. A selection of Android apps grows that ecosystem all the faster. And the developers who release programs for PB 2.0 are well-positioned to push apps out to BB10 when it arrives.

    The only way I see the tablet being abandoned is if BB10 itself is scrapped. Possible, I grant, but if the board decides that's what has to be done then RIM is in much bigger trouble than any of us have heard to this point.
    That's how I see it, too. They don't have to compete directly with the ipad. They just have to have a successful relaunch and provide some apps that grab interest and attention. How many tv brands are there competing in all different screen sizes. How many different Android phones? Variety/Choice - nothing wrong with that.

    Obviously, they are going to have to figure out pricing and see if OS2 and what it adds helps. They also have to figure out retail sales. Clearly, US carriers are not very interested in it since there's no data plan (whereas Apple has a device that requires a plan). Also US carriers seem to have even denied their phones shelf space.

    But stay/go/limp/abandon - all we are all doing is speculating until rim makes its move.
    Superfly_FR likes this.
    01-05-12 03:06 PM
  13. LuvULongTime's Avatar
    More bad news for the PlayBook.

    Reports of a $200 7" tablet from *Google*.
    Jan 5 report from Taiwan (you know,where the Playbook is manufactured):

    Google tablet PC believed to be targeting Kindle Fire

    "Targeting Kindle Fire", because the PlayBook is, well, you know...
    Would this new tablet not cannibalize sales of other Android tablets? If it will destroy the Playbook then we must apply the same logic to other Android devices. And if the answer is no, this new tablet will not cannibalize other Android Tablet sales, then the question is why not? Would it be because other tablets may have better hardware or other features that they can boast? And if we agree that is a possibility, then would the Playbook not be able to boast some unique features of its own?

    I'm not ready to write off the PB just yet. I hear what you are saying. RIM has a huge hill to climb, but it is not insurmountable.
    01-05-12 03:15 PM
  14. peter9477's Avatar
    Would this new tablet not cannibalize sales of other Android tablets?
    BGR has an article titled "Google’s Nexus tablet may push Android partners out of the picture" which says just that. May be something that helps RIM if they really are interested in licensing BB10 to others, as was also just rumoured.
    01-05-12 03:28 PM
  15. LuvULongTime's Avatar
    As I said before, this is a great post. I like the way you think. You have a good (business) head on your shoulders. You and I can clank glasses when the pb gets cancelled and reminisce how we called it months ago.

    I have zero confidence in rim committing to the pb. It is a losing battle to enter the tablet market because of the fierce competition, and it is only going to get worst with the advent of windows 8. Win 8 tablet pcs might devastate the tablet market...but that is another discussion for another time. My point is that rim will be looking for a exit strategy in the tablet market. It becomes evident when one takes into consideration all of the factors. They especially cannot sustain such massive losses.
    You can't shrink a company to greatness. The only option is to grow in some way, otherwise you are essentially moving backwards. RIM needs to analyse and understand where they went wrong with their initial PB launch and they must address those problems and move forward. Abandoning the tablet business will absolutely kill their smartphone business. They need a viable tablet to pair with their phones, especially in the corporate space where they are still strong. The day will come when tablets are standard hardware in an enterprise along with desktops and laptops. RIM needs to use their current market strength to get in on this ASAP, otherwise Apple will move in first with the iPad then the iPhone. If RIM needs to give away the hardware for free just to get their foot in the door, then so be it. They can make the money back on licensing and software. As someone that works in IT and has dealt with large vendors and ELA's, this is not unheard of. Vendors will throw in software with the expectation that they will recoup the cost over an X year maintenance contract.

    In terms of the consumer market, assuming RIM can get BBM, email, and a wide array of Android apps working on their platform, then I see no reason why consumers would not at least consider the device, assuming it is priced lower then an iPad. The hardware is wonderful, as is the OS, of which both already make a strong case for the PB.

    Just my opinion.
    peter9477 and Thunderbuck like this.
    01-05-12 03:33 PM
  16. pkcable's Avatar
    The PlayBook is a GREAT piece of hardware, the problem is the software. It's just not ready, and RIM can't seem to get it's act together enough to get it updated and released. YES 2.0 will address and solve many of the issues, YES it will leave stuff out! In particular it will resolve to native email issue AND help the app situation (with support for Android apps). RIM also dropped the ball in both marketing and (I'm not sure how to phrase this) providing product information at shows and via Shareholder calls. i.e. Jim's famous 60 days out!

    All in all though I LOVE my Playbook, it does what I need it to do, and it does it well. It is THE best browsing expierence of any tablet I have used and that includes the ipad. I'm sorry, but flash DOES matter to me! And the PB does flash BETTER than most, if not all Android tabs, at least the ones I have tried. (and I have tried, or owned, quite a few) Bridge is a feature I can get no where else and I use ALL THE TIME! And media consuming is pretty good too, downloaded movies work great, streaming movies from Amazon or ANY flash based site work well, and books and newspapers work too either through Kobo, Press Reader, or Amazon Cloud Reader.
    JBenn911, peter9477 and Barljo like this.
    01-05-12 03:48 PM
  17. anon(1035135)'s Avatar
    There's not a doubt in my mind that a team at RIM had a working PIM on the Playbook maybe even pre-launch, but that the software took an approach that was somehow unacceptable to somebody powerful enough to kill it. And my speculation is that the problem was a business one, not a technical one. I'll extend my speculation further (and my neck with it) and say that it likely had something to do with the role of either BIS or the user's Blackberry ID, or both (though I won't lose sleep if I'm wrong on that part).
    I sort of agree with some of this, but then again, I differ in opinion on a few things. I don't think RIM ever had a working version of PIM on the Playbook. I believe they truly had no idea how PIM was going to interact with the PB in regards to the new qnx "superphones" as I've heard the term being thrown around. So in attempt to pacify those folks with BB's, they threw BT technology in to pass the bits to and from PB/BB to manage PIM. I think they thought how this was going to be defined on the new phones would be designed and implemented within the 60 day period that was also thrown out there in April. I gather they realized they bit off far more than they could chew. I'm just hoping that still isn't the case come February.

    My reasoning behind this thought is because I find it hard to believe that as raw as the OS was off the shelf in April that if they had any PIM capability that even remotely worked, they would've tossed that in as well. Those that bought the PB in April understand just how half-baked that OS was.

    These are big changes taking place. I believe they are just now starting to figure out how everything is going to work. At least, again, that's my hope for February.
    01-05-12 03:56 PM
  18. blackjack93117's Avatar
    pk is trolling...kidding kidding!
    pkcable, Barljo and JK-PhD like this.
    01-05-12 04:00 PM
  19. blackjack93117's Avatar
    I thought you were only going to lurk I kid I kid. Would love to hear more of your perspectives.
    You've heard my perspective - RIM will not give up on playbook! that's all I have to say...and I will clank a glass with you when I'm right, because I'm a good sport.
    peter9477 and JK-PhD like this.
    01-05-12 04:13 PM
  20. BBBrooklynFAN's Avatar
    Excellent questions, and I don't know the answers. If I had to guess, though, I think there has been heavy management in-fighting, likely going right up to the executive.

    There's not a doubt in my mind that a team at RIM had a working PIM on the Playbook maybe even pre-launch, but that the software took an approach that was somehow unacceptable to somebody powerful enough to kill it. And my speculation is that the problem was a business one, not a technical one. I'll extend my speculation further (and my neck with it) and say that it likely had something to do with the role of either BIS or the user's Blackberry ID, or both (though I won't lose sleep if I'm wrong on that part).

    I think in the weeks following the launch that much of RIM descended into total chaos due to the in-fighting that went on over this, as evidenced by the number of disconcerting management departures and missed deadlines, and that much of the company adopted something of a siege mentality and started reacting to news instead of trying to get "in front of the story" (to use a PR term).

    Sometime in October, I'm guessing the board put the brakes on. I think the situation was reviewed, and the board made some tough decisions (including pushing back the 2.0 release and taking the write-down). I think this is about the time they scheduled the management review, as well, and Mike and Jim have done their best to play nice ever since. (BTW, I have no evidence that the fight went all the way up to the Mike/Jim level, but if it turned out to be between the two of them I wouldn't be surprised).

    I still believe in the talent and expertise at RIM, and I believe something significant will come from the management review.

    And, ultimately, I continue to believe in the quality of the Playbook as a product. If handed over to a product team that knows what needs to be done and has the power to GET it done, there's a chance it can be saved.

    My 2 cents
    Intriguing story. Total fiction.

    So the company and the tablet was wrecked by "infighting" and "chaos". Whose job is it in a sane company to contain infighting and chaos?

    The board, whose job is to supervise management, didn't punish the clowns who were responsible for "infighting" and "chaos". It made technical decisions on accounting and computing OS instead?

    Doesn't pass muster.
    Pearl9100 likes this.
    01-05-12 04:49 PM
  21. app_Developer's Avatar
    Intriguing story. Total fiction.

    So the company and the tablet was wrecked by "infighting" and "chaos". Whose job is it in a sane company to contain infighting and chaos?

    The board, whose job is to supervise management, didn't punish the clowns who were responsible for "infighting" and "chaos". It made technical decisions on accounting and computing OS instead?

    Doesn't pass muster.
    I really think the Board and at least Balsillie had no real understanding of what they were buying with QNX. And then a lot of bad decisions and bad communication followed from that. And then you could see how chaos would follow as light bulbs finally started to turn on.

    Imagine if the Android team way back on day one had cloned the Linux repository and then said "cool we got Linux. So we're what, about a year away from a finished shipping device with a completely new mobile OS that we haven't even started on yet?"

    That is exactly what they did at RIM. It had to have been out of ignorance.
    Last edited by app_Developer; 01-05-12 at 05:11 PM.
    01-05-12 05:05 PM
  22. moretreelessbush's Avatar
    I don't get why people still consider the iPad the main competitor. A year ago, maybe, but 7' tablets running Android got to be the far bigger threat now, and given the pace Android vendors have been churning out products, the threat will only grow bigger.
    01-05-12 05:15 PM
  23. BBBrooklynFAN's Avatar
    I don't get why people still consider the iPad the main competitor. A year ago, maybe, but 7' tablets running Android got to be the far bigger threat now, and given the pace Android vendors have been churning out products, the threat will only grow bigger.
    That fight is lost already. The Fire alone has beaten PB effortlessly.

    The only competition the PB is still in is the "third OS" war with Windows7. There's no reason or reward for winning that fight.
    01-05-12 05:20 PM
  24. peter9477's Avatar
    Repeat after me: there's room in the market for more than one product.
    Thunderbuck likes this.
    01-05-12 05:24 PM
  25. BBBrooklynFAN's Avatar
    I really think the Board and at least Balsillie had no real understanding of what they were buying with QNX. And then a lot of bad decisions and bad communication followed from that. And then you could see how chaos would follow as light bulbs finally started to turn on.

    Imagine if the Android team way back on day one had cloned the Linux repository and then said "cool we got Linux. So we're what, about a year away from a finished shipping device with a completely new mobile OS that we haven't even started on yet?"

    That is exactly what they did at RIM. It had to have been out of ignorance.
    It couldn't be more painfully apparent that on QNX and "the transition", RIM is a hardware OEM play-acting as a computer company. Their core competence has always been traditional phone engineering like battery life and selling to carriers and CIO's. They have no competitive advantage at all in software.
    01-05-12 05:27 PM
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