View Poll Results: Was RIM right to release an incomplete PlayBook in April 2011?

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  • It was a good move by RIM to release a somewhat incomplete PlayBook in April 2011.

    101 43.35%
  • RIM should have released the PlayBook when the upcoming features of OS2 were done (February 2012).

    132 56.65%
01-17-12 08:20 PM
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  1. teknishun's Avatar
    It wasn't too early to release the playbook when they did in the shape that it was without os2. What they erred in is in the pricing model. They should have priced it $350,$450 and $550 for the 16gb, 32gb and 64gb models respectively.
    And you honestly think that they would have sold at that price point?
    01-15-12 09:13 PM
  2. Altarocks's Avatar
    I think it was a good time to release it, but RIM could have avoided much of the fallout by letting the press know it was only the first phase of the planned OS. People are much more forgiving when they just hear the truth. But I'm sure RIM didn't foresee the difficulties they would encounter.
    01-15-12 09:15 PM
  3. ALToronto's Avatar
    These depressed prices are not sustainable. RIM should get rid of existing inventory, then release a tablet with some token hardware upgrades and charge $400 and up for it.
    01-15-12 09:20 PM
  4. peter9477's Avatar
    They'll first have to ship 2.0, without major problems, and show they're planning some fairly quick updates with interesting features after that.

    By about April sales will have picked way up as word gets out, and they can release a "PB2" around then (and I hope they've got at least one intern left in marketing who can stop them from actually calling it "PlayBook 2" as that would seriously confuse a lot of people). Only at that point can they bump the price a bit and expect to sell any...

    They got themselves in a tight spot with pricing here, and it will be a long slow climb out of the hole...
    01-15-12 09:37 PM
  5. esqlaw's Avatar
    No, they F'D up big time. They should've waited for a complete release. Consumers hate unfinished products (not all fanboys- settle down, some will take it up there no matter how incomplete). Is it the end of RIM? Probably not, but look at the story that followed a bad release and the damage to their reputation.
    01-15-12 09:45 PM
  6. cathulu15's Avatar
    i think the right sale price right now is $199, $249 $299 but at those prices i am not sure they will still fly off the shelves. Memory is cheap, a $100 price differential is not supported in my opinion between memory options. RIM was right to release the playbook but should have priced it at $249, $299, and $349.

    Damaged expectations and poor handling has driven the price down. There are stacks at futureshop of the 16Gb that won,t sell until the price is lowered from $299 to $199 or less.

    With OS2 and good detailed reviews and some new nice surprises yet unannounced, they may sell the 16Gb for $249 or maybe even $299 (nah, on second thought $299 is too much) if all goes well and some critical apps come on stream. There is a lot of competition in 2012...
    Last edited by cathulu15; 01-15-12 at 10:57 PM.
    01-15-12 10:50 PM
  7. southlander's Avatar
    Yes. But not HOW they released it.

    1. They should have released it with the stipulation that it was a paid BETA release. Microsoft is doing something like this with Win 8.

    2. Being as it was a beta they should have lowered the price point a lot. It has been shown that the device sells a lot better at these lower prices. Again, it would be a beta and people would expect it. 249.00. Something like that.

    3. They should have sold it direct only and possibly with a single large online partner like Amazon. Heck they could have had their own Amazon store front for that matter. RIM certainly knows little about retail.

    4. They should have sold just the 16 GB model.

    5. RIM should have stated there were no deadlines for adding full NOC support/BBM, etc. Just say it will get added when it is awesome and finished. They could have stated a broad goal of having features built out within a year.

    We all would have still gotten our mitts on it. A lot of the negative reviews would have been diffused by calling it a beta, which is essentially the truth. Just admit it's pretty cool, has a lot of promise, but it ain't finished folks.
    Last edited by southlander; 01-15-12 at 11:07 PM.
    01-15-12 11:04 PM
  8. Thunderbuck's Avatar
    I don't like the Poll Questions.

    Yes it was right for RIM to release the PlayBook April 2011,
    What RIM's BIG Mistake was, was they didn't release Mobile fusion until 2012, Mobile Fusion should have been announced at CES 2011, and released with the PlayBook, or at the very least shortly after. Mobile fusion is the Product RIM has been missing,
    dR, as much as I usually admire your insight, I can't agree with you here. The timing of this launch--along with the pricing--did a lot of damage.

    Some time before CES last year it's clear the decision was made to go head-to-head with the iPad 2, a disastrous move that could ultimately ruin the company.

    I acknowledge that one reason for the launch was to gain some mindshare among developers, but what it comes down to is that in Q1 last year this product wasn't ready for market. RIM failed to get it on sale by the iPad launch (the first crucial miss), and priced it at the same level as the iPad when they struggled with the value proposition.

    Had they waited for Q3, RIM may have garnered a little more market attention from the market.
    01-15-12 11:11 PM
  9. kill_9's Avatar
    The single biggest mistake Research In Motion made in relation to the BlackBerry PlayBook was to not focus on the enterprise marketplace first and foremost with "the world's first professional-grade tablet." The consumer marker could have been addressed in the following year. The marketing campaign and product development teams should have effectively delivered compelling reasons for these enterprise users with BlackBerry smartphones to want to complement their smartphone with a tablet carrying the BlackBerry name. At this point it matters not what should have been done or could have been done during the previous year. In 2012 the BlackBerry brand has one final opportunity to shine and regain its pioneering status as a technology innovator.
    01-15-12 11:23 PM
  10. cathulu15's Avatar
    disagree. in my organization, people want the iphone and not the blackberry. focusing on enterprise would have continued loosing customers. with some playbook consumer focus eg android player etc there was some reason to stay with blackberry... but it backfired cause the tablet was half baked. but they had to try... see my earlier post for additional thoughts.

    in the end i don,t think there was any good option for rim until the new bb10 phones come out. but i am new to blackberry and was on the outside not giving it much thought tbh.
    Last edited by cathulu15; 01-15-12 at 11:38 PM.
    01-15-12 11:32 PM
  11. meltbox360's Avatar
    It was a very good idea. If they had not beta tested on us they could have risked releasing a product that was not finished along with unfinished phones and they would have simply been overwhelmed. There's nothing quite like having 200,000 test subjects
    01-15-12 11:35 PM
  12. sjefferson21's Avatar
    good move for rim to release pb when they did... had to place their mark on the tablet game. if i remember correctly... werent several of the iphones rushed and therefore were missing simple features like mms, sending attachments and copy/paste?
    blue-b likes this.
    01-15-12 11:46 PM
  13. oldtimeBBaddict's Avatar
    My preferred vote is not one of the options. I believe that they were correct to release the PB when they did, but NOT at the price point they set. For me and a whole lot of others, the value wasn't there. In fact, I didn't buy one until the first price cut around Black Friday. Even then, I only bought it because I had a hunch that RIM was finally getting serious about supporting the PB.

    Even if they delay OS2 again, (which would be a fatal mistake IMO), I can live with that because I feel that I have gotten the value for the price paid.
    01-16-12 12:03 AM
  14. lostaggie's Avatar
    Outdated hardware is subjective... I think the average person is more about the overall experience now than raw horsepower...

    I wish they had waited but then I wouldn't be able to buy a 64GB tablet for $299...
    01-16-12 12:13 AM
  15. Pearl9100's Avatar
    good move for rim to release pb when they did... had to place their mark on the tablet game. if i remember correctly... werent several of the iphones rushed and therefore were missing simple features like mms, sending attachments and copy/paste?
    Copy/paste, mms, and attachments are minor details compared to things like native email client, calendars, and bbm. These are core applications.

    I really feel like people just don't understand or cannot see the bigger picture.
    howarmat likes this.
    01-16-12 12:57 AM
  16. sjefferson21's Avatar

    I really feel like people just don't understand or cannot see the bigger picture.
    Obviously since there is not only a poll about it, but roughly half of said poll's participants feel that the April '11 release of the pb was a good idea... maybe u should relax rather than coming in here commenting on one's ability to understand. it is a poll... therefore there will be OPINIONS in here. At least I was able to understand the word poll. Sheesh.
    01-16-12 01:09 AM
  17. Pearl9100's Avatar
    Obviously since there is not only a poll about it, but roughly half of said poll's participants feel that the April '11 release of the pb was a good idea... maybe u should relax rather than coming in here commenting on one's ability to understand. it is a poll... therefore there will be OPINIONS in here. At least I was able to understand the word poll. Sheesh.
    Well, then I strongly disagree with half of the members here. What I am saying is that people are too quick to dismiss the fact that Rim did not include some of the most basic features on their devices. This is a red flag! It is a huge oversight that people just are plugging their ears and looking the other way.

    It is like buying a Windows 7 pro laptop that does not support Office, Windows Server domain, and other key microsoft products that made microsoft who they are today. It would be ludicrous for MS to release an unfinished product that lacks such basic features with the promise of future updates and it is ludicrous for Rim to do so with the pb. Obviously, it was a costly half a BILLION dollar mistake; yet people would do it all over again and plow forward with the same half baked product....but sold at a cheaper price. That is insane to me. People would make the same costly half a BILLION dollar mistake knowing what they know now.

    Think about it this way. If anyone here made their company lose half a billion dollars because of a half baked product, that person would be instantly fired on the spot. Yet, people here are rationalizing and defending these "strategic" moves.
    01-16-12 01:45 AM
  18. suot.doi's Avatar
    tested the waters early - no regrets at all - perfect travel companion and book sized , not netbook sized packaging w/ flash and full web
    01-16-12 01:55 AM
  19. the_sleuth's Avatar
    i think you can make cases for both sides of the argument. For BB10 phones it was a good thing. For the reputation of the PB and RIM it hasnt gone as well. But if the BB10 phones do well then it will help with that.
    Sorry, but I respectfully disagree with most arguments like this one. PB half-baked release was a costly blunder that diverted RIM from releasing BB 7 phones in a timely manner. It was an incredibly costly diversion that decimated RIM's market cap, reputation and brand. It will be studied in business schools along with other failures like New Coke, Lisa Computer, Newton, and Windows ME.
    When will companies learn that consumers do not want to be their beta testers. Be professional and stand by a finished product that the company and employees can be proud of it.

    As for helping BB10, products or software or OS should remain in the company lab until it is finished for release, end of story. Companies employ well-paid professionals for this reason.
    01-16-12 02:17 AM
  20. beemaabeemababy's Avatar
    Releasing the PlayBook early and then the subsequent sale recently means that the wave of new upcoming tablets all had to rethink their pricepoints. In turn, their pricepoints had to match their hardware/software.

    With not many manufacturers willing to risk dropping their prices to create loss, it means the only way other manufacturers could compete would be to lower the specs on their devices. Then the PlayBook would stand out as having the best hardware for that pricepoint.

    What happens next? BOOM! Massive free software update which brings the PlayBook head and shoulders above the rest. Amazing software coupled with the already efficient and amazing hardware make a very desirable tablet, which will drive sales if you then throw in a massive marketing campaign.

    In hindsight, it appears that RIM had planned it to turn out like this.

    Well played, RIM. Well played.
    01-16-12 02:54 AM
  21. suot.doi's Avatar
    Sorry, but I respectfully disagree with most arguments like this one. PB half-baked release was a costly blunder that diverted RIM from releasing BB 7 phones in a timely manner. It was an incredibly costly diversion that decimated RIM's market cap, reputation and brand. It will be studied in business schools along with other failures like New Coke, Lisa Computer, Newton, and Windows ME.
    When will companies learn that consumers do not want to be their beta testers. Be professional and stand by a finished product that the company and employees can be proud of it.

    As for helping BB10, products or software or OS should remain in the company lab until it is finished for release, end of story. Companies employ well-paid professionals for this reason.
    actually , i believe most of the "beta testers" you've labelled still have their device , no matter the included apps or whatever , saying on the price tag i paid for my 64 , i would still be happy having a device i could actually bridge and bigger view area to complement my phone . it may not have been perfect , but its better to get your foot in early and test waters before you can put something concrete . even if they went the way from os 1 to 2.0 , the fact i don't have to sync my media files and have full web makes my experience worth the whole package , to see the evolution of the playbook os . from swiping to bridging and coming soon native apps , i can't help but see positives from a company that is down to earth unlike alot of other companies . maybe not american business practice but for me , the os will be one that shown innovation upon innovation .
    Last edited by suot.doi; 01-16-12 at 03:14 AM.
    01-16-12 03:08 AM
  22. Barredbard's Avatar
    It really amazes me that anyone could think that the launch of the Playbook without OS 2.0 was anything but an epic disaster. I have already given a personal example about how my boss who was buying a tablet for every member of the firm ditched the Playbook for the iPad because it didn't have even the basic apps for productivity. In fact every other lawyer/small business I know has an iPad; I remain a distinct minority. A sizeable swath of the population who might have been sporting a Playbook are now carrying iPads and Galaxy Tabs. That loss can never be recouped. I haven't been able to test the video chat on my Playbook because I am the only one I know who has one.

    Even worse, reviewers spent a whole year destroying the Playbook; it would take some breath-taking propaganda to regain lost ground. See, for example, this scathing review urging people not to buy the Playbook: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/6-reaso...erry-playbook/ Let's not forget that RIM is not exactly flush with cash at this time. A bad reputation, once earned, rarely ever goes away, even if ill-deserved. The only people who could be having this debate are right here on Crackberry. We are the faithful, but average consumers are fickle; they want the best product for their money. RIM desperately needed to counter the perception that it is out of touch as more and more U.S. customers ditch their Blackberry phones for the iPhone and Droids. The Playbook debacle could not have come at a worse time; it convinced people that RIM was truly out of touch. Service carriers like Sprint who planned on supporting a 4G version bolted away. And now that OS 2.0 is almost here, the new generation of tablets are also here, boasting new features that will eclipse that of the Playbook.

    For more, see this link: BlackBerry PlayBook’s Next OS Plays To RIM’s Strengths: Email, Calendar, Productivity | TechCrunch
    Note that at the end, after praising the new features of OS 2.0, the reviewer concludes that: "It doesn’t matter for anyone but PlayBook owners. RIM launched the PlayBook with a gimped feature set. The company launched a product that was not ready and took nearly a year to release the right software. A unified inbox cannot erase a year of negative press." My sentiments, exactly. C'est dommage; the Playbook really should be among the best.
    Last edited by Barredbard; 01-16-12 at 06:19 AM.
    01-16-12 05:40 AM
  23. cgull's Avatar
    I would want to understand RIMs thinking behind the release before answering the question. I suspect there are strategic drivers that are not openly apparent and could be tied to OS10 and future handsets etc.

    I think it is clear that a .5B write down was not forecasted and may have altered their strategy had they known up front. A costly miscalculation, but at least not another Touchpad. If RIM leverages this experience properly it can be valuable going forward.
    Last edited by cgull; 01-16-12 at 06:19 AM.
    01-16-12 06:16 AM
  24. JeepBB's Avatar
    I voted that they should have waited.

    What's that line about only having one chance to make a first impression?

    Well RIM blew it by releasing a half-done PB, and then compounded that by the almost farcical release promises that never came true or were postponed repeatedly (Summer, 60-days, The Fall, Late Fall, February, etc, etc). The damage to RIM's reputation as a company that can deliver has been immense.

    The image of that Peanuts cartoon where Lucy pulls the football away just as Charlie Brown is about to kick, came to mind repeatedly as promised date after promised date passed. Just like Charlie Brown, I couldn't quite believe that they'd do it to me again!

    I was very impressed by the CES preview of OS2, and I look forward to seeing it on my Playbook, but I suspect that the chance to impress anyone who hasn't already bought a Playbook may have passed... though I hope I'm wrong!
    Last edited by JeepBB; 01-16-12 at 09:45 AM.
    01-16-12 07:33 AM
  25. brucep1's Avatar
    Hindsight is 20 20. RIM really backed itself into a corner when it gave the release date of April 2011. They could release it incomplete, or wait almost a full year to release it complete. A no win situation.
    01-16-12 07:37 AM
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