01-08-12 03:01 PM
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  1. gtifreak190's Avatar
    Found this link from UNTETHER.tv. The author used to work for RIM from 2009-2011:

    RIM should “Be Bold” and give away the BlackBerry PlayBook for free | UNTETHER.tv

    __________________________________________________ ______________________
    RIM should “Be Bold” and give away the BlackBerry PlayBook for free
    BY DOUGLAS SOLTYSJANUARY 6, 2012 2 COMMENTS AND 4 REACTIONS





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    As rumours of RIM’s Co-CEOS being replaced as Board of Directors Co-Chairmen heat up, the price of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet has cooled. Until February 4th, consumers can purchase all-three different PlayBook models for $299, which would save them $300 on the 32GB model and $400 on the 64GB model.

    RIM’s apparent strategy is to sell through as much PlayBook inventory as possible in advance of their PlayBook OS 2.0 update and lay the groundwork for BlackBerry 10 (RIM has previously said that apps built for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will also run on BlackBerry 10). But half-measures like modest price cuts won’t help RIM in 2012. They have to follow their own advice and be bold.


    Crunching the numbers

    Let’s run through some numbers quickly to set context. The below numbers reflect the number of BlackBerry PlayBook tablets shipped in 2011*:

    - 150,000 units in fiscal Q3 (PDF)
    - 200,000 units in fiscal Q2 (PDF)
    - 500,000 units in fiscal Q1 (PDF)
    *Remember that shipped does not mean sold, and RIM’s fiscal year is offset from the calendar year.

    That’s less than a million BlackBerry PlayBook tablets shipped in 2011, with diminishing returns each quarter. These results seem more dire when compared to Apple’s most recent financial statement, which shows they sold 11.2 million iPads in Q4. Apple’s strong 2011 holiday sales will likely lead them to surpass that number this quarter.

    But comparing the PlayBook, or any other tablet, to the iPad in this way is unfair. Amazon has been the only company able to make a slight dent in Apple’s market share, by selling a tablet less than half the price of the iPad. More on this in a minute.

    A better company to look to is HP, which had an interesting tablet experience in 2011. After putting a bullet in the head of WebOS, HP placed the poorly performing TouchPad on fire sale, dropping the price of the month-old tablet to $100 (and $150 for the 32 GB model). What happened? HP sold out, quickly. The company never released exact sales numbers, but the best estimates based upon HP’s initial order from its Taiwanese contract manufacturer, Compal, place the total number of TouchPads sold somewhere between 500,000 and one million units.

    So, one million people lined up to purchase a tablet that had been canned after one month of availability, running an OS no longer supported by its manufacturer. At a bargain bin price, HP was able to sell as many or more units of a dead tablet than RIM sold BlackBerry PlayBooks over the course of a year.

    Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they’ll come

    But the BlackBerry PlayBook is not a dead tablet. Ignoring my obvious bias (full disclosure: I worked at RIM from 2009-2011. It was fun.), bloggers and ‘real people‘ like the BlackBerry PlayBook. They’ll like it even more when the PlayBook OS 2.0 software update brings native email, contacts, and calendar functionality in February. And RIM is not abandoning their QNX-based OS; they’re betting the company on BlackBerry 10.

    Let’s go back to Apple and Amazon for a minute. Their success has shown that in the mobile space, ecosystems win. Apple paired the robust iOS development community and their endless number of apps with its dominant walled garden of multimedia services (music, movies, television, e-books, etc.) to transform what would otherwise be a blank slate into the multifunctional iPad. Amazon, which features its own potent multimedia and retail services, completed the ecosystem equation by leveraging the Android development community and (some) of their 400,000 Android apps. Even then, Amazon is selling the Kindle Fire below cost to gain traction, knowing they can make the money back on services revenue.

    Obviously, RIM doesn’t have a combined apps and multimedia services offering to compete with Apple or Amazon for customers’ attention. No company does, not even Google (yet, although it’s certainly trying). And it will be difficult for RIM to get developers or multimedia content providers to sign on without having an installed base big enough to justify the investment. So how do they break through the ecosystem paradox? By incentivizing its growth.

    Be bold!

    With the HP TouchPad, consumers were incentivized to buy a dead product with no future, because $100 is a low risk investment. RIM has a product and an OS platform with the potential for a bright future, but its current price cuts are not going to sell enough units to get them there. They need to go all the way. RIM should give away a 16GB PlayBook with every BlackBerry smartphone purchase. Or sell the 32GB and 64GB models for $100 and $150, respectively, but turn that payment into an automatic credit for a BlackBerry 7 (or BlackBerry 10) smartphone. Or do both.

    Doing so could quickly double, or triple, the amount of people willing to advocate their new 7-inch tablet to friends and family. Rapid growth in the PlayBook installed base could force developers to rethink merely porting their Android apps in favor of getting the jump on native app development for BlackBerry 10. It could also make it easier to get Hulu, Netflix, and every other content provider to commit support. More apps and more popular services means more happy customers. It means an ecosystem.

    At the very least, it would give the company something close to positive momentum. RIM should spare nothing in making consumers an offer they can’t refuse on hardware to ensure the future viability of the BlackBerry 10 platform. Come on, RIM, it’s 2012. Be bold.
    jordandrews90 and powellcrazy like this.
    01-06-12 03:06 PM
  2. TLS2000's Avatar
    I like it!
    01-06-12 06:41 PM
  3. robtanz's Avatar
    I will take 600 at that price.
    bitek likes this.
    01-06-12 07:34 PM
  4. kill_9's Avatar
    Y'all are looking a gift horse in the mouth. The BlackBerry PlayBook is rock solid and with each month the applications are slowly coming on-stream. With the much anticipated February release of BBPB OS 2.0 and hopefully the Native Software Development Kit (NDK/SDK) this much maligned tablet can be the transitional product it was meant to be back in April of 2011.
    01-06-12 07:42 PM
  5. glassofpinot's Avatar
    I can't get too excited about this idea from a business perspective. You get credit for thinking big, but not for math.

    Look at how much fun Barnes & Noble is having with their lack of profit on their "readlet" sales (if you don't know, they are hurting).

    Apple's tablet picks up profit for the carrier from monthly connection fees. Amazon expects a big cash stream from Kindle users. HP - not a path to be followed.
    Where's the math to make this work for RIM? I don't think the returns for RIM are big enough to pay off the gift.
    Besides, free opens the door to anyone - even those who are asleep with no real coimmitment. Even Gillette doesn't give away their razors.
    01-06-12 07:51 PM
  6. jivegirl14's Avatar
    Found this link from UNTETHER.tv. The author used to work for RIM from 2009-2011:

    RIM should “Be Bold” and give away the BlackBerry PlayBook for free | UNTETHER.tv

    __________________________________________________ ______________________
    RIM should “Be Bold” and give away the BlackBerry PlayBook for free
    BY DOUGLAS SOLTYSJANUARY 6, 2012 2 COMMENTS AND 4 REACTIONS


    No, they should not. Makes no business sense, is unnecessary and cheapens the Playbook.
    Pearl9100 likes this.
    01-06-12 08:02 PM
  7. Unsure2's Avatar
    In theory, giving away any product could popularize it, creating future sales. In practice, it just doesn't work. RIM has already lost $500 million or so on the firesale, not counting the sunk R&D. I don't think it can afford to lose much more on the Playbook. Besides, would even popularizing the Playbook create a market in which it could then be sold for more than cost? Unlikely, given the $199 Fire, the $249 Nook and upcoming Google or Apple 7" tablets...
    glassofpinot likes this.
    01-06-12 08:10 PM
  8. jcp007's Avatar
    Don't you just love the entitlement mentality of these 1 percenters that believe that a device that a company invested capital time and energy should not be able to make a profit. Getting something that you didn't earn the money to buy for free is totally ludicrous and will not occupy another moment of my time.
    01-06-12 08:15 PM
  9. blackjack93117's Avatar
    Free means undervalued, unappreciated and entitlement begins - people scream now when an app cost more than 99 cents for Pete's sake.
    01-06-12 08:21 PM
  10. kill_9's Avatar
    In theory, giving away any product could popularize it, creating future sales. In practice, it just doesn't work. RIM has already lost $500 million or so on the firesale, not counting the sunk R&D. I don't think it can afford to lose much more on the Playbook. Besides, would even popularizing the Playbook create a market in which it could then be sold for more than cost? Unlikely, given the $199 Fire, the $249 Nook and upcoming Google or Apple 7" tablets...
    The sunk cost for research and development (R&D) is laying the groundwork for the next generation of smartphone operating system and environment plus the applications. The write-down of approximately CAD/USD 500 million is simply an accounting mechanism which probably improves the overall tax liability of Research In Motion. The real issue has always been the April 2011 pricing scheme for this tablet. Arguably the WiFi versions should have been priced at CAD/USD 199.00 (16GB), 299.00 (32GB), and 399.00 (64GB) whereas the recently announced 4G/LTE versions could sustain prices of CAD/USD 299.00 (16GB), 399.00 (32GB), and 499.00 (64GB) especially if they included a combination SIM/microSD slot. The R&D costs of the current tablet should have been amortized over the WiFi tablet, 4G/LTE tablet, and BBiX smartphones which would make sense both from an accounting perspective and to demonstrate their long-term commitment to QNX and what will become BBiX. Reseacrh In Motion found the sweet spot in terms of form factor in the decision to release a 7-inch tablet.
    01-06-12 10:28 PM
  11. jivegirl14's Avatar
    Don't you just love the entitlement mentality of these 1 percenters that believe that a device that a company invested capital time and energy should not be able to make a profit. Getting something that you didn't earn the money to buy for free is totally ludicrous and will not occupy another moment of my time.
    Double like!
    01-06-12 10:35 PM
  12. kevinnugent's Avatar
    Vodafone here had a program to bundle a free Playbook with the 9780 to deplete the Bold stock. Seemed to work ok.
    01-06-12 10:50 PM
  13. Pearl9100's Avatar
    No, they should not. Makes no business sense, is unnecessary and cheapens the Playbook.
    I agree with this. It would make no sense if rim just started to just give pb to every joe smoe out there.

    What would maybe make sense is giving a few pb to it departments, hospitals, law firms, and etc in order to further crack the enterprise market. That is one of the few scenarios that would make business sense and because these companies would try the product and potentially buy pb's by the truck loads if they like them.

    This is how it works in the IT world.
    Last edited by Pearl9100; 01-07-12 at 12:37 AM.
    01-07-12 12:33 AM
  14. raysivley's Avatar
    we are not asking the right question here. the correct question is this: What do Apple and Android do well that Blackberry does not do well? The answer is marketing. Blackberry has a horrible marketing team. Where is the ad that shows President Obama with his Blackberry and asks the consumer this question: Blackberry is the choice of the President, why isnt it yours? I would run that ad until he is no longer President and carpetbomb the top 75 us markets with that ad.
    malep likes this.
    01-07-12 06:33 AM
  15. alnamvet68's Avatar
    Don't you just love the entitlement mentality of these 1 percenters that believe that a device that a company invested capital time and energy should not be able to make a profit. Getting something that you didn't earn the money to buy for free is totally ludicrous and will not occupy another moment of my time.
    Yeppers....I spend a lifetime busting my azz working hard, making sacrifices, and saving my money, and as a result, I have to spend a small fortune trying to keep most of what I have earned and acquired, and then some nutjob "occupiers", Generation OE as I call them, who have racked up high debt studying environmental justice or whatever, can't or won't get a job, and perhaps never will, and want me to pay more of what they call my "fair share," which is really code for what they think they're entitled to. Now they want free Playbooks??? This is definitely "No Country for Old Men."
    scott.slater likes this.
    01-07-12 06:48 AM
  16. Branta's Avatar
    Vodafone here had a program to bundle a free Playbook with the 9780 to deplete the Bold stock. Seemed to work ok.
    There is a huge difference between a marketing propmotion by a reseller OR blatant and anti-competitive action by a manufacturer.

    A "foreign" (Canadian) manufacturer supplying below cost into US markets would risk action by a US competitor to file a complaint with FTC, and the imposition of anti-dumping penalties. That would probably be fatal for a struggling product, and potentially for the manufacturer.
    VerryBestr likes this.
    01-07-12 09:17 AM
  17. zolt11's Avatar
    Maybe some sort of promotion like for every blackberry bb7 phone bought you get 150 gift card (in box) redeemable only by purchaser with receipt towards shop blackberry PB purchase. That way you make 2 years worth of bb phone services ($$) and put more playbooks in peoples hand who want like BB!. Again not giving away just ensuring people will have both devices in there hand? Only for New BB customers who sign 2 year contracts.
    01-07-12 09:50 AM
  18. Altarocks's Avatar
    I dunno, that business model worked for this bank:

    Saturday Night Live: First CityWide Change Bank 2 - Bing Videos

    Have to post a link - there is no YouTube link I can embed.
    01-07-12 10:11 AM
  19. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    we are not asking the right question here. the correct question is this: What do Apple and Android do well that Blackberry does not do well? The answer is marketing. Blackberry has a horrible marketing team. Where is the ad that shows President Obama with his Blackberry and asks the consumer this question: Blackberry is the choice of the President, why isnt it yours? I would run that ad until he is no longer President and carpetbomb the top 75 us markets with that ad.
    That type of ad would drive me far away from Blackberry.
    01-07-12 12:44 PM
  20. blackjack93117's Avatar
    Giving it away for free would only re-enforce the notion that free is all that it is worth.
    The so called "fire sales" did enough of that. - Devaluation.
    01-07-12 01:08 PM
  21. mjs416's Avatar
    Isn't Android activating tens of thousand of phones a day? Yet the author is saying they can't compete with Apple? Some of these tech bloggers are real jeopardy contestants.
    01-07-12 01:17 PM
  22. bitek's Avatar
    i am sure that pb inventory is pretty much depleted by now without giving it away for free. pb screams quality. shame rim screwed up initial launch. rim really needed to get some version of contacts and email client plus few notable developers on the wagon and more reasonable pricing. PB would be in different place by now. Still i think upcoming numbers of sold pb will be respectable.
    01-07-12 01:20 PM
  23. howarmat's Avatar
    Isn't Android activating tens of thousand of phones a day? Yet the author is saying they can't compete with Apple? Some of these tech bloggers are real jeopardy contestants.
    700k a day now i think
    01-07-12 05:02 PM
  24. glassofpinot's Avatar
    we are not asking the right question here. the correct question is this: What do Apple and Android do well that Blackberry does not do well? The answer is marketing. ...
    I agree with raysively, just had to take out the Obama part - it would never be allowed.

    Life and business are not video games. Marketing is more than just a giveaway.
    RIM needs great marketing - which would be a great combination with its great Playbook product.

    You really can't market junk to be a great success (pet rocks excepted), but you can...
    --hide a great product behind poor marketing
    --win big with great marketing of a great product

    RIM - pls get it together on the latter.
    01-07-12 09:57 PM
  25. Megacharge's Avatar
    Doing so could quickly double, or triple, the amount of people willing to advocate their new 7-inch tablet to friends and family. Rapid growth in the PlayBook installed base could force developers to rethink merely porting their Android apps in favor of getting the jump on native app development for BlackBerry 10.

    At the very least, it would give the company something close to positive momentum.
    Honestly, at the prices they are selling for right now, this is already happening.

    These suggestions are unnecessary.
    glassofpinot likes this.
    01-07-12 10:32 PM
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