12-10-11 10:00 AM
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  1. cfarm3's Avatar
    Failure to acknowledge the PlayBook as not only a total and absolute failure by every objective measure, as perhaps the final major blunder in a nearly unbroken line of stupifying missteps that takes down the remaining shadow of RIM's former dominance in the "Smartpager/pre-Smartphone" era and certainly a master class case study in what not to do at every turn, doesn't cause the product to be a success.
    If I only had a nickel for every armchair CEO who predicted the demise of tech companies in the manner you just did.

    Apple had a few when the iPod and iPhones launched...............check that, Apple had a TON.

    How did all those predictions fare, btw?
    12-08-11 09:03 AM
  2. brucep1's Avatar
    If I only had a nickel for every armchair CEO who predicted the demise of tech companies in the manner you just did.

    Apple had a few when the iPod and iPhones launched...............check that, Apple had a TON.

    How did all those predictions fare, btw?
    Good. Another "Since Apple did it, RIM will do it" post...
    12-08-11 09:21 AM
  3. eric89074's Avatar
    Overall the PB is a failure. BB had to have a fire sale just to move some. Now that they're back to the regular price they're collecting dust again. BB will probably drop the price back to $199.00 soon enough once they accept there is a tiny market for $499.00 tablets if your product isn't an iPad.

    I think BB is going to exit the tablet market after they liquidate all the current PBs they have. The PB2 won't be able to compete in price with the Kindle Fire and they don't have a market like Amazon does to make up for selling the hardware at a loss. BB would have to cut corners everywhere with the PB2 for it to be competitive in price.
    12-08-11 09:37 AM
  4. bitek's Avatar
    They priced it at cost. It didn't sell until it was well-below cost. The Suzuki is not a great car. At 40% of MSRP, $10k below cost, you can sell all you can make.



    1, an assumption, and 2, grownups consider anything that loses $1.5bn while only gaining a sliver of market share to be a failure. Not much to discuss there.



    Thus all the killer apps.



    Ah, and with that most-popular of RIM slippery ship dates. "Soon". Expect the new OS "soon".

    I get it , you are in IT, and you like handing someone a blackberry and seeing that horrified look in an top executive's eyes when you say "This is what you will use. Deal with it." then marching off smugly to read a FIPS whitepaper. Is that sustainable? Can RIM maintain a business on that emotion?

    December 15, 5pm, have the popcorn ready. The two co-CEOs should have some news for us.
    I guess your definition of failure and my definition of failure are just different.

    To me Playbook would be a failure if RIM took 1.5bil loss and than exit tablet market completely like HP. Right now 1.5bil is not "loss" but investment in my opinion. I think RIM is firmly behind the product and it will work out for them.

    Playbook in many ways is work in progress but Rim has done everything to make it work. Where Ipad shine and Playbook lacks are apps. Once OS2 is released and Android apps will have good support I think Rim has clear winner despite very slow start.

    I would like to give you another example to prove that you are wrong about Playbook.
    PS3 vs XBOX. This is similar situation in many ways to Playbook Vs. Ipad.

    PS3 was not selling at all at $800. Sony had overpriced PS3. Xbox was clearly selling better then superior PS3 even though PS3 has way better hardware. Sony cut the prices of PS3, worked hard on software and as of now PS3 has outsold X360 world wide. In addition Sony makes money on PS3 at this time.

    Finally I honestly think that only in the US consumers are willing to pay premium for Apple products. Do not take me wrong. I do not deny that lots of thins that are happening now are thanks to Apple. Apple is leader in innovation in many ways but i still do not support nor i will buy Apple products because i think Apple is not pro consumer.

    Tethering issue is the best example of that. With my Playbook i can tether any time with my BB. With Ipad i cannot tether and in fact i have to buy extra data plan for $30 plus $100 more expensive version of Ipad. Sorry but to me this is one big rip off. No wonder that Apple has that kind of money but what is beyond me is that Apple can still find suckers which support this anti consumer practice.

    Another example is flash. Apple does not want to support flash because it does not want to pay royalties to Adobe. Period

    Lastly is the issue of patents. Apple use patent law to prevent completely others from using the technology. Others use patent to collect royalties for use of their patents. Again Apple is anti consumer in my mind and just for this i will not support apple. [ just to make it clear i do own ipod ]
    Last edited by bitek; 12-08-11 at 09:56 AM.
    12-08-11 09:53 AM
  5. cfarm3's Avatar

    Tethering issue is the best example of that. With my Playbook i can tether any time with my BB. With Ipad i cannot tether and in fact i have to buy extra data plan for $30 plus $100 more expensive version of Ipad. Sorry but to me this is one big rip off. No wonder that Apple has that kind of money but what is beyond me is that Apple can still find suckers which support this anti consumer practice.
    Agreed.

    Here's an article which explains why that matters. The carriers are going to kill the potential of tablets across the board if they don't change their business models.

    Android tablets: Death by data plan | ZDNet
    12-08-11 09:56 AM
  6. cfarm3's Avatar
    Good. Another "Since Apple did it, RIM will do it" post...
    That wasn't my suggestion at all. You misread.
    12-08-11 09:57 AM
  7. brucep1's Avatar
    If I only had a nickel for every armchair CEO who predicted the demise of tech companies in the manner you just did.

    Apple had a few when the iPod and iPhones launched...............check that, Apple had a TON.

    How did all those predictions fare, btw?

    That wasn't my suggestion at all. You misread.
    It looks like you are saying that critics were down on Apple and they released an iphone and ipod to great success.. You are saying these critics were wrong.

    Now you are implying that "armchair CEO"s are predicting the demise of another tech company, RIM. And you are implying that critics can be wrong again. Which takes me back to my response...
    Good. Another "Since Apple did it, RIM will do it" post...
    12-08-11 10:11 AM
  8. lawguyman's Avatar
    Actually, the recent sale prices had the PB priced above cost. Margin was slim to be sure but they flew off the shelves at that price.
    False! False! False!

    RIM took a .5 billion dollar charge against inventory but was selling them above cost?

    Where do you get this stuff?
    12-08-11 10:14 AM
  9. dandbj13's Avatar
    Are we actually debating whether the PB was a failure? Are people, here, really arguing the the PB was/is a success for RIM? Over at Precentral, people are still arguing the success of the TP. In this alternate universe where both of these products are successes, there is a fierce battle to see which will take the crown.

    The only way to define this product as a success for RIM is to define success in a way no other company wants to have. I'm pretty sure RIM was hoping for a different kind of success. More success like this will see the end of RIM by Summer.
    12-08-11 10:20 AM
  10. cfarm3's Avatar
    It looks like you are saying that critics were down on Apple and they released an iphone and ipod to great success.. You are saying these critics were wrong.

    Now you are implying that "armchair CEO"s are predicting the demise of another tech company, RIM. And you are implying that critics can be wrong again. Which takes me back to my response...
    Then perhaps it is me misunderstanding your post.

    I think predictions of future success or failure at this point in this space aren't worth the cost of the bandwidth that was used to post them. It's a very dynamic market, one dominated by Apple at the moment, but one with a lot of very smart people trying to re-slice that pie.

    RIM has some challenges, no doubt. But people insisting they are exiting the tablet market when comments less than 2 weeks old say otherwise and then there are those that insist they'll be out of business in 2012.

    It reaches a point of being absurd quickly.
    kbz1960 likes this.
    12-08-11 10:20 AM
  11. anon(757282)'s Avatar
    False! False! False!

    RIM took a .5 billion dollar charge against inventory but was selling them above cost?

    Where do you get this stuff?
    You misunderstand what the "charge" means. RIM did not lose money on the PlayBooks. Rather, the charge is the difference between what RIM showed on their books as the claimed total value of the completed PlayBooks (assuming they would sell at prices up to $799) versus the revised total value of the completed PlayBooks based on the revised selling prices (about $300 less per unit). They still are making profits on the PlayBook, just not as high profits as they originally projected. So their revenue projections on Playbook were lowered....by about $485M (before taxes.)

    Again, they are not losing money...they are simply acknowledging that they do not expect to make as much money as originally planned, and took a charge against earnings to reflect this revised forecast. It's done all the time through the business world.
    jedibeeftrix likes this.
    12-08-11 10:25 AM
  12. brucep1's Avatar
    You misunderstand what the "charge" means. RIM did not lose money on the PlayBooks. Rather, the charge is the difference between what RIM showed on their books as the claimed total value of the completed PlayBooks (assuming they would sell at prices up to $799) versus the revised total value of the completed PlayBooks based on the revised selling prices (about $300 less per unit). They still are making profits on the PlayBook, just not as high profits as they originally projected. So their revenue projections on Playbook were lowered....by about $485M (before taxes.)

    Again, they are not losing money...they are simply acknowledging that they do not expect to make as much money as originally planned, and took a charge against earnings to reflect this revised forecast. It's done all the time through the business world.
    If they are not losing money on the PlayBook, that means it is profitable. Sorry, there is no way that the PlayBook is profitable.
    OMGitworks likes this.
    12-08-11 10:32 AM
  13. jedibeeftrix's Avatar
    You misunderstand what the "charge" means. RIM did not lose money on the PlayBooks. Rather, the charge is the difference between what RIM showed on their books as the claimed total value of the completed PlayBooks (assuming they would sell at prices up to $799) versus the revised total value of the completed PlayBooks based on the revised selling prices (about $300 less per unit). They still are making profits on the PlayBook, just not as high profits as they originally projected. So their revenue projections on Playbook were lowered....by about $485M (before taxes.)

    Again, they are not losing money...they are simply acknowledging that they do not expect to make as much money as originally planned, and took a charge against earnings to reflect this revised forecast. It's done all the time through the business world.
    that was my reading of the event.
    12-08-11 10:34 AM
  14. OMGitworks's Avatar
    If they are not losing money on the PlayBook, that means it is profitable. Sorry, there is no way that the PlayBook is profitable.
    When you sell something for less than it cost to make, it is usually called a loss.
    12-08-11 10:43 AM
  15. Theiceman01's Avatar
    Hey Guys Im kind of a newbie here but live right by the world headquarters for RIM and it is big news in this town so i would like to add a couple of cents.

    Whether the playbook device itself is profitable or not may not be as big of an issue as it would first apear . The playbook is merely the pump. the oil is the apps . I work in the residual business im medical diagnostics and belive me we take a loss on just about every piece of hardware we sell .. just like RIM and apple .. we make money using the reoccuring revenue model.
    I dont se RIM as being that much different. Even at a loss you have to get your device out there so people can buy your apps .. no pumps and your doomed. Sure any forecast includes hardware and residuals and they did take a hit on the hardware. Thre is no doubt RIM is struggling as we all know , many of my friends and neighbours have been layed off by RIM so this i know of what i speak.

    They are now it would apear when it comes to the playbook in " concerned mode" not quite panic but concerned. They know they have to get their pump out on the market in the red hot tablet market so they slash the price to get it out there and take up what is left of the buyers that are on the fence where price point is an issue.
    Behind the scenes I am sure the Hardware team at RIM is saying ,, we are done ,, we delivered to you a solid device ( which they certainly did ) . The pressure is now huge on the software development team to make it more functional, user friendly and generally likeable.
    There also also huge pressure on the apps development team to port over apps that are useable and work with third party app development groups to import there stuff and make it work.

    Above all the marketing team has to take a long hard look at their marketing aproach and decide how long can they resist android apps like google and how mush customer disatisfaction are they willing to bear before they knuckle under if they havent already . the fact you have to have a BB to connect to 3G really backfired and cut them out of a lot of the market. it was a marketing gamble during the design phase. Lets see how that works out for them in the end.

    Overall i think the product will be fine if they can move fast to fix some of the shortcomings . being an early adopter can be painfull at times .. but lets face it . it is really shiny

    all the best

    ice
    12-08-11 11:02 AM
  16. loneweasel's Avatar
    Amazon is selling the Fire at below cost, while
    1) it has a lot less components than the PB
    2) it probably gets a lot higher volume discounts on components and manufacturing
    3) it is actually made in the same factory as the PB

    It's crazy talk to say that RIM is not losing BIG money selling the PB at the same price point.
    Last edited by loneweasel; 12-08-11 at 11:07 AM.
    12-08-11 11:03 AM
  17. Economist101's Avatar
    You misunderstand what the "charge" means. RIM did not lose money on the PlayBooks. Rather, the charge is the difference between what RIM showed on their books as the claimed total value of the completed PlayBooks (assuming they would sell at prices up to $799) versus the revised total value of the completed PlayBooks based on the revised selling prices (about $300 less per unit).
    For this to be true, RIM had to have a $300+ average margin built into a product that retailed for as little as $500. This seems unlikely.

    Also, if you believe the above comment, RIM foolishly stuck to this huge margin even as customers ignored the product and bad press piled up. Also unlikely.

    Again, they are not losing money...they are simply acknowledging that they do not expect to make as much money as originally planned, and took a charge against earnings to reflect this revised forecast. It's done all the time through the business world.
    RIM is a company with several product lines. All of them have healthy margins, except the PlayBook. All of them have tens of millions of users, except the PlayBook. All of them make significant contributions to RIM's bottom line, except the PlayBook, and RIM has never EVER posted a $485 million downward adjustment on any hardware product, except the PlayBook. As a tool for end-users and as a proof of concept, the PlayBook is a fine product. But financially it's a grease fire that is extremely difficult to justify.
    Last edited by Economist101; 12-08-11 at 11:27 AM. Reason: Clarity
    12-08-11 11:12 AM
  18. howarmat's Avatar
    Hey Guys Im kind of a newbie here but live right by the world headquarters for RIM and it is big news in this town so i would like to add a couple of cents.

    Whether the playbook device itself is profitable or not may not be as big of an issue as it would first apear . The playbook is merely the pump. the oil is the apps . I work in the residual business im medical diagnostics and belive me we take a loss on just about every piece of hardware we sell .. just like RIM and apple .. we make money using the reoccuring revenue model.
    I dont se RIM as being that much different. Even at a loss you have to get your device out there so people can buy your apps .. no pumps and your doomed. Sure any forecast includes hardware and residuals and they did take a hit on the hardware. Thre is no doubt RIM is struggling as we all know , many of my friends and neighbours have been layed off by RIM so this i know of what i speak.

    They are now it would apear when it comes to the playbook in " concerned mode" not quite panic but concerned. They know they have to get their pump out on the market in the red hot tablet market so they slash the price to get it out there and take up what is left of the buyers that are on the fence where price point is an issue.
    Behind the scenes I am sure the Hardware team at RIM is saying ,, we are done ,, we delivered to you a solid device ( which they certainly did ) . The pressure is now huge on the software development team to make it more functional, user friendly and generally likeable.
    There also also huge pressure on the apps development team to port over apps that are useable and work with third party app development groups to import there stuff and make it work.

    Above all the marketing team has to take a long hard look at their marketing aproach and decide how long can they resist android apps like google and how mush customer disatisfaction are they willing to bear before they knuckle under if they havent already . the fact you have to have a BB to connect to 3G really backfired and cut them out of a lot of the market. it was a marketing gamble during the design phase. Lets see how that works out for them in the end.

    Overall i think the product will be fine if they can move fast to fix some of the shortcomings . being an early adopter can be painfull at times .. but lets face it . it is really shiny

    all the best

    ice
    pretty sure apple makes a "decent" amount of money on hardware sales
    12-08-11 11:23 AM
  19. zank's Avatar
    Look at the kindle fire to compare if RIM is making or losing money. Based on a bunch of teardowns, its shown that the kindle fire is costing approx $203 to make. Now compare the fire to the PB - the PB has better cameras, mic, internal component differences, and better built, and also deosn't have the volume advantage the kindle fire did. Also the 203$ is for 8 gb, not the 16gb of the PB's. Now do you still think RIM's isn't losing money on the PB?

    You misunderstand what the "charge" means. RIM did not lose money on the PlayBooks. Rather, the charge is the difference between what RIM showed on their books as the claimed total value of the completed PlayBooks (assuming they would sell at prices up to $799) versus the revised total value of the completed PlayBooks based on the revised selling prices (about $300 less per unit). They still are making profits on the PlayBook, just not as high profits as they originally projected. So their revenue projections on Playbook were lowered....by about $485M (before taxes.)

    Again, they are not losing money...they are simply acknowledging that they do not expect to make as much money as originally planned, and took a charge against earnings to reflect this revised forecast. It's done all the time through the business world.
    12-08-11 11:27 AM
  20. howarmat's Avatar
    they are making money on the 32/64 gb versions and losing money on the more popular 16gb version. How much...not a soul can say probably right now.

    /thread
    12-08-11 11:33 AM
  21. cfarm3's Avatar
    False! False! False!

    RIM took a .5 billion dollar charge against inventory but was selling them above cost?

    Where do you get this stuff?
    See if this helps you understand what an inventory write-down charge means:

    inventory write-down - Financial Definition
    12-08-11 12:05 PM
  22. OMGitworks's Avatar
    See if this helps you understand what an inventory write-down charge means:

    inventory write-down - Financial Definition
    What is your point? I think we would all agree that for every PB that got sold at $199 they lost money. The magnitude of that actual (cash) loss is unknown. As an accounting entry and adjustment on their books it was massive.
    12-08-11 12:35 PM
  23. cfarm3's Avatar
    What is your point? I think we would all agree that for every PB that got sold at $199 they lost money. The magnitude of that actual (cash) loss is unknown. As an accounting entry and adjustment on their books it was massive.
    To simply encourage folks to use accurate statements. If you choose to focus on only one product(ie. the 16GB) and make blanket statements, that's your prerogative. But it's not the full picture.
    12-08-11 12:46 PM
  24. loneweasel's Avatar
    To simply encourage folks to use accurate statements. If you choose to focus on only one product(ie. the 16GB) and make blanket statements, that's your prerogative. But it's not the full picture.
    Nobody outside of RIM's management has the "full picture" so stop lecturing others. Is there any evidence at all that RIM is making money from the other two models?
    12-08-11 01:12 PM
  25. OMGitworks's Avatar
    To simply encourage folks to use accurate statements. If you choose to focus on only one product(ie. the 16GB) and make blanket statements, that's your prerogative. But it's not the full picture.
    Fair enough. While only RIM knows (and maybe they don't) I think it is pretty clear that if you figured in the true costs, "full picture" of the PB (R&D, marketing, overhead, distribution, employee costs, you name it) and not just component cost, every version of the PB has lost money and the project as a whole has been a money loser. Up until the rooting of the PB, I could stomach that the full picture costs would be eventually offset by RIM's advancement of the OS in preparation for deployment on the new phones, but I really wonder about that now. Everybody is just guessing at the true numbers, so take it for what it is worth....
    12-08-11 01:17 PM
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