02-28-12 12:37 AM
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  1. cfoxx's Avatar
    Something doesn't make sense to me. RIM is giving free PlayBooks to developers in an attempt to lure them to the platform. Let's guess modestly that since launch they've given away 2000 PlayBooks to lure developers to join the platform and make rubbish fart apps for AppWorld. That's $80,000 worth of PlayBooks given away.

    I can't help but think it would have been more commercially successful to divide that money between four of the big apps and get them on board quickly. Give $20,000 each to Skype, Netflix, Twitter and Amazon Kindle and say "we'll give you $20,000 cash to make an app for our platform".

    The problem with RIM was never that they "don't have enough apps", it's that they don't have enough GOOD apps, or, more specifically, the most important apps that they consumers want and expect.

    Surely the thing stopping Skype etc making an app for the PlayBook is the cost of developing for a niche platform, but if RIM was footing this bill, the problem would be solved - plus Skype, Netflix and Amazon would all additionally make profit from customers using paid features in their PlayBook apps.

    So why hasn't RIM done something like this yet? These big names need to be on BB10.
    Mystic205, jgrobertson and MTL like this.
    02-24-12 10:59 AM
  2. Zandengoff's Avatar
    Hate to tell you, but app development, testing, contracts, lawyers, and support are going to cost quite a bit more than $20,000, try something more on the scale of $200,000 or more.

    Now that being said, they do still have millions in unmoved inventory so they should probably cough up the check anyway.
    02-24-12 11:02 AM
  3. Sith_Apprentice's Avatar
    2000 playbooks != $80,000. Remember, RIM took the write-down on the playbook inventory. They have already charged it off. So for them to get 2000 playbook apps for something that is essentially, at this point, costing them nil is a good investment. Quality of apps is important, but the general consumer also wants to hear about the NUMBER of apps (thank you Android and iOS for that).
    02-24-12 11:04 AM
  4. kbz1960's Avatar
    Funny when you hear some devs saying how easy it is to port their apps and how nice the tools are. I'm sure those apps may be more complicated than the ones everyone and their brother are taking the apk and converting them to bar in like no time but I'm not sure how much work it is for them to port either. I'm not sure how much support for 1 additional OS would cost them either. Myself I get most of my support right here.
    mud314 likes this.
    02-24-12 11:13 AM
  5. Mystic205's Avatar
    IIRC i think once you have charged down an inventory you cannot sell or giveaway without reversing the charge on those devices.. so 2000 = $1M (at the time) so surely enough to get 2-5 good apps done..

    2000 playbooks != $80,000. Remember, RIM took the write-down on the playbook inventory. They have already charged it off. So for them to get 2000 playbook apps for something that is essentially, at this point, costing them nil is a good investment. Quality of apps is important, but the general consumer also wants to hear about the NUMBER of apps (thank you Android and iOS for that).
    jgrobertson likes this.
    02-24-12 11:35 AM
  6. offthahorseceo's Avatar
    Well, iirc skype was on the iphone OS and Android OS before MS bought Skype. So they probably didnt want to anyone off by pulling the apps. However, now that MS owns the company and has tablets in the pipeline, im sure they want to hold on to such a popular product. so theres that

    Same goes for kindle, they had apps out before they had an actual tablet with functions other than reading available
    jgrobertson and Thunderbuck like this.
    02-24-12 11:38 AM
  7. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
    Crackberry Kevin weighed in on this a few days back with regards to app ransoms. He thought it could get into the millions.

    That is a lot of change.
    02-24-12 11:38 AM
  8. jonty12's Avatar
    Crackberry Kevin weighed in on this a few days back with regards to app ransoms. He thought it could get into the millions.

    That is a lot of change.
    That isn't a lot of change when you've got $1.5B in the bank and you're still very profitable.

    If I have $1500 in my pocket, and I have a major problem that I can get rid of by spending $15, would I do it?! Damn right I would. That's the perspective we, and RIM, should be looking from now.

    I've said this before, and I'll say it again - they're getting crushed by the general public and tech blogs because if a lack of three things:

    1. Skype
    2. Netflix
    3. Kindle (and maybe Hulu)

    RIM has $1.5B, (yes, with a B) in the bank and is still making a massive amount of profit.

    Instead of spending what I'll gurantee are $millions on ineffective TV commercials (they're being lampooned online), spend that money paying MS, NetFlix, Amazon, and Hulu to make apps and make this PR nightmare go away.

    Pay them each $5M. Pay MS $10M. Get it done. Short term pain, and really, not that painful, for massive long-term gain. It really, really is a no-brainer.

    The only explanation, other than pure incompetence in management, that this hasn't happened may be that the companies in question won't accept the money or deal. Seems really foolish though if that's the case.
    02-24-12 11:47 AM
  9. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
    That isn't a lot of change when you've got $1.5B in the bank and you're still very profitable.

    If I have $1500 in my pocket, and I have a major problem that I can get rid of by spending $15, would I do it?! Damn right I would. That's the perspective we, and RIM, should be looking from now.

    I've said this before, and I'll say it again - they're getting crushed by the general public and tech blogs because if a lack of three things:

    1. Skype
    2. Netflix
    3. Kindle (and maybe Hulu)

    RIM has $1.5B, (yes, with a B) in the bank and is still making a massive amount of profit.

    Instead of spending what I'll gurantee are $millions on ineffective TV commercials (they're being lampooned online), spend that money paying MS, NetFlix, Amazon, and Hulu to make apps and make this PR nightmare go away.

    Pay them each $5M. Pay MS $10M. Get it done. Short term pain, and really, not that painful, for massive long-term gain. It really, really is a no-brainer.

    The only explanation, other than pure incompetence in management, that this hasn't happened may be that the companies in question won't accept the money or deal. Seems really foolish though if that's the case.
    I actually agree that it makes sense for them to invest in these partnerships. However, I suspect that RIM might think that at this point, there won't be much ROI. Skype, Hulu and Netflix would have been great at launch; now, will they help move units?

    Would they have to drop this again for BB10?

    With a board that has seen that cash dwindle (relatively), they might be hesitant.

    Me? I'd pay the bounties.
    02-24-12 11:54 AM
  10. jgrobertson's Avatar
    When the PB first came out RIM was still looking good to the public and investors. At that time it would have been easier to get key applications programmed. I wonder if the management even tried. They were/are a very arrogant bunch. The stockholders and loyal customers are now paying the price for that. It is not clear that the board is taking necessary action to correct the situation. They may have missed the window of opportunity and need to focus on a smaller and more specialized market.
    02-24-12 12:03 PM
  11. jonty12's Avatar
    I actually agree that it makes sense for them to invest in these partnerships. However, I suspect that RIM might think that at this point, there won't be much ROI. Skype, Hulu and Netflix would have been great at launch; now, will they help move units?

    Would they have to drop this again for BB10?

    With a board that has seen that cash dwindle (relatively), they might be hesitant.

    Me? I'd pay the bounties.
    The point of doing it now, for the PlayBook is that BB10 would be supported. I'm not suggesting paying for OS7 development, but PB/BB10 development.

    It would move units. No doubt about it. I personally know four people who didn't get it because of Skype. I know of one other who got rid of theirs because of Skype. Every review makes sure to point out that you can't get apps like Skype and Netflix. The first question anyone asks me after I show them everything it does is, "Does it have Skype?"

    Until they can say yes, they have the top five apps, or eight of the top 10, or some substantial number of popular apps, including, most importantly, the big three they will suffer in the press, blogs, and public.

    Conservatively, it would pay for itself in two quarters.
    kbz1960 likes this.
    02-24-12 12:05 PM
  12. offthahorseceo's Avatar
    Just because thats what you hear on these forums (people asking for these apps) doesnt mean thats what is stopping units from moving. The public seems to have a general dislike for RIM right now. Its completely unjustified. I sell phones for a living. You'd be surprised how many people come in and say "naw man i dont like blackberries." by this time ive made the customer comfortable so i ask "really why not?" they usually cant give me a reason other than "i just dont like them". sometimes theyll say "they dont do the things i want them to do." again, ive already assessed the customers needs and most of the people who say this have already told me they "only use their phones to talk text and email" so i come right back at them with "like what? you JUST said you only talk text and email, the blackberries are email kings and have award winning keyboards so texting is a breeze on them." at this time those customers revert to "i just dont like them".

    of course evryone is entitled to an opinion, and like i said, im not giving the customer the 3rd degree, its all usually in a casual tone. however its obvious disliking blackberry is like the thing to do nowadays. Its not for any reason in particular, mostly misinformation and misconceptions but it is what it is. A skype, netflix or twitter app will not change that.

    On the flip side of the coin, i had a customer come in yesterday and ask about "i4Gx". Now obviously this person just wanted a name, so after making the customer comfortable of course, i asked why they wanted an iphone, i didnt DOWNPLAY the iphone, i just asked why? The customer automatically took a defensive tone as if i was trying to sell them something else, and said, "Well nothing else will suit my needs, nothing else has the same features the iphone has that i will be using". I lul'd in my head and casually asked "Can you give me some examples of those features or functions?" the customer went red in the face and had an embarrassed look, "well uhh, umm an ipod for one, ummm no i cant think of any of them in particular at the moment" an ipod? seriously? an mp3 player that you can sync to itunes?

    The current common misconception is that the iphone does EVERYTHING. If you can think of it, it can do it. Nothing else can...

    So once again, a heavy outpour of money on a couple of popular apps will not magically change customers and bloggers perception of Blackberry. They have to market heavily in general. Change the perception, the toys vs tools commercials are good but some customers want toys as well, show the fun side. Make them seem like they can do everything. Promise AND deliver. At that point the apps will come to you, not the other way around
    KMB4, Hawkeberry and ubermanx like this.
    02-24-12 12:17 PM
  13. offthahorseceo's Avatar
    also, i dont understand how these are the top 3

    skype? i never use it, my gf has a playbook and we're both almost always around wifi, and we never use video chat.

    when we had android tablets, we downloaded skype and oovoo, used them once each, never again.

    netflix? i HATE streaming, with a passion. id much rather download first, and be able to watch it without risking the quality changing, or the sound going out of sync or the video stream stoppin

    twitter? we have blaq for that, we have phones for that, we have the web browser for that.
    knightfall likes this.
    02-24-12 12:21 PM
  14. lexsteryo's Avatar
    I don't know the thought RIM has however maybe the reason no Skype is because of video chat. Perhaps RIM is banking on the idea of video chat becoming an BBM type feature for BB10. AS far as netflix goes it would be a great feature but not necessarily a top reason to purchase a playbook. I know a few people with different tablets and most don't use netflix at all or recently canceled account. I would rather them get an itunes type store or amazon store vs spending cash on netflix and Skype. Just my thoughts and needs. Some may really want and need Skype and netflix but I'm guessing most don't need them.
    fanatical likes this.
    02-24-12 12:54 PM
  15. Mystic205's Avatar
    think outside of suburbia

    everywhere in the world international roaming is exhorbitantly priced and everywhere else in the world except here cell minutes are expensive

    there are many people, and businesses in the world (millions) who use skype as their primary communication due to this.. and is some areas they have no landlines and skype doesnt work on BB's period..

    in my case skype on the ipad has saved me over $1500 in roaming charges...not shabby.

    also, i dont understand how these are the top 3

    skype? i never use it, my gf has a playbook and we're both almost always around wifi, and we never use video chat.

    when we had android tablets, we downloaded skype and oovoo, used them once each, never again.

    netflix? i HATE streaming, with a passion. id much rather download first, and be able to watch it without risking the quality changing, or the sound going out of sync or the video stream stoppin

    twitter? we have blaq for that, we have phones for that, we have the web browser for that.
    leely1 likes this.
    02-24-12 12:55 PM
  16. kbz1960's Avatar
    I don't know the thought RIM has however maybe the reason no Skype is because of video chat. Perhaps RIM is banking on the idea of video chat becoming an BBM type feature for BB10. AS far as netflix goes it would be a great feature but not necessarily a top reason to purchase a playbook. I know a few people with different tablets and most don't use netflix at all or recently canceled account. I would rather them get an itunes type store or amazon store vs spending cash on netflix and Skype. Just my thoughts and needs. Some may really want and need Skype and netflix but I'm guessing most don't need them.
    While I don't use Skype and never have. A video chat that is limited to owning a certain device sucks. Just like I don't use bbm because no one I know owns a bb, same for imessage. I don't own any idevices and sure as heck am not buying one just for that because that is what my friends use.

    So while RIM's video chat may be great it can still suck because there are people you want to chat with but don't own any rim products. Facetime sucks too because if you don't have an iphone you don't have an iphone or inthis case video chat.
    Last edited by kbz1960; 02-24-12 at 01:06 PM.
    02-24-12 01:03 PM
  17. offthahorseceo's Avatar
    sure i can see that, we went to spain a while back and saved alot of money by using a prepaid carrier from over there. it was mostly to keep in touch with each other if we got seperated so it cost us the activation fee and initial load and nothing else (unlocked blackberries, vodafone service free incoming). as for calling back to the states, we were on vacation! we were getting away from it all!

    if bandwidth is so precious and landlines arent available, why is netflix on this list?
    02-24-12 01:07 PM
  18. missing_K-W's Avatar
    People fail to realize the elephant in the room....TAT Cascades for NDK, which is on closed beta...Trust that some big firms are working with that....As far as who I am unaware..IMHO when RIM unveils Cascades app's, there will be some major players involved. It only makes logical sense. We won't receive everything all at once, however one or two top 10 cross platform apps should debue through the Cascades framework....Hopefully RIM showcases some premier apps at MWC next week.
    02-24-12 01:19 PM
  19. JasW's Avatar
    I couldn't agree more with jonty12. $5 million, even $10 million is chump change when you're sitting on what RIM has in the bank.

    This is a critical time for RIM. It's almost like 2007 again. The lone knock against the PB now is the lack of apps. The absence of Netflix and Skype are emblematic of this lack in the minds of the collective consumer (and certainly tech media) consciousness.

    RIM is foolish if it doesn't do whatever it takes to get these apps on the PB (and thus on the BB10 devices).
    leely1 and Rob Robertson like this.
    02-24-12 01:37 PM
  20. offthahorseceo's Avatar
    and what about when they spend a ton of cash on netflix and skype and noone buys and people still knock it? you gotta remember, haters gon hate.

    I agree that its important to meet the major demands of the customer, but this forum is honestly the only place i see people asking about skype and netflix.

    now if im wrong and skype and netflix will magically cause an influx of customers, then by all means, pay up. Also, if im wrong and people are saying "id love to get the playbook, if only it had skype and netflix i would put it in the running with these other tablets. I'm not saying id absolutely buy it, but id consider it more" then i'd agree and say invest in those apps.

    however, i dont really think customers are walking around like zombies trying to get a netflix/skype fix out of their nearest tablet...
    02-24-12 02:00 PM
  21. bobauckland's Avatar
    RIM have money in the bank.
    The major app makers of the apps that the Playbook lacks want money.
    Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.
    Throwing away Playbooks has led to not much more than an influx of crap apps. Giving away 2 free apps is nice but not game changing.
    The PlayBook is easily the best all round tablet in so many ways, its got so many lear advantages, but it is absolutely CRIPPLED by the lack of a Skype app, or other cross platform video and voice chat app that is widely used.
    If history repeats itself RIM will wait till the PlayBook really is a lost cause and then bring Skype onboard. Its a pity.
    Customers looking for a tablet now need certain key apps. Netflix may be a major app in the States where BlackBerry is fading but in the international market Skype is the main thing. When a customer finds this device doesn't offer it, he goes straight to the next one, doesn't even see what else the Playbook has to offer. Aren't we supposed to be the ones heralding function over style? Thats what BlackBerry phones sell on, the tablet looks great but without certain apps fails on function.
    The problem is, the tablet market is still growing. When someone moves to an iPad instead, they invest themselves in that ecosystem. Its then even harder to get them out later.
    RIM needs to act fast and get the essentials in or it will be too late. It isn't at the moment.
    leely1, fanatical and jonty12 like this.
    02-24-12 02:06 PM
  22. dbmalloy's Avatar
    It really comes down to what world you live in... In essence we all live in little worlds around us... If you live in a world where content media is important to you... issues arise with apps not on the playbook... ( netflix.. kindle.. Hulu etc ). If in your world content media is not important... you scratch your head as to " what are these people's issue"... If you read through these forums you always find a user saying ... "why isn't the ..... app on the Playbook... What is wrong with RIM....

    If you study how the app business works... you cannot make a developer make an app for you ecosysetem.... yes you could "bribe" them but even that will not always work..... If a developer looks at your hardware and decides not to devleop for it for whatever reason there is nothing you can do....

    On the business side of apps... for whatever reason there is a lot of hate out ther for RIM... really does not matter why... there just is ... if you look at it from the Skype... Kindle point of view... why should they put out an app for the Playbook..... Both companies Amazon and Microsoft have a vested interest in not seeing RIM succeed... Amazon more than Microsoft granted... but if you look at Microsot past business practices it shoud not surprise you if Skype never shows up....

    As for Netflix and Hulu.... Look at the development costs versus user base.... Maybe a million units???? to them it probably does not make sense to even bother.. I think people over estimate how popular Nexfilix and Hulu are.... Yes people use them but remember Netflix is about to loose over a thousand movies from their catalog this month... has had issues with HBO and if you look at Netflix Canada....Why bother....

    For me I love my Playbook.... does it have all the apps I would like to see.... no.... but I choose to look at what I have not what I do not......
    Last edited by dbmalloy; 02-24-12 at 02:37 PM.
    killa4luv and offthahorseceo like this.
    02-24-12 02:33 PM
  23. offthahorseceo's Avatar
    i know the point has been made, but id like to expand on it.

    When i used to play forza motorsport 2-3 and other xbox 360 games heavily, i often wondered why there was a lack of Xbox Live apps. A couple of years later windows phone 7 released with xbox live built in, i though surely these would sell well for the pure fact of xbox live being built in. A few customers jumped all over that feature, and were saying all their friends would love the phone and the feature.

    Windows 7 phones sell the least in our stores, because even though LIVE was an awesome feature for a few, and when i was into it it was all i thought about, the fact is the majority of people didnt use it all that often...
    02-24-12 04:00 PM
  24. Thunderbuck's Avatar
    <puts on tinfoil hat>

    I think there may be some darker issues at work here when it comes to Netflix and Skype that all the money in the world won't help. If RIM can move a few million Playbooks by, say, this summer, there's a chance this whole landscape can change.

    First off, the biggest consideration by far is sales and users. If a platform doesn't attract enough users then there's no percentage in developing for it and maintaining it.

    However, in the case of the Playbook there's also the prospect for a developer to port to the Android Player with minimal effort.

    In the case of Skype, it's now owned by Microsoft. MS is obliged to continue to provide Skype clients for iOS and Android, because there are tens of millions of user and the clients were provided before their purchase. In the case of the Playbook, though, it's a marginal platform that could potentially compete not just with Windows 8 tablets, but also the BB10 platform will be competing against Nokia Windows Phones, too. So RIM has a serious uphill battle there.

    And with Netflix... well, there are an awful lot of iOS users who stream Netfilx now. It's not hard for Apple to quietly suggest that Netflix might not get early access to hooks in, say, iOS 5.1 unless they agree to avoid supporting new platforms. That's sheer speculation, but such pressure has been known to happen in tech. And content is EVERYTHING now.
    02-24-12 04:19 PM
  25. ody360's Avatar
    The PlayBook is my very first blackberry item that I bought. My perception of BlackBerry prior to this tablet purchase was that these devices are for all work and no play. In fact I was surprised when I saw a tablet from RIM and it was called PLAYbook! I bet most people believe the same thing and to a certain point of view its a blackberry strongpoint. It also detracts entertainment devs and limits the market for rim.
    roy baty likes this.
    02-24-12 04:21 PM
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