RIM: No retreat on PlayBook; Preps big October update

RIM: No retreat on PlayBook; Preps big October update

Summary: RIM isn't going to punt on the PlayBook. RIM is betting on a big October update to save sales.

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Unlike HP, Research in Motion executives said they won't retreat on its PlayBook tablet, which missed fiscal second quarter shipment estimates by a wide margin. In fact, RIM appears to be doubling down on the PlayBook in a big bet that sales will pick up.

RIM moved 200,000 PlayBooks in the second quarter. Wall Street was looking for 600,000. Jefferies analyst Peter Misek was expecting 500,000 units.

Given HP's move to nix the TouchPad, RIM's performance could have sparked thoughts of a PlayBook retreat. Instead, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazardis indicated that the company is stepping up its PlayBook push with a software update that will show enterprises and consumers the light.

Also: RIM woes continue: Q2 earnings hit amid weak demand, product shift

The PlayBook is "well below where we’d like it to be, but will ultimately be successful in a market that it in its infancy."

Lazardis said PlayBook security is bolstering enterprise demand and landing government accounts. "The PlayBook is the first tablet deployed by government agencies," he said.

Meanwhile, the Playbook will soon get native email, calendar and contact as well as an Android app player.

In addition, RIM is going to rev up PlayBook marketing for the fall and include incentive programs for corporate customers and consumers.

RIM's bet is that a massive software update in October will change the PlayBook's sales trajectory. Give the company some credit---it's certainly persistent.

Topics: Tablets, Mobility, BlackBerry, Security

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22 comments
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  • Gotta give them credit...

    They do back up their products, this looks like a step in the right direction.
    dwb124
    • 7 inches, questionable ecosystem & future

      @dwb124 A price cut of about half is the only way they are moving product
      kingcobra23
      • RE: RIM: No retreat on PlayBook; Preps big October update

        @kingcobra23 Agreed - It will not sell at it's current price, no matter what marketing magic RIM attempts. The planned upgrade sounds promising, but I will believe it when I see it. Their interminable delays have cost them dearly already.
        I, for one, will take a serious look at the device once the upgrade hits, as I want a 7" device tablet for the increased mobility and the Android offerings have thus far not impressed.
        HOWEVER, I will NOT touch it unless the price falls to about $300 - $350, which is about what a 7" Tablet should cost.
        With the 2.0 upgrade finally adding features that should have been there from the beginning and a price drop, the PlayBook will move....it's great hardware - it was just waiting for the software to catch up.
        So come on, RIM - drop the price on the PB and sell some units!!
        CHSI.Steve
      • RE: RIM: No retreat on PlayBook; Preps big October update

        @kingcobra23 There is no other FIPS available to Government agencies... price is where it should be for a secure and reliable equipment. RIM will still get big bucks from it without having to ship as many units. Looks good to me from where I stand.
        SinfoCOMAR
    • RE: RIM: No retreat on PlayBook; Preps big October update

      @dwb124 No they don't! What BB's are you using? They always make promises they can't keep, then upgrade the hardware, leaving prior hardware/OS out in the cold. They do the same "dumb" things, over & over! Wake up!
      SBMobile
      • I meant the playbook vs touchpad kinda thing

        @SBMobile I meant at least they didn't ditch the playbook like HP did with the touchpad. Unlike other RIM products it has decent specs.
        I agree about RIM leaving customers in cold regarding phone upgrades, and I think that is because their phone hardware is always outdated when it is released. I know my BB can barely run OS 6 (runs out of memory), which is inexcusable for a new phone. So its no wonder their new OS's can't support their older hardware, because it was already insufficient upon release.
        dwb124
  • What the Hell does "moved" mean?

    Judging from the paragraph before, it sounds more like shipped than sold. Which makes the reality for RIM even more dire.

    It's no good trying to hide behind ambiguous statements like "moved" and then hoping people will assume they mean sold to consumers.
    Englishmole
  • RE: RIM: No retreat on PlayBook; Preps big October update

    Truly pitiful numbers. RIMM is facing a meltdown, no question about it. They are hoping that enterprise buyers would be attracted to their tablet and pay some kind of premium, but it was execs who jumped ship first to the trendy iPhones and iPads. They are not coming back.
    terry flores
  • RE: RIM: No retreat on PlayBook; Preps big October update

    "Meanwhile, the Playbook will soon get native email, calendar and contact..."

    Translation = Bluetooth tethering to Blackberry is a MASSIVE FAIL

    Seriously, who let the Playbook go to market when you had to tether it to a Blackberry just to access your corporate email, calendar and contacts?
    TroyMcClure
    • RE: RIM: No retreat on PlayBook; Preps big October update

      @piousmonk

      You obviously have NEVER used the PlayBook or you'd never say something so patently stupid. The bridge feature is the BEST feature of the PlayBook (by a wide margin). With that function, you get near 3G speed for all your applications WITHOUT an extra 3G data plan. Just by bringing along your BlackBerry phone, you get full access to the web without having to find hotspots - and your email/PIM is instantly synchronized. Think of Bridge as an HD 7" monitor and flash enabled webkit browser for the BlackBerry. Its brilliant. It doesn't support non-BlackBerry phones (but those can tether or provide a wifi hotspot. Get your head out of the Apple core.
      mapsonburt
      • RE: RIM: No retreat on PlayBook; Preps big October update

        @mapsonburt The PlayBook SUCKS!! I tried it for over 25 minutes (that's way too much time), at Best Buy. First of all, it's based on Adobe AIR architecture, but really sucks playing flash videos consistently. That doesn't make any sense. It has NO apps! That's the whole point of making tablets in the first place! RIM is going to lose major corporate customers because of this fact. Apple deploys iPad's to the enterprise sector & they enjoy it, use it & start figuring out ways to utilize it's usefulness + most companies are designing their own apps to make the iPad even more effective. No other tablet (the PlayBook included), has the ability to meet this type of function. Keep dreaming about RIM just "getting it", all of a sudden! lol
        SBMobile
      • RE: RIM: No retreat on PlayBook; Preps big October update

        @mapsonburt

        Your right about one thing, I haven't used it. However, I'd define "patently stupid" as requiring me to have a Blackberry just to access my Corporate e-mail from my $500 tablet.

        Seriously, you're making the argument that it's a 7" monitor for your Blackberry? Why does my BB need an external monitor and browser? Why does my tablet need to be a slave to my smart phoneto be fully functional?

        As for your "flash enabled webkit browser", I hated Flash long before Apple ever made issue of it, and even if I didn't, I could get Flash AND my corporate e-mail on an Android tablet regardless of what phone I use (or whether I even have a phone).

        If you think Bridge is the greatest thing since sliced bread, great, but realize it for what it is, RIM doubled down by thinking it could enter into the tablet market and in doing so, give a boost to it's struggling phone biz. Both poor sales and the fact they plan to add native e-mail prove it wasn't the brightest strategy.
        TroyMcClure
      • RE: RIM: No retreat on PlayBook; Preps big October update

        @mapsonburt

        Absolutely agree. I used my Playbook to try and crash it by opening and running 15 applications in rapid succession (i.e. music blaring, email, opening a PDF, calendar, contacts, video game, HD video, browsing on the internet and using my BBM, etc.). Not even the slightest hiccup. An absolute winner and it will show its true colors with the October update.
        Clawdawg
    • RE: RIM: No retreat on PlayBook; Preps big October update

      @piousmonk
      In your translation - it sounds like you're expecting it to have direct connection to Enterprise. I'm not reading it that way.
      I'll be surprised if it doesn't still need the BB for enterprise email. I'm thinking they will just be adding an email client that links to Gmail, Yahoo, etc to satisfy the regular consumer, similar to the other annoucements of video store, and android app player.
      But, we'll have to wait and see what actually comes out.
      Ray (Canada)
      • RE: RIM: No retreat on PlayBook; Preps big October update

        @Ray (Canada)

        Let's put it this way. If it isn't native Enterprise e-mail, it will be an even bigger fail.
        TroyMcClure
    • RE: RIM: No retreat on PlayBook; Preps big October update

      @piousmonk ...200,000 units for such a crippled device is not really that bad. Imagine what they might sell with the forthcoming update. I agree with others here that the price has to come down. In light of most other tablets coming out in the 400 range the sweet spot for this is approx 350 - 400.
      striker67
      • RE: RIM: No retreat on PlayBook; Preps big October update

        @striker67 They didn't SELL 200K. They shipped 200K! There's a big difference between the two! I'm betting RIM sold, maybe, 25%-30% of those 700,000 units shipped, so far (under 200,000 units sold). I don't blame RIM for not reporting such terrible numbers. Every supposed PlayBook owner knows they have to log-in a ID on their PlayBook to get started. RIM knows EXACTLY how many PlayBook's they've sold. It's just too embarrassing to report! Finally, because of HP & their "TouchPad-fire-sale", all non-iPad tablets are regulated to the "$99" bin! No matter what RIM does, they'll NEVER make the PlayBook look attractive to the average consumer, in an "iPad" market (NOT a tablet market!). Consumers have made it clear what they're willing to spend "premium" dollars on: "iDevices"!
        SBMobile
  • It's all over for RIM.

    they can't survive by selling the slide-out keyboard phones, those are the only good products they make.
    MSFTWorshipper
  • RE: RIM: No retreat on PlayBook; Preps big October update

    Reality: RIM can't afford to invest in the PlayBook. Not putting it up for "fire-sale" means RIM will continue to burn cash, they don't have. They blew $1.5B last quarter on Nortel patents + R&D (that went up 13%). Next quarter, with another lowered EPS, they'll show more cash lost. They can't compete in this market. Components are too expensive because of Apple & their sell-through is a fraction of their sell-in. Nobody's buying the PlayBook + a lack of BBM services will NOT bring anyone away from buying an iPad. They have NO clue what they're doing & appear to be willing to go down with the ship like "Lehman Brothers" did!
    SBMobile
  • RE: RIM: No retreat on PlayBook; Preps big October update

    I don't think RIM has any choice but to prop up the Playbook until it catches or until the company as a whole collapses. Tablets are logical companions to smartphones, and once a RIM customer bys an iPad or an Android tablet, chances are his next phone is going to run the same OS.

    That said, the odds are very much stacked against RIM.
    dsf3g