BlackBerry PlayBook - 500,000 units shipped but what could have been done better?

By Bla1ze on 16 Jun 2011 06:49 pm EDT
BlackBerry PlayBook

Having both co-CEO's at Research In Motion on the investors call today was quite a change from the norm -- typically it's just one or the other. That said, having both Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis on the call gave us all a better perspective of things happening within RIM. As it stands right now, RIM has shipped 500,000 BlackBerry PlayBooks but they neglected to mention the number of PlayBooks were sold, even going to so far as to say they didn't know -- shipping items and selling items is totally separate, if we glance back to Kevins predictions on the BlackBerry PlayBook sales they're starting to sound more accurate as the information comes forth.

When questioned about the launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook, Jim Balsillie stated he wouldn't have changed all that much, if anything and that RIM wouldn't have done it any differently. RIM was criticized throughout the media for the launch of the PlayBook and while Jim notes it could have been a more polished launch and the intial product to be better, but there wasn't anything to gain by delaying it, everyone was working hard as they could to get it out and much of this was lost on the medias representation of the PlayBook. Jim also noted, that the BlackBerry PlayBook has the best in class hardware and with the OTA system they've now implemented the product will continue to show it's strength as it grows but these features which are highlights for the platform was lost in communication throughout the media.

Needless to say, there are few things that could have been done better with the launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook but -- I, personally agree that delaying it would not have helped the matter any. What would have helped would have been better forecasting of the situation at hand plus, having all the tools needed to develop on the PlayBook up and ready but that would have come with better forecasting. Waiting for the BlackBerry Player, Android Player and Native SDK has had a negative impact here and wil continue to until those things arrive. By then though -- some of the interest will have waned off. I love my BlackBerry PlayBook but there is a tough road ahead for RIM after todays announcements. I realize they're working on things to improve the situation but evidently -- it's not fast enough to meet demands of the users.

Reader comments

BlackBerry PlayBook - 500,000 units shipped but what could have been done better?


I agree. I'd rather be playing with my playbook now and waiting on updates to come than still waiting on the thing to hit stores.

Sorry to say, but it's time for a new CEO. It's a different game out there than it was 5 years ago, they should have seen this coming and adapted much, much quickly. These two guys don't breed the correct culture that RIM now needs.

Hind sight is always 2020 isn't it.

Look at motorola, from the brink came innovation... Rim is in a position to come back with a venegence.

Motorola only came back because of Android, a free OS they did not develop. They beat out HTC to a phone with a physical keyboard, that's the only reason they exist: luck and amazingly good timing.

RIM has no such ace: OS6 is nothing special, the talk has moved to OS7. The Torch is a failure (I just got one at work and it's a heavy piece of confusing junk), so no need for hindsight: RIM delivered subpar products knowing that companies and loyal sheep would buy them, with the promise of golly-gee security with BES. Well it backfired, the new graduates we are hiring at work hate Blackberry, we are now about to offer iPhones and iPads so that we don't look like outdated dinosaurs.

The RIM CEOs are directly responsible: their lack of vision is disturbing, as is their arrogance that the ride would never end. Heck, my company anticipated a downturn as early as 2007 and adjusted their strategy accordingly, which is why we mostly weathered the storm. The guys at RIM were obviously stroking their egos during that time and missed the trend toward apps and powerful media phones, shame on them, their stockholders should be screaming in agony.

Umm....are you talking about motorola beating htc to the punch with Android phones that have a physical keyboard?

You do realize that the very first Android phone, the T-Mobile G1 was made by HTC, right?

I agree completely. These two are driving the company into the ground and wasting a huge asset in the currently dwindling installed base.

I totally agree there whole model is wrong and management dynamic is way off for the times. They need someone with new vision for RIM and a new imagination for new products.

Aside from some tiny software kinks that need to be worked out, my Playbook kicks @$$! I love it and am going to buy 2 more. Thank you RIM for releasing such a sweeeeet tablet.!

I love my Playbook. I think all the analysts negativity about the Blackberry phones and the Playbook have hurt RIM. These analyst are trying to drive up Apple's stock by driving out competition because they have money invested in Apple stock. Has anyone noticed that Apples' stock continues to drop? I wish Steve Jobs well; however, he does not look well. If anything happens to Steve Jobs, Apple will be in trouble.

I hope that RIM is able to turn things around because I do not want to see Apple dominate the market with its one-hit wonder iPhone. I believe the economy is effecting RIM's sells. RIM has a lot of business sells. Businesses are not upgrading computers and phones. I work for a multibillion dollar company, and the company has not upgraded its computers. My computer is over five years old. It was either upgrade the technology and layoff people or keep the old technology and keep the people. Therefore, I do not believe the analysts when they keep saying that most companies are upgrading to iPhones and Android phones. Most companies have hiring, technology, and pay-raise freezes. The Analysts have never provided any statistics on how may companies have converted to iPhones and Android phones, and the number of business sales for each. I think consumers make up the bulk of Android and iPhone sales. Based on the economy, I wonder how long will Apple and Android will be able to maintain their sales momentum. Consumers are not going to be able to maintain the electronic cell phone hype that Apple has created with its iPhone. Hype can only last but for so long; for example, the flat screen TV (LCD and Plasma) hype has diminished. Economist are talking about a double dip economy in America, which will have an impact on the global economy. The global economy is already facing some challenges due to Greece's economic issues.

Therefore, in conclusion, for RIM's sells to pickup, the economy has to pickup. Until the economy picks up, RIM will have to create an "iphone" instead of all business phones to compete in the consumer market. Motorola's business phone (Droid Pro) has not done too well. In the past, most people who owned smart phones were business people whose companies paid the phone bills and purchased the phones.

Nowadays, consumers are willing to foot the bills and purchase smart phones. I said that I would never own a smart phone (due to the cost and lack of need) until the evolution of the iPhone. The iPhone has changed everything for the better or worst....

That was a comment. i think the BB Torch was a solid phone and the PB a solid tablet. the ota updates only will continue to get pushed out to improve the product. Yes RIM dropped the ball when media and app power became a must with your cell phone just like email. I feel there pride has them to bound to admit they were wrong. That is why they are buying up different companies and working with microsoft. They have delayed their new phones because RIM know they have to develop a QNX phone and that is the only way. They need scrap the whole line and design a new phone totally. There is a design floating around on the net of a phone called the bb Titanium now that is a phone. I hope RIM can innovate into something the market never saw coming. Yes the Iphone is a cool phone but it still lacks so much and are just catching up with basic features. The I-phone form factor is really old and Apple is just starting to use OTA updates before that consumers had to wait. So dont believe the hype but if you are a true CB addict the just continue to voice your concerns and hope RIM wakes up behind the wheel.

I know it looks bleak at the moment... But hey, I have faith in RIM to make a strong come back... In a quarter or two it will be a sweet time to buy in... RIMs stock will hit bottom this year, but they have enough cash to pull through, they're sales are still growing at a economic pace, and internationally they are strong... Just my opinion.

Playbook is a worldwide device right? For business people who travel? So i travel and have a playbook. But WHY did RIM makes app world only available in usa and canada???? That is by far not a worldwide device.

I though it is AppWorld right? Nopt AppUSA.

saludso from Curacao (btw happy with my playbook so far)

You must be fairly new as the AppWorld name was out way before the Playbook debuted. Also, if you have an internet connection and log in to your app world account, it doesn't matter where you are in the world.

Appworld is available in the offical countries the product is released in

If you buy the product on the black market or ship it from an official release country you can't complain about a lack of app world

Your information isn't remotely correct the appworld isn't just available in North America.

I'm in Jamaica and App World is availble and working fine on my Playbook.

i bought my PlayBook in the US and brought it home to Australia. Everything works perfectly here and one day they might even find out that the world standard for dates is dd/mm/yyyy! At least I hope so.

I live in Chile, and my PB and AppWorld works just fine. Have bought and / or downloaded around 20 apps so far without a hitch...

I wish that they had given some indication if the Playbook apps that have been promised are still on target for release as promised. I am not as concern about what has not been given to us as to the lack of communication as to when these features will for sure be available. I am happy with my Playbook but I believe the lack of communication from RIM is impacting developers of software of the major things everyone is complaining about being missing from the Playbook. I choose the Playbook because I have the Torch and because it would also be able to run Android software. I believe developers are waiting to see if the Android app will be the way for the to proceed or if they should focus on creating Blackberry stand alone apps. So everyone is circling the airport and nothing major is landing for us to adopt on to our Playbooks. For now the bridge feature is worth having the Playbook even if it is not as perfect as it will be in the future.

I agree. My biggest reason for waiting to purchase a Playbook has been the lack of communication from RIM. I understand that they can't deliver a full blown OS and app ecosystem immediately - after all, it took Apple years to develop one for the iPad, and Goggle is still working to add major features to Android. What RIM _could_ do, however, is provide a road map listing major OS features and in house apps that they're committed to rolling out, along with the general priority order for each key item. That would let those of us who can't afford to simply drop $500-$700 USD on an impulse purchase know what to expect, and allow us to decide whether or not the Playbook will meet our needs - if not immediately, then at some point in the future. If I knew that I could count on the features I need appearing in a future OS update, I'd buy a Playbook today.

Instead, RIM has decided to keep the details of their future plans under wraps. They stick to generalities in their press releases and interviews, avoiding specifics. While that's not an uncommon approach in the tech world, it's an approach that isn't good for RIM at the moment. They are trying to convince current and potential customers that if we just wait, happy days will come. Unless they provide more details of just what those days will bring, and a better idea of when we can expect them than "sometime soon," they're going to lose out in the smartphone and tablet race.

RIM simply has to communicate more, more often, more clearly. "Just trust us, you'll love what we're going to do next - because we say that you'll love it," may be good enough for the rabid fans of certain other companies, but RIM's key customer base is made up of business people and government personnel. We know hype when we hear it, and we aren't overly fond of "sorry, the release date for that device / feature / app has been pushed back - again" situations. Until RIM gets their hardware and software back up to state of the art standards, they at least need to release a believable road map for how they plan to get there. Then, they have to stick to it and meet deadlines consistently.

Finally, before people claim that I'm just bashing RIM, I'll point out that I've been a RIM fan for many years. I really want them to succeed. I don't own anything from Apple, and nothing I have runs Android. I am, however, the only person among my fairly large group of colleagues and friends who still has a BlackBerry smartphone. A couple have iPhones, and the rest have moved to Android phones - and love them. If RIM doesn't get things together soon, at least to the point of letting us know what's in the pipeline and when we can expect it, I'm going to have no choice but to join them.

I say lets hold democratic elections for a new CEO.

ya well i luz bb like my baby, and i just hope they pull through. either way, ive never owned anything other than a bb and thats never gonna change. C u to the end RIM

The early release probably added no more than $10million to their profits. I don't see how they can justify that, considering all the bad reviews.

I still want to buy one, but now there is another delay on the 4G. No mention of the 3G. I might end up with the WiFi version, but I would like to see how Sprint handle the usage charges on the others. Also, still no Mac OS support for this device.

The co-CEOs know their history and their past, as a "Messaging Phone" company. Neither sounded too confident in the conference call. They both sounded like used car salesmen. If they still want to run things, then get someone else as the spokesperson for the company. Neither of them is cool, and the mobile phone market now wants cool.

They should have gotten the US carriers onboard with the launch of the PlayBook. But it seems that RIM is having difficulty with the carriers on several issues so that might not have been possible.

But actually promoting the device could have helped. They started the ad campaigns after the launch date.

I think they should have waited at least until the apps that shipped with the PB were working flawlessly. Docs To Go, Bridge, etc. I use my PB all the time but I still wish the basics were in order. Still it was nice to see the commitment of the developers who hurried their apps out making quick and meaningful updates right away.

I think calling into question shipments versus sales is a red herring. No retailer is going to keep taking product that they are not selling. Also retailers are free to set whatever price they want and I have not heard of price drops on this device. 500,000 shipped is very good.

Also I think American media has become obsessed with the rivalry between iPhone Android and Blackberry, even John King asks iPhone or Blackberry. The huge success of Apple hurts RIM in perception in the US but less so in other parts of the world. I think Playbook will sell very well in UK and Europe and other parts where the blackberry brand hasn't been hurt as much.

I do think spending some of that 3 billion in cash on hiring about 100 programmers to write a Skype App would be a worthwhile investment.

If I had to do it again I would have had that app on it and I would have not sent the product to reviewers. That was bad, although to be fair it didn't change my mind at all, however there is a lingering perception (I feel) that the product is not ready.

Have to say I do love the PB for me it is the browser, kobo and some of the news Apps. I do have a ton of games but they don't hold me for long so the fact that I know (for now) the games on iPad are better doesn't really sway me.

I love holding my pb in one had and reading on it while I sit beside someone with an iPad. It makes it really obvious that the iPad is a fail for reading despite what Jobs asserts.

Ended up contributing less than $10million to the profits this quarter. Do you really think it was worth the negative reviews to get that extra $10million?

MicroSoft bought out Skype. They also made a deal to put Bing on BlackBerry phones. So, maybe Skype on BlackBerry, but I think it would be more than a year off.

I've been doing my work off Apple computers for over 15 years, but I have no interest in an iPhone, nor an iPad. If Apple sold a 7" tablet that actually handled Flash websites, then I would probably buy one. I use a Bold 9650 phone. I'll probably get a PlayBook, but undecided on 3G, 4G, or WiFi.

I think RiM should've put out the new phones with BB 6 on them, then updated them to BB 7 later. QNX phones are quite a ways off, judging by management comments. Back to school and end of year holidays are the big sales times for personal electronics, and they are going to miss almost all of the back-to-school promotions.


500,000 sold would be poor (less than iPad2 sold on it's first day!) - but shipped is really bad. Once you take into account the demo models and give aways to large customers etc plus inventory I don't expect there are more than 200,000 paid for PlayBooks out there.

I'm happy making money shorting the stock...and this news will keep me in there to take more profits.

the XOOM shipped only 250,000 in its first 2 months. theres some realistic perspective for ya. sure against the ipad its not greatm but anyone expecting ipadesque figures from any non apple tablet launch is severly misguided

What is your price target on those shorts? How many shares? If you are not day trading you are better off shorting Apple. Did you notice the slide after Job's last appearance to announce the cloud services? That was a first... Dang! Still hurts a bit.

I expected resistance at $34.65 but with the after hours down near $30 my target is $30.

It's just bad timing for RIM with the weak market.

Sorry apple fan boy but what you say is total BS. Retailers can charge whatever price they like (by law) if there are 300,000 playbooks lying around we'd see price cuts but we see none.

Glad you're making money but that really changes nothing. And honeslt I really don't think you are, given your total lack of economic and business knowledge displayed in your posts. But have fun in your fantasy land.

I never said there were 300,000 laying around...I don't expect there are. But I doubt many retailers ordered that many devices at first to see how it went...and it went bad so there's no point discounting when they have only a couple in stock.

With the delay of the 4G, I don't see many flying off the shelves in the future.

Oh and I'm also short on AAPL so not really a fan boy. RIM has zero upside at the moment, until they have a management change and adopt Android (my guess is that they will if they want to survive) then the stock and therefore the company is dead.

Apple can be beaten easily by a firm committed to exploiting their weaknesses. RIM has a whole lot in place to be able to do this but are not making appropriate traction and are indeed hemorrhaging the patience of a significant number of even their own loyalists.

Bringing in a proven turnaround CEO, freeing up the boys to deal with operations and development is an obviously necessary move--and the only one that might generate immediate shareholder value.

As for the marketing, no excuse. I've got better ideas for commercials than they do. For God's sake, hire a proven creative that gets it and gets you reporting sales and not shipments, which indeed mean nothing.

Sorry but RIM should have listen to their consumer long ago when they saw Apple and the Android market in the rearview mirror. They should have know not to dabble in the tablet market when they can't even compete with the smart phone market. They should have been revamping BB and even putting the Android OS on their phones. Imagine where they would be if they had done this with their great push notifications? Now iOS is releasing iOS 5 and BB is still stuck on BB S2. I had BB for several years and had to jump ship. I still miss the great push notifications but don't miss what seems like 1990 technology.

"if we glance back to Kevins predictions on the BlackBerry PlayBook sales they're starting to sound more accurate as the information comes forth."

Wasn't Kevin estimating 200K just a day or two ago?

I believe RIM are 85% of the way there with the Playbook. Which probably isn't good enough in this impatient, gadget driven world but the truth is they probably aren't that far off making the Playbook a really useful, practical tablet for a lot of people. Most of the reviews criticised it for being unfinished more than anything else. Having said that, the extra 15% needs to be made up sooner rather than later if they are going to turn this around. Will they achieve it? I hope so cos I like what I have seen so far and BlackBerry users are generally pretty loyal. If not, my next phone is one of those nice new HTC androids with a proper keyboard on. Of course, I would much prefer it to be a 9900 :-))

How do you know? RIM says they "shipped" 500,000 units, they could have sold only 150,000 units for all we know. RIM didn't provide that information.

Kevin doesn't know what he's talking about. Sorry Kevin but you really don't.

And say he is right (which he isn't) that's about the same as Xoom so it's still fine.

Playbook has potential but the problem is the technology should have come in smart phones first then in a form of a tablet. QNX is a nice OS but the casual BB owner doesn't know about it. RIM totally went about this ass backwards. when BB os7 is released it will have to compete with ios5 which is far ahead of the class. i was thinking about getting a bold touch but i'm leaning more toward a Iphone 5. now i own a bold 9700 and love the practicality of it but the small screen and the below average browser is starting to get to me. and the memory leak on the os6 is still not fixed don't think it would be worth it to get a 9780. so in my eyes RIM has a lot of catching up to do or it will see more of the same.

Is iOS5 ahead of BB OS7? To be honest I doubt it.

I just want something that works so I can communicate with friends and family, look after business, and yes, even play the odd game. BlackBerry is fine at doing those things. Apple, not so much.

UI wise Apple has always been great, but OS wise they're always catching up.

By the time iOS5 is out you could well have three very powerful BlackBerry devices to choose from.

A touch screen device, if that's your style, a keyboard if you're not worried about a big screen or the new Torch if you want the best of both.

Whats not to like?

And if it makes Apple push the envelope further - we all benefit.

RIM "pre-announced" Playbook to preempt the enterprise buying cycle. I'd say that to some extent that strategy has worked. My client has about 6 devices undergoing trial. But if they decide they like it they could end up buying 100,000. Initial impressions are good.

As for the email etc. I think again their strategy was accurate. Remove security from the enterprise evaluation cycle and you save two months of work.

What they could have done better was realise the media tends to be Apple centric (some prominent blogs even have investment capital from Apple) and target the Playbook at enterprise rather than creating mixed messages.

And do some hard talk with Oracle and sort out Java licensing before they released the Playbook. As it is, I doubt you'll ever see software developed in Java specifically for the Playbook. Which means the thousands of Java developers will eventually be ditched.

And be more honest. Tell people your strategy and live with the consequences, rather than trying to pretend. I think that is what happened at todays call.

I completely agree. Too many people are invested in Apple, media included, to just let the price drop. Apple's recent volume screams systematic distribution. Look, I am not saying RIMM is not facing some real challenges, but Apple is about to get brought back down to earth, along with the iCult. What goes up must come down and the way down is much faster than the way up.

You are 100% right but no one ever beleives that until it happens. In fact Apple's stock price has depated from reallity. The reson is not because people think Apple will be that great they just think they won't be the guy holding the bag, it's called a bubble.

I agree that Apple's bubble will burst, but speaking of not being realistic... RIM's bubble has been bursting for a while now with only businesses and loyalists hanging in there. Android seems to be the future unless RIM can right their ship.

I don't know. If RIM can run Android Apps and give security in email etc. I think there will be a market for that. Remember smart phones are becoming the computers of tommorrow RIM doesn't need to dominate to do well. They just need a solid market share.

Small market share hurst if apps aen't developed but if RIM can make porting apps dead easy then they'll still be in the game.

If RIM could be the IMB (computer) of the mobile market that wouldn be pretty good. High quality product sold to cosnumers but mainly aimed at businesses. Not too bad.

I do think that Android will eventually end up with the bulk of the market in both phones and tablets, but they lack end to end experience. Apple will get the people they get now. People willing to overpay for design. But that market share wil fall dramatically as tablets become mainstream. Not because Apple cannot compete but because they'll make more money sticking with high-priced products.. RIM needs to go for the businesses first and then try to eat into portions of the Android maket, such as heavy users of social media.

When u make 4 billion a quarter in profit there is no bubble !

When your sales are slowing and margins decreases because you have to discount your product because no one wants it, that's a problem!

Have you looked at the earning of general motors lately? 4 billion a quarter doesn't look so impressive...

Apple is worth over half of th value of the NASDAQ yup my friend that's a bubble, but as I said you will not rcognize it until it bursts, that's just reality. I'm not going to convince you because you are in the bubble.

My friend,

Cash is king and right now apple has all the cash and no debt.

60 billion in talks bs walks!

Actually it does. You've confused profit with revenue. GM profit in March 2011 was $3.4 billion. Apple's profit in the same quarter was $6.0 billion. Apple also has $60 billion in cash and is generating it at a phenomenal rate. If you bothered to look at the actual data, you would know that Apple stock is actually undervalued based on their P/E ratio and ability to generate cash.

Apple is, or rather was, generating huge profits from iPhone because of their margins.

But's it's not so easy to maintain growth in a market where you can buy a competitive Android device for a lot less than iPhone.

Apple will have to reduce ASP, and when they do the cash machine will die. They'll still sell lots of phones, but they won't make near as much profit.

It's effectively the same scenario that caused RIM's dramatic fall a couple of years ago.

I'd be careful if you're holding Apple. The cell phone market is extremely volatile and you're a hero only as long as it takes for a competitor to bring out a better device. For Apple that's already happened.

They dropped the ball on the Playbook. They will do it again with the delay of the 9900 because if they don't get it out before the new iPhone they will get lost in the apple hype.

The problem is an old one that they never fully addressed, they have never put out a flagship phone that is best in class and their designs look dated at release let alone 2 years later. The Bold 9000 was their best phone in my opinion although the curve probably sold more units.

I really don't see why anyone would be excited about the 9900! Same old crackers!

The torch was a near flop, ask how many bb fans went to the Torch then went back to a 9700 or 9780.

They need to turn this super tanker around and that's not easy, bb Os 7 needs to be QNX and they need a whole new design team for hardware, I would fire the whole team and start fresh.

I see the stock settling at $19-$24 before any turnaround in mid 2012.

Funny thing is that at these levels a few years ago they would have been bought out but now nobody wants them anymore.

I wish them all the luck in the world!

There is nothing wrong with the release of the Playbook. Apple took a year to get copy and paste on the iPhone and months to get any decent apps on it. I know I waited through it. In fact Microsoft didn't even launch with copy and paste on their new phones either. They are also trying to add core apps to their OS. So why is everyone bashing RIM for not having everything on the Playbook right away. It takes time but in this case the OS is so sound and strong that it's well worth the wait. The mistake RIM made is not releasing new handsets. That's what's hurting them and their bottom line. I don't buy the testing excuse at all. They should have had the new OS out for testing a long time ago. Better yet they should have just released the devices with OS 6 and released the update when it was approved later. Their current line-up of phones just doesn't have the hardware specs that consumers want.

Let's look at some gems:

Blackberry Storm 1 and 2 (did more damage than good)

Blackberry Style (I can't believe they released this POS)

Blackberry Torch (flagship device that was obsolete when it launched)

In this business if you have one flop your done, not 3 !

Bold 9900 won't be a flop but it really is the same old shite that should have been out in Sept 2010 not Sept 2011.

To me it seems someone in the industry is making not trying to make the playbook as if it's not worth it. Bluetooth is Bluetooth, I use the apple bluetooth keyboard and the microsoft V470 bluetooth mouse. I use my HDMI output and i do presentations at work, from power point to Video.
I would can show documentations that requires flash without a glitch whether wifi or Bridged.
RIM is not promoting their product properly.
and Every time i walk in a BESTBUY store, you have an apple employee representing the apple experience. On the other side is the lonely playbook sitting crooked on the shelf.
RIM will never make it if, it continues to have faithfull apple loyalist sell their product.
I would buy this unit if i knew i could use a bluetooth keyboard and mouse and watch tv from 35ft away. I have HDMI TO RCA jack setup also in case the tv is not hdmi compatible. If this was set up properly and presented in a way that everyone could understand RIM's vision, we wouldn't be discussing this situation.
By the way i bought all accessories from amazon except the keyboard, saved a lot of money.
Keep fighting RIM.

I bet the number is very small, may be even less than 100,000. If the number is good RIM will surely announce it. It is very easy fro RIM to know how many item sold. RIM can simply check their server, PB need to connected to RIM for activation.

too damn funny, what they could have done better is not make the piece of crap. all the hype has died down on good ole crackberry right along with the sales. LAYOFFS

Yeah delay would've been bad. But c'mon can u release a product with proper customer experience ? How many apps and features were lacking right out the door. We've seen a bunch of updates and are still awaiting more. More importantly though was the lack of interest. marketing and hype can do a lot. We're no longer in a hardcore tech world, it's the average person that buys tech products now, hardware specs aren't that big a deal anymore. People care about the product can do not how many ghz it has. Well of course us on forums like this are still specs crazy but we're a minority nowadays.

Forget all the comparisons about apple and android cuz it's hard to stay objective. Just look at rim. When is the last time they've innovated ?

I honestly think what RIM is doing isn't wrong, ok may not all the way wrong or approach to finding their niche again in this brutal market of stupid media phones that does everythinh including piss in a sink!!!! I believe in simplicity and that's why I left the iphone..the more u add too it the more complicated it gets..why? BB always kept elegant and simple..easy use..u didn't have to run around a ask a "specialst" to figure it out.I believe each device should have a purpose..a phone is a phone, a tablet is tablet...if u get both, why do the same thing twice? See the ipad and iphone and ipod touch, all the same shit.same and tablet work as an extension.and cohesive too. RIM needs to seperate the BB work and leisure models and just go all out and really showcase OS7. I thinks its a good upgrade..better hardware too. Facebook chat and productivity suites coming standard for free...c' and apple charge da hell out you..

I agree.....

My wife has a marketing background - she said Rim needs to fire who ever their current company is and start fresh.

It's a joke.....

So many features in Rim but nobody knows about them..... I.E. WiFi sync of music etc.....

Here's an example - Playbook - introduced as a business tool and extension of your blackberry etc. - During the Stanley cup playoffs they had a commercial running - what was it running? A Game, A video of J Lo - NOTHING to do with business. Who cares if it almost looked like an old IPad commercial with the tilt of the Playbook steering a racing game.

Or the other Playbook commercial with a OLD song from Queen used in a very bad B flick from 1980....FLASH...AH AHHH.... give me a break.

Apple knows how to sell a product - Rim needs to hire who ever Apple is using.

Perception is reality - What's the perception of Rim today?....


I didn't dump my RIM stock....maybe I should have but only time will tell. I've lost almost 50% in the value since Sept. :(

Their CMO left at the end of last year and Jim Balsillie is handling marketing.

Or that's the theory.

I think Jims problem is he doesn't have large enterprise experience. RIM tried to hire experienced execs a few years ago, but ended up buying someone elses dead wood.

I do admire Jim and Mike, but I fear until they stop basking in a glorious past they'll not do well.

They've stopped executing well.

The lay offs are probably not a bad tactic provided they lay off the dead wood and don't cut too much lean. That means they have to start at the top. But I doubt that will happen.

Bla1ze, get real.

Nothing to be gained by delaying, and then you point out the media's opinion of the PlayBook. How can you write those two together? EVERYTHING was to be gained by waiting, if RIM would have gotten QNX out to smartphones, and launched the PlayBook with a full feature set (as the media slammed RIM for not having), you would have seen the media declaring loudly how RIM had pulled off the OS overhaul they needed (much talked about, and the fact the RIM went OS6.0 -> 6.1 -> 7.0 shows they didn't understand the need to change), and launched a tablet that could compete heads up (in the media) to everything out there.

instead, they introduce a product that gets poor reviews, and fail to launch phones with the new OS. I see this a fatal, and I see me leaving BlackBerry as well.

I don't have a fast, touchscreen, 4G capable, non Java based OS BlackBerry to purchase... so RIM won't see me as a repeat customer. I've been waiting to pickup a PlayBook until I could get some apps I need (Android/iOS specific), but the Android functionality hasn't arrived... and now there is a good Android 10" tablet out there to purchase.

The other thing people are missing here is that RIM hasn't implement Google products well. If they could have nailed e-mail sync and calendar sync properly, you wouldn't see people looking for alternatives. The fact that my phone (Storm2) still can't seem to sync within 30mins between the computer and my phone is crazy, not only in 2011, but crazy in 2009. I'm being forced to leave BlackBerry because of the lack of product availability and functionality on my Storm2.

I'm waiting until my eligible upgrade point with Verizon in July. That puts 4G in my area (Michigan), and a phone that syncs with my most important applications and uses. I stopped using BBM a year ago, to prep myself for the switch. It seems that's the only thing RIM has going for itself. I've been a BetaZone tester for awhile now, with the hope that seeing new features would keep me... but alas, not much has come from there to increase core functions.

"EVERYTHING was to be gained by waiting"

Completely wrong.

Last year when RIM announced the Playbook, the iPad was just starting to take the world by storm.

Enterprises were considering adopting the iPad en masse (some already have), and it's a short step to then adopting the iPhone and replacing BlackBerry in the enterprise.

RIM pre-announced the Playbook to delay enterprise purchasing decisions, which worked at my current client at least. They launched the Playbook because if they hadn't have delivered their primary market would have moved to Apple.

The fact they didn't make their target market clear is a failure of marketing and strategy. The result was a wave of negativity that is completely unfounded.

And the Playbook is a decent enough product.

There's so much analyst negativity about RIM even when the do well that their must be an agenda behind it. RIM wouldn't even know where to start to mobilise the kind of positive and negative (against the competition) buzz Apple creates.

I love this site, but . . . when will someone (Kevin?) step up and insist on good writing? OK, maybe that's too much to ask. How about simply insisting on proper grammar, proper use of the English language? Oh, I know, it's not the quality of writing that counts; it's the ideas. The trouble with this argument is threefold, at least. First, bad writing distracts and detracts from good ideas. Second, bad writing can make it hard to understand good ideas. Third, the idea is to communicate. Clear, good writing communicates better than sloppy, grammatically mangled writing.

I think the fact they didn't focus enough on mail even though its not such a big deal, or even have a 10 inch version available screwed them over because you're going to have people who have been ingrained into their psyche that 10 inches is the best form factor.

If anything I would have loved to have seen an 8.9 inch version. thats the sweet spot for me in regards to a netbook. I feel they could have really sealed it with external sd cards but whatever...

then you got the negative press that people seem to be clinging on about how carriers are not bothering to carry a wifi tablet.. how the hell is that news, perhaps maybe AT&T arrogance in not allowing users to use bridge but otherwise the O2 announcement is a lot of hot air.

Starting off by saying I'm a RIM loyalist and anti-AAPL... (although I have been borrowing an iPad2 for some time now to give it a fair shake)

I think that the problem is really RIM's initial success in the enterprise. Having to switch your strategy from an enterprise-driven device to a consumer focused one is tough to say the least. With AAPL, not having any enterprise penetration (except for the artsy/media folks), and trying to get into the enterprise is an easier one. The biggest reason? "I just don't want to carry two phones." All the companies I worked for when giving out a BlackBerry wouldn't let you use it as a personal one. So for the consumer, you get a phone that makes you look cool (despite not getting decent reception) and then ask your company to allow you to connect to the network.

Regarding Enterprise Adoption:
Having deployed mobile apps with a few major banks, I will say that the statements about companies adopting them is overblown. They may be piloting them to see if it is worth it but it is only because senior bankers (ie. the ones who bring in the money) are complaining.

Regarding Marketing:
I agree that the end-to-end marketing of the PlayBook has been horrible at best. I went to a Radio Shack to test it out and the RIM section was tucked away in the corner and they had holstered the device so I couldn't pick it up or even turn it! I tried Best Buy and their remote alarm kept going off whenever the cable got turned a specific way. You know that AAPL wouldn't have stood for this type of experience so RIM shouldn't either. It almost turned me off.

I ended up getting one anyways and totally love it. I took my kids to the zoo and had my playbook in my pocket. Took it out to take pictures/video, was able to answer emails, BBM, and tuck it away without ever taking my BB out of my other pocket and looking like Spike Lee/Obama with a bulky iPad2.

As for the iPad 2, all I can say is that all it is good for now is acting as an incentive to potty train my son. All the iPad2 has going for it is the volume of apps available.

You will get the real answer on the playbook sales on the next call where they discuss additional shipments (if any). If the playbook is not selling then retailers will not need to buy additional units from RIM. Plus the margin on these for a retailer is probably so low i think they would be hesitant to mark them down and take a loss because of slow sales. If a retailer went below RIMs requested minimum price its likely RIM would pull out any money they are contributing to advertisements and promotions.

My Playbook and my Torch work perfect, especially together. The internet Bridge is as fast as tethering which is fast on ATT so I never tether any more. What other tablet does that? I also use my Torch to watch Slingbox on biz trips. BB email is the best so why all the fuss.

Thanks to Blaize for finally writing a honest report on RIM. RIM is at a cross road and I do wish them luck. The Playbook strategy was very poorly executed and delayed new phones to market is worse. To read a few minutes ago that HP's new tablet will have skype and kindle out the box, is not go news for RIM. It shows that top app developers are embracing all other platforms faster than QNX. Me personally I really think RIM's two CEO s need to step aside and get some new talent at the helm. Clearly the slow pace/denial approach to running RIM is not working.

I choose to put down my Playbook because its way too limited in what I can do with it. Bridge works okay but causes battery life on my 9780 to suck while using it. I am about the order the HTC sensation as my second phone. Got tired of waiting for RIM to bring me something better. OS 7 is just OS 5 and 6 with a few teaks. Please RIM get some new talent at the top and a new strategy. I really don't want to give up on Blackberry altogether.

I'll take the combination of an 'outdated' BB phone bridged with a Playbook over any of the bulky battery-draining mini almost-HD game-playing pocket TVs that the lemmings are carrying around now any day. RIM did not try to copy the iPad (like Google did). They redefined the tablet space and with each update, it gets better.

After using my Playbook for a couple of months, I understand why RIM focused on the Playbook and let the phones slip a bit. With the combination of my 9650 and my PB, I'm in no rush to upgrade my phone. The combination is great.

Now if RIM could only express that via marketing and get the retailers some real training so that they can teach customers that there is no need for a 'home' button, things might start moving along.

Jim/Mike-a little bit of sales and marketing advice here. Put the PB on sale for $399 or offer a $100 credit towards accessories but for God's sake put the device in the hands of users. It will cost you $50 million, not chump change but a pittance to the cash you have on hand. Heck your stock devaluation lost you that much this week. GET CREATIVE!!!!!

The BlackBerry PlayBook paired with the new BlackBerry smart phones will be the key to an exiting and fast growing future for RIM. They have not sacrificed the security of the BlackBerry OS for a "Flash In The Pan" start in exchange for a basket full of "Apple_ts". The future is bright for BlackBerry and RIM is in the drivers seat. If “Buy low and sell high” still stands true today, now is the time to buy RIM stock. The new BlackBerry paired with the new PlayBook is the new combination that is guaranteed to make a lot of money.