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Quanta Computer cuts 1,000 jobs at Taiwan-based BlackBerry PlayBook manufacturing plant; RIM sitting on 800,000 unsold units

BlackBerry PlayBook
By Kevin Michaluk on 21 Sep 2011 10:59 am EDT
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I've said on several occassions now that I peg the active BlackBerry PlayBook user base to be somewhere at or around the 200,000 mark (based on CrackBerry intuition from all the metrics I'm privy to running a site like this). So with RIM stating on their last earnings call that they've shipped a total of 700,000 units to date, that means there are a lot of PlayBooks still sitting in inventory channels.

But beyond what hasn't sold to customers that's already in distribution, news coming from industry sources has RIM's unsold BlackBerry PlayBook inventory pile looking even larger.  An analyst from Fubon Securities reported that RIM's supplier, Quanta Computer, had shipped some 1.5 million PlayBooks to RIM in the first half of the year. Furthermore, Quanta confirmed to Digitimes that layoffs had occurred at one of their plants. While Quanta wouldnt discuss the exact numbers or clients, the word is 1,000 layoffs occurred (roughly a third of the people) at the Northern Taiwan facility where PlayBooks are manufactured.

Last week I wrote an essay here on the fate of the BlackBerry PlayBook. If you haven't checked it out yet, it's worth a read. We know RIM will role out a BIG BANG version 2 software update to the PlayBook, which should help breathe new life into the demand for RIM's first PlayBook. But at the same time, with that much inventory it's going to take some deep price cuts for RIM to get the inventory moving and turn some of those PlayBooks into cash, which the company needs. The BlackBerry PlayBook really is a great piece of tablet hardware, and with Tablet OS 2.0 it'll be much improved on the software front, so as the prices drop I think we'll start to see PlayBooks move. Seriously, if the 16GB PlayBook dropped in price to $99 as we saw HP do with the TouchPad, I'd personally buy 20.

Source: Digitimes, The Guardian

Reader comments

Quanta Computer cuts 1,000 jobs at Taiwan-based BlackBerry PlayBook manufacturing plant; RIM sitting on 800,000 unsold units

146 Comments

Hopefully bigger sales come from this. I'll definitely pick one up at a significantly lower cost. I haven't yet due to the lack of much needed features.

I am kinda hoping for a Bigger sale too!

I would drop $200 to have 2 16GB Playbooks to give to 2 people I know who I would video chat with,
The sooner I can uninstall skype from my laptop the happier I'd be

First (uhgg took too long to type, third).... I do feel the playbook price is high when compared to the rest of the Tablets. Consumers go to buy based on 2 items, brand recognition and price. 16gb playbook should sell well if the price was $299. To clear up inventory offer it with a $100 back mail in rebate (or instant preferred)

They should just sell the Playbook at cost, which will drive penetration in the market, get developer interest, increase sales in App Store (either through Ads or actual purchases), and make up the money in software and service sales. They need to push their hardware into as many hands as possible and make up the remainder getting people to use services like the music, video, BBM music subscription service and PIM software. I would do this solely in the tablet market as it is immature and you can still get a meaningful market share by beating Android and Windows to the punch. If they set the standard at $300 or $350 for their tablets, then they can leverage the documents to go, email push, and other services as competitive advantages versus other platforms.

It also will help drive phone sales if they continue to enhance the Bridge connection capabilities. Open that thing up to third parties, so they can run wild with the function.

This is honestly a great idea. Asking as you make what the hardware costs back and get it out there who cares about profit? Like you said its still a young market for tablets

I know I'm not buying for now because of price...and I'm still working on losing the 50lbs I promised my wife I'd lose in exchange for a PlayBook...hopefully that will change (the weight is falling off...only 45lbs to go...:-) )

+1

To funny. Problem is lose the wife, he might lose the house and half his earnings for the rest of his life (women live longer) lol

Lol, what, and lose the PlayBook? Not a chance!

Seriously, I love BlackBerry and really love my Torch 9800, but there's no competition between gadgets and my wife. She's bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, and I would be nothing without her (and not just because of any legal ramifications! :-) ) I love her more than anything else in this world.

True. "Fail" may be a little bit strong. Its such a good product (hardware)...

However RIM is getting ever closer to the time it should be releasing a playbook2. But with the inability to sell the original pb (in large quantities) this will make selling a second generation device all that much harder (see "Storm2")

A LOT is riding on v2.0 being released next month... And I mean A LOT! I for one do not have the confidence in RIM pulling off anything spectacular. I feel that even if v2.0 makes the playbook an outstanding device, its just to late... To turn the tide this late in the life cycle of the playbook will be no less than a miracle.

RIM will be fine, they finally are on track with releasing great phones (os7 devices)... QNX will be good... But sad to say... I'm losing more and more hope in my playbook... I feel that I just wasted 5 months of gadget time - lol

Its sad when an extreme bb die hard (what I consider myself) is ready to buy an iPad2... Just sayin.

I'm with you addict and I feel horrible about it. I can't bring myself to buy an iPad. I Keep looking at the Samsung 10, but I fear I may end up with another device that was never fully adopted and/or embraced. I got stuck with a Coleco Vision Man!!! :D

I'm picking up your sarcasm.

But seriously... Anything under even 1 million devices is a failure - but under 500 thousand??? There are several words that come to mind to describe what THAT is... RIM should be embarrassed...

RIM shipped more than 500,000 between 2 quarters they shipped 700,000 did they not..

and IMO anything that Pays for it's own development isn't a failure, so as long as RIM has recouped their R&D off of the PlayBook it hasn't failed,

was it a success? NO! but it isn't Fail/Pass,
It did FAIL to meet expectation, but the product itself is not a failure. and has not been discontinued yet.

I highly doubt playbook has payed for its own as of yet anyway. The good thing here is: all of the QNX software development shouldn't be a waste, as it will get utilized on their first QNX phone. But as far as the r&d on playbook design and manufacturing goes, there is NO way it has paid for itself yet... Not even close.

Why don't they hold a BIG Bang event in Toronto or New York now and get the f-ing thing out. No this is RIM whistling past the graveyard. I'm a big Blackbery fan but Jesus it seems like eveyone in the company is walking through molasses. Delay Delay Delay which allows reports like this to leak out unanswered and reinforces the image of RIM and Blackberry as dead. Don't they get it??? You have to get ahead of news like this. Announce this f-ing news your self along with news on version 2.0 which will be on consumer's hand by date X and a price cut effective on date X-Y.

Hey RIM everyone on earth knows the playbook is a failure in terms of sales, even those of us who love using it, ADMIT IT and tell us the plan man!

There is no need to hide and have news bombs like this drop and further destroy your consumer reputation.

I don't like being negative but management at RIM must be among the worst in the tech world. I don't blame the workers . The playbook specs are great, the 9930 is a well-built phone and the programmers have done what they can to make the old OS as good as possible. IT is management that messed up, with poor communication on what the company is doing, poor execution on deadlines and the decision to launch the PB unfinished.

With 2.0 will the playbook be a finished product? I kinda doubt it (simply because it's RIM). But in theory it looks like it will be a finished product. How many sales would have been lost by waiting until now? Probably not as many as will be lost because you have messed up the reputation of what actually is/will be a good product. :( :( :(

My first thought when reading this was "are we whistling past the graveyard" of the PlayBook. Since you posted that thought I didn't want to steal your thunder. You are right about them not getting ahead of the news. No spin control or even an effort at spin control. Endless delays and still no v2.0 OS. I first started to worry when Amazon first promised a Kindle app on the PB's release, then reneged. Amazon wants the Kindle EVERYWHERE and yet... not on the PlayBook. Then no love from Netflix. So, yeah, OS 2.0 should have been OS 1.0. Makes me wonder why they released it before it was ready, basically. And, like you, I fear they won't regain the ground they've lost.

$299 as Jackal99 suggested for a 16GB Playbook, I'd personally buy 20 (-19)

On a different note, a cousin of mine (which is a Apple fanboy) called me a few days ago after testing the PB in a local Best Buy. He mentioned that the Playbook is a powerful tablet and is shocked at how it is not selling as good as it should be! I strongly believe that the size difference between the PB and the iPad2 ultimately makes the PB the second choice. A typical consumer would relate a bigger screen size at the same cost as a better bang for the buck. IMO

2 suggestions I would have for RIM and their resellers.
(1) Release products before Apple does to catch those that don't want to wait.

(2) Don't price similar to or above Apple products. I still can't justify why the 9900 costs $299 with a 2 year agreement on T-Mobile when the iPhone4(much more popular phone, sales wise) sold for $199. The PB for $499 (16GB) when the iPad already made their statement and is priced the same with a larger screen.

Totally agree. Like it or not, Apple is the king of this niche right now and when you price your products at their levels, you are just not going to sell them. Especially when the device is smaller - sure some people want/need the portability of the PB but many will see "same price & bigger screen" and just go with the iPad.

I never would have bought a PB (or any tablet) at the $500 price. But Amazon has the 16gb for $400 and with RIM's $100 rebate, I'm getting it for $300. That's the sweet spot for me to pull the trigger and I think it would be for many others as well.

disagree, what does RIM have to work on, or any company actually to beat apple? marketing, apple makes anything sound cool to buy, from the hype to their ads, they just know how to do it!

I agree for the most part here. Why sell them for nothing like you suggest Kevin. That isn't smart and them getting out of the tablet game isn't what we want. Give them a reasonable market price adjusting for size, etc. and go with it.

I would have agreed with you if most other tablets were selling well in comparison to the iPad(s). Most competitors offer "Flash" and better cameras than that of the iPad but they all fail to sell as much even if you combine the sales of all the competitors. Why is that? Apple has already proven themselves to be all it is claimed to be. In order for the competitors to attract they have to focus on releasing competing products atleast a month before Apple does and at a competitive price. Once the units have sold enough the price can be increased with time because those that have it will justify why the unit is worth the price increase. Since RIM has had more returns than sales it still hasn't justified why the tablet costs the same as the iPad.

Also, stop the "Blackberry phone" requirement for the $100 mastercard and they'll attract users from other platforms to get the PB.

12 months later still no Netflix streaming and skyp not to mention any other apps worth money WTF RIM? Who thought this was a good idea? I feel really sorry for the people who spent good money on these devices based on big promises. Playbook is essentially a 300$ paperweight.

RIM is launching it's own video download service. Or partnering with someone to permit video downloads.

On one of the slides during their last financial report.

This isn't really true, I use mine all the time both at work and at home, but I don't blame you one bit for thinking or saying this. The marketing of the product and just about everything else other than the build quality has been totally bungled.

I bought one but I will not buy an additional 2.0 version (because I'll get that as an update). However if it was just coming out now I'd buy, so RIM did pushing it out early really gain you anything??? My guess is no, it cost. Everyone who bought a 1.0 would buy a 2.0 and now there are some people who would have bought a 2.0 that won't now because it's viewed as a failed product. argh!

i do not like the playbook, but if you can get it for lets say 150 bucks i would definitely buy one ;)+

could be some kind of advertising move, so RIM go for it :P

As an early (and loyal) PlayBook adopter since initial launch, I, like Kevin, would also buy a whole bunch more for family and friends. Heck, I'd do it all over again. There should be some recognition for brand loyalists ;)

If there was a price drop, I would totally buy another one for my lady, and I'm also debating over getting one of the LTE ones. The PlayBook really has become my go-to gadget, and while the Bridge feature is nice for now, I could definitely go for having its own high speed cellular connection. Taking this bad boy out on the train in the morning just makes my day so much better! Really looking forward to OS2.0, and I really hope they don't pull an HP...

This low installed base of PlayBook users is likely why we still don't have (and may never get) Kindle, Netflix, XFinity, etc. Obvioulsy Amazon releasing their own tablet has something to with it, as that's a higher priority that a few PB owners getting Kindle.

I still like my PB as a great overall browser and media playing device, but RIM needs to get the OS update out the door, cut prices, and get the installed base up to a number that makes it worthwile for developers to support (oh and there's that native SDK thing too that might help!).

I say drop the prices now and end it about a month into the Playbook 2.0 launch. Folks out there know that os 2.0 is a game changer.

When they release OS 2.0, I really hope they have a different company do their advertisements. Their commercials were garbage.

What commercials, I barely saw any and for that fact any for the phones, at best one for each ten you see from Apple.

I am waiting for the PlayBook to do what I need it to do. I would pay any price if it actually was capable of that. But at this point, the (lack of intelligent) marketers at RIM need to cook up a new strategy. My suggestion (as was mentioned above):

1. Announce the PlayBook 2.0 in time for Christmas. Spend a crapton of money on North American advertising, GOOD advertising, that shows what the PlayBook can now do. Get the freaking word out!

2. Initiate an intensive marketing campaign to sales and distribution channel members (push strategy). The salesperson at Best Buy or Telus is the one who is ultimately going to sell your tablet or not. Everyone I've ever spoken to in a store has said "nah you don't want the Playbook" EVEN IF THEY DON'T SELL ANY OTHER TABLETS. Engage them, offer employees of such outfits a $99 Playbook and watch who doesn't buy it. Get it in their hands and they will love it (OS 2.0).

3. Cut price. At $349 / $449 / $549 ($150 off current prices) people WILL buy these at the lower price.

4. Offer something special to current Playbook owners ahead of the new launch (because you don't want to piss off the people that have paid full price for theirs a few weeks earlier). Offer a free Bluetooth accessory or carrying case, or your choice of 2 items from a whole bunch. That will result in a ton of positive media coverage. Apple charges users of older devices to upgrade to new software, remember? This is a great way to differentiate and to show customers you give a damn: "we care about the people who paid more and were earlier adopters."

5. Create a media event and get the PB in the hands of the major news media outlets. Send it to morning shows, call Oprah, publicity is the KEY factor in getting the word out to the non-techies or people who don't follow these kinds of blogs. You want a parent who knows nothing about this stuff to buy this for their kid. They know Apple, do they know RIM?

Ultimately, I truly believe that RIM is going to blow this. Not because everyone working there is an idiot, but because they have stubborn people in high places. I don't put everything on Lazaridis and Balsillie, but I have to believe what I've read about all the upper management and the culture at RIM.

If someone in Waterloo is reading this, I will honestly provide my own company's marketing/design services for FREE to you, that's how much I want to see this thing succeed. But you will not get there by ignoring your customers or ignoring reality. Take a deep breath, admit you made a mistake (everyone does), and move in the right direction!!!

Best advice to date. I'm one of those end-users that would love to see this product suceed.. RIM let's go..

Many good points here. I do think RIM should be willing to do something for the small flock of us who bought into the playbook from day one... Its been an extremely painful waiting game... Many of us believed we'd have native pim, Skye, and android player 60 days after launch... I for one had NO idea I'd be looking at a "possible" october release for these kinds of basic features... I'm piss'd off as it is, but to watch the price drop like its going to is going to make me go slightly insane... Insane enough to drop RIM altogether (this is the feelings I have, not sayin I would actually do it - lol)... But I think you all get my point... Wake up RIM... Piss to many people off (especially the loyalists like myself) and you're gonna make a bigger mess than you already have!

I bought it on day one and I don't want RIM to do anything for me except sell more PB to start a virtuous cycle where will will eventually get the apps we want.

I work at a University with more than 50,000 students and my playbook is the only one I've ever seen.

Unless v2.0 knocks the socks off of us, I don't see this virtuous cycle happening. Sorry, pm me in 6 months if I'm wrong. The writing is on the wall here folks (for the original playbook)

It is not just about GOOD advertising, it needs to be GREAT. RIM needs to create an emotional response to the playbook and their blackberrys. Saying you have BBM is not enough, they need let everyone know the feeling that the BBM addicts have. Apple has succeeded in invoking this emotional response to their products.

GREAT advise!

One more thing, if those PlayBook v1.0 hardware can run the new PB OS v2.0 operating system, now we're really smoking!

This would go a long way in placating those PB early adapters who have forked out US$500...

agree, actually thinking some of what you're posting here. think, too, there are a number of other factors at play here.

1. market saturation. everyone it seems wants a piece of the market...everyone! and, capability notwithstanding, there's a tablet for every wallet.

2. price. i personally hovered wating for the 16gb at something under $400. having wanted a 64gb from day one, jumped at the best buy labor day sale for $150 off. lots of rationalization there.

3. sexy factor. hate apple. hate apple products! but they do a good job of seducing with this, that and the other thing. aside from interfacing with my phone (which is neat), still looking for how my pb fits. the soon-to-be-opened os2.0 door holds promise. something more, something sexier in terms of capability or app(s) could move it to the next strata!

have had my pb for a week now. aside from the small, not-so-intuitive hill i encountered trying to set it up, liking it. in terms of portability and functionality, think it'll be a great travelling companion. can't wait to take it on the road! it's not wow yet but it does seem fun!

CAN YEAR HEAR US NOW RIM-JOBBERS?

WE ACTUALLY GET IT AND WE WILL HELP YOU--FOR FREE.

STOP FUGGING THIS THING UP SO TOTALLY.

I'm nervous as hell. 90% of the crap apps I did buy NEVER even get updated.

Your solutions are simple. Get out of whatever bureaucratic and layoff defensive-minded, cash-first and questions later mindset has crippled and you and WIN with basic proven ideas.

You could hire people right off this forum and change the game before Christmas.

Stop being Obama and start being Putin.

Just give early adopters a refund for the difference like HP did when they dropped the Touchpad's price.

That's far to classy for RIM... They didn't do it fort he Storm/Storm2, and they won't for the playbook. Shame on me - they got me with the storm/storm2... And they got me again with the playbook.

Brilliant. As a recent BBA Grad from Laurier I wish I was working at your company. This is exactly what I think is needed an extreme Marketing Push in all avenues and surrounding one message.

I haven't got one because of it being overpriced. If the 16gb went to $99 of course I definitely would pick it up too.

I was just looking at the Playbook this week. For what I do I think it would fit my needs if the browser above average. But no Google Maps and no Kindle. Those are two things that might keep me from getting it. Based on the size of the Playbook it would fit in my cargo pants/shorts. Still not sure what I should do. If it was priced at $150 - $200 I would give it try.

It does have Google maps, but it's not called that. There are several Google map apps people have made because the browser is so bloody good they can do it easily.

They said as much on the earnings call, the Japanese earthquake made them secure orders for parts before they could truly determine demand. Added in with the unfinished product and they are left with a lot of inventory that will likely take them six months to burn off.

Cut price for consumer market.
Get native apps / work on getting most popular 3rd party apps.

Partner with someone big - Playbook: Official tablet of the NFL / NBA / PGA and have custom apps for them

Partner with schools / colleges.

Gotta start somewhere

I'm not so sure those numbers are correct.

I have friends who develop software for Playbook and their numbers are as good as my BlackBerry downloads for similar apps.

It seems that Playbook owners download more software but even so, there must be a lot more than 200,000 owners for the numbers I've seen.

The main reason I bought another android tablet for less money...Wifi, 3G, Bluetooth, lots of Apps. It is not to replace my laptop or BB. When I travel to the US, I insert an ATT sim and $15 covers my data for the week+$2 a day for unlimited calling and text. I have less onboard memory (fixed with Micro SD Card) and I have no flash. So far, I have yet to regret. Even at $100 with NO 3G I don't think I'd be a taker

The advertising for the Playbook failed. Lets make a comparison between the iPad and PB advertising. When I see an iPad commercial it shows what the iPad can do whether with 3rd party apps or whats natively built in. Then lets look at the playbook ad what does it show? Not a whole lot. If RIM wants to sell the thing do an ad showing it being used by someone heck anyone and highlight that in the commercial. Apples advertising is strong for all of its products. RIM not so much. Now don't bash me on this comment but realize that RIM needs to advertise their products abilities.

I hated to return mine but had no choice. The PB is at best a piece of solid hardware with a pretty good web browser. That's it. I can do way more on my iPad 2 than I can with the PB, even though I really thought the PB was going to be great. Maybe 2.0 will help, but as it stands its a half-baked tablet that will probably go the way of the Touchpad.

I personally haul my playbook to and from work, at night I open it instead of my laptop to check the news, social sites, email (through the bridge to my 9700). For some peace and quiet I go to a room away from the kids and "Zack and Cody" and watch The Daily Show or a movie.

But sometimes it blows, I have to clear the cache a lot it seems for the browser, sometimes it just freezes. It is not loud enough (volume) and it needs to be better at network sharing and file exchange. I am no newbie but far from a tech wiz and it is not easy to move stuff to and from the device and navigate a network (at all).

If they want to sell more Playbooks, they need to dumb it down like Apple does, make things effortless, create a story that people can buy. RIM can't have it both ways, they can't expect to sell millions of these things and try to stand on a mountain of security and business focus. Are they in the consumer (non-business) market or aren't they, because if they aren't then forget about selling millions, and stop whining.

I have an iMac, just bought an Apple TV, my daughter has a Torch but now she wants an iPad. They are going to lose millions of loyal BB users if they don't develop a compelling plan and sales pitch to integrate phones, tablets and other media into our lives like Apple does. I will wait a little longer but not much.

All you guys waiting for the price to drop to $99 makes me sick. You are vultures. And Kevin is the worse. Support your company. Get out there and buy a playbook. Buy 20 of them now!

I don't see the price dropping anytime soon. RIM would rather lower the price to employees/companies than sell them to the general public at $99, which will signify failure. When the QNX phones come out, we'll start seeing more QNX apps being developed. Remember that RIM sells millions of smartphones and if RIM sells 50+ million QNX phones a year, developers will embrance the new OS. You'll then start seeing the apps flow through. We just need the QNX phones to come out and transition to the new OS ASAP. And they desperately need to work on their advertising. The PlayBook commercials were terrible.

Success of the PlayBook is based on the launch of QNX phones, but let me tell you the success of QNX phones is more dependent on the PlayBook than you think.

What is holding the PlayBook back is:
1. Poor Market Perception (People think it sucks - and I blame the media and the piss poor job RIM has done marketing)
2. Lack of APPS believe it or not APPS are the name of the game, if you expect to win in this 'market' you best have applications for everything. Why do you think windows was courting WebOS devs to build for Window Phone7?

Hopefully RIM reads some of the suggestions, hires a real marketing firm because as it seems RIM needs to re-position itself as the under dog and fight back. No more dancing around.

I am thinking if they do a $99 fire sale, the tablet will be more or less dead for RIM - the investors will in no way be willing to let them pursue further tablet development even if a tablet market would really develop (I know I sure wouldn't if I was a big investor - in fact, I'd be calling for the CEO's heads!). Such a bad move would scar the company further than it is scarred already.

To be fair, a lot of tablet companies rushed in to compete with the iPad - and nearly every one got burned. With the ones out there today, people are in what amounts to a bleeding contest.

I wish RIM good luck in working through their inventory overhang. It is going to have to be a delicate balance between cash liberation and not ruining your chances at developing an actual tablet market.

I do believe QNX 2.0 will increase the appeal, but I don't see it as a panacea.

Why doesn't RIM bundle the PB with their new phones? HP would have sold more touch pads if they'd bundled them with the pre3 (and got it out sooner). If you get your customer on two devices, then maybe a fire sale price would make more sense. I'd guess the user would be far less likely to change to another OS if they feel invested in two products instead of just one.

It would tank their phone sales, which when Q3 results come out will not be stellar.

I am not seeing the bump that RIM wanted from the new phone line. The loss they are taking on the PB is going to offset whatever gain they might of had.

ATT has not rolled out the new Touch Bold and rumor has it US Cellular has passed on it due to its high price.

From November 2011 to May 2012 is going to be a very tough period for RIM. One, I fear they may never recover from.

Brought to you by the Jim and Mike show!

Tim

They are doing this in Australia. You have the choice to bundle a PB and one of the new phones. So it isn't bundled with every sale, but the choice is still there and if I were getting a new contract I would definitely do it.

My Top 10 thoughts:

1. It pains me to see the amount of PlayBooks on my store's shelves collecting dust. Who knows what management will do with all that inventory. I can see retailers attempting something like Best Buy did with the TouchPad: threaten to send them back and/or not pay their bill. RIM cannot afford to suffer strained carrier relations at this point.
2. Speaking of the TouchPad, after my order was not fulfilled following the fire sale, I ordered one off of eBay at about half of original retail. Having tried a PlayBook in the past, I can easily say I prefer the PB's 7-inch size, the display quality and the overall feel of QNX.
3. As much as the PB is suffering in the market, they are retaining their value quite well on eBay.
4. The PlayBook did not fail. Research in Motion failed with the PlayBook. To release a product without your staples - native secure push email and BBM - is completely ludicrous! It's like a paving company putting gravel on a driveway and saying "there you go".
5. The Android App Player is not a well thought-out idea. It'll reaffirms the PlayBook's shortcomings and will push away developers from releasing titles for QNX handsets next spring. For those who are anticipating the well-publicized emulator, where is it? Didn't Crackberry report that it's coming by the end of the summer? Unless it shows up tomorrow before 11:59 pm EST, there's another example of RIM not able to follow through on its promises.
6. Ballsilly stated PlayBook OS 2.0 will be released shortly. Does that mean we'll see it by the end of the year?
7. At the BlackBerry World Keynote on May 3rd, Lazarus was proud to announce Angry Birds will be released for the PlayBook, much to the delight of his audience. 4 1/2 months later and after hitting the 350 million download mark, PlayBook owners are still watching others enjoy it on every other platform.
8. When the IT Manager for my city tells me his department tried a PlayBook and couldn't find the functionality, it's cause for concern.
9. Not properly attracting developers for native apps. Overshipping. Lack of transparency with shareholders by not reporting sell-through. Extremely poor marketing in-store and on TV. Layoffs because their low tablet sales are negatively affecting the bottom line. Talented managers & directors leaving. And now this headline today.
10. If Apple handled their iPad like this, heads would certainly roll. I guarantee they wouldn't be sitting at over $400 a share. What an enormous cluster**** by a once revered company.
RIM's mantra is "give us time". But you gotta wonder how much time is left with this product.

I've always said the playbook was over priced, if i had 600$ to spend for a table and i have a choice of an ipad2 or playbook, i would go with the ipad2 that would be a smarter investment. play book has no app, no native email, no native calender, and no BBM, things that should have been on there from day 1. playbook has potential, but rim has to market the product better. and update is not gonna help if no ones know what the tablet can do. why not bundle the torch 9810 or the 9900 together that would be an enticing offer. but i must say it does no look good for the playbook with sales, not seeing a lot of them out there.

Not surprised, but also wondering what are the numbers on the Android tablets. RIM can't do $99 firesale. It will just destroy any credibility they have in the device. I think the smaller scale discounts through certain channels make sense.

In addition, from what I heard previously, RIM didn't give any discounts to companies if they are deploying them, and I think that has really affected any sort of enterprise take-up (along with software problems of course). With PB 2.0 and Citrix support, I think RIM also needs to talk to governments and companies and given them bulk discounts to move units.

Interestingly though, when I tried to track down 64gb units here in western Canada, I had problems finding one (not open boxed). I had to go to three different physical stores before I can actually get one...

I can never understand why RIM hasn't offered Playbooks with a big discount when someone buys or renews a blackberry contract.

I think a solid strategy needs to be put in place to sell these and discounted pricing needs to come ASAP. More and cheaper tabs are just around the corner. RIM needs to get ahead of the curve.

I think this has been done in other jurisdictions, just not North America or Europe. Partly the carrier's decision I think.

But they could be creative..."Buy a Blackberry, take it home scan the UPC code and get a certificate for $100 off a playbook" Even if people took the damn phone back - and few would do that. You still sell the playbook and you generate publicity.

The company seems to have no creativity. "Oh the carriers say no so we just sit and take it."

If they'd given the Playbook a decent name RIM may have sold a lot more. I don't know about other countries but in the UK the word "play" is associated with children, usually those under 12 years old. Playbook is certainly not a name that the UK public would associate with knowledgeable consumers or business people.

Try telling your technically illiterate boss that you're on a Playbook and he'll probably tell you to get off your backside, stop playing and get on with some work!

I have to agree that the name does not travel well outside of North America. Some of the definitions for Playbook generally used in North America are shown below - they are actually quite fitting.

playbook - a notebook containing descriptions and diagrams of the plays that a team has practiced (especially an American football team)

playbook - a scheme or set of strategies for conducting a business campaign or a political campaign; "they borrowed a page from the playbook of the opposition"

Well then, it seem everyone knows what needs to be done, so where is the problem?
What are we waiting for? For interest'd sake how are android tablets faring in this ipad market?

At $99 I would consider jumping in. But I want to invest in a 9930 first. I am waiting on a price drop for that......

Nice to see you maintain your sense of humour Kevin when RIMM stock dropped nearly 3% in part because of this news.

Playbook is dead so QNX is dead so QNX BB phones are dead because no developers will waste their time writing apps for QNX. So we all stick with BB7, a dinosaur.

I'm bummed. I want to upgrade from my Bold 9650 but now I have to think about the future. Jump ship now or hope to weather the storm?

Your comment is shallow.

QNX is not dead:

1. QNX is far more than a tablet os for RIM
2. QNX WILL be on ALL of RIM's upcoming smartphones
3. QNX is a VERY advanced operating system, and once the mundane features we all crave are implemented it will be a success for RIM
4. QNX is easy to port apps over too, and also easy to program new apps for.

RIMs problem with apps in the past has NOT been the volume of handsets on the market, clearly for years they had the most. Their problem was that their OS was not easy to write nice apps for. The problem with the playbook is that RIM STILL has not released the NDK for the QNX os, on top of that, they haven't sold enough units for app developers to rush on over. Once RiM releases their QNX line of smartphones, and the millions upon millions flock from bbOS to QNXos, RIM will have both: 1. Enough units sold, and 2. A clean easy os to program apps for.

QNX IS THE FUTURE. Yes... Playbook - not so much - lol

Although I agree with you QNX is not dead. But, there are issues RIM needs to address before the so-called Millions switch over. RIM is sitting on a very dangerous fence right now. There are known problems with QNX and BIS/BES. So the question becomes this for RIM do we force all of our customers to switch to a QNX device. Which will alienate a good chunk of their base OR do we figure out how to make QNX and BIS/BES play well together. Knowing if the later fails they are in HUGE trouble. Either way I think RIM has painted themselves into a bad corner.

I got my playbook on day one and love it. I agree with you that if it goes to 99.00 I'll buy a bunch more and give it to my family but my guess is that you may get it down to 350 or 400 bucks and then get 100 bucks from Rim for a net in of 250-300.

I would take that price because once they clear out their inventory it may be an opportunity lost. Rim will not be as likely to reduce costs. Once the 2.0 release comes out and the BB Movies, android player and other goodies come out it should start moving well.

Kevin, you guys finally added #comments to the href on the comment-paging buttons: awesome :) I was beginning to wonder if you guys were going to blow it off.

Disappointing but not suprising news. Actually, what's been really entertaining is to see how RIM apologetists are trying to spin this as something good. The writing has been on the wall people; it's time to get your heads out of the sand and look at what is happening. Consumers have spoken with their wallets. Developers have spoken by not supporting the device. I'd even argue that RIM has spoken due to their complete and utter mismanagement of every aspect of the Playbook - from marketing, delivering, promised features, missing features, 60 day comments, and in general overall ineptitude when it came to this product.

Am I happy that the device seems to be circling the drain? Absolutely not. I bought a 64 gig version on Day 1 for full price. Like it or not, I am with the Playbook and sincerely hope that it manages to hang on; that OS 2.0 actually is released and is not another broken promise in a long line of broken promises regarding this product. I hope developers, major ones, will support the device. I hope proper communication apps, cross platform, come out soon. I hope enterprise features and true productivity apps come out. I hope a real pdf viewer comes out. Heck, I hope the official bluetooth keyboard/case combo comes out as I really want to purchase it.

While the Playbook is a solid device and has lots of potential; it is also facing serious problems. The real question is whether or not the market can continue to wait while RIM get's its act together and truly support the device. Will potential consumers continue to wait? Will current purchasers of the product continue to wait? At what point, do we simply throw our hands up in disgust and say, "i've waited too long, its time to move on to another product".

I'm just wondering but why would Android throw Blackberry a lifeline by allowing Blackberry customers to use Android applications?

Just a guess but I think Android is gaming Blackberry into thinking they can use Android apps. Those executives at Blackberry aren't the brightest bulbs on the tree. What happens if Android announces that they won't let Blackberry use Android apps?

I'm just playing devil's advocate.....

Google is likely not opposed as it means more $$$ for Android developers. Which begs the question: Why would Research in Motion give more power and revenue to a competitor in that regard?

Without Skype, and other common app support I would not even consider the device. Possibly, take a look if $99 but still a tough sell. I have the new 9850 - which is a nice device but I am dissapointed it does not have Skype - but it is simply unacceptable on any tablet ...IMO

Just another 240 million dollar mistake in execution, marketing
and in releasing a "not ready for primetime" product by the two at the top.

Two months before the release of the PB many on CB, including myself
said it would not sell without the basics.(email, texting, autospell/correct etc)
Guess us little people on CB understood something that these two clowns did not.

They will soon make their second mistake and release the so called OS 2.0
during Apple month. With the IPhone 5 being announced the first part of October
and probably hitting the stores soon after RIMs thunder will once again be drowned out.

When will the two at the top get it? When they are escorted out the door. Maybe.

Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.

Suggestion (like Mike and Jim would ever listen to the little people) release OS 2 it at the end of this month.

Tim

Tim

They will take another $200 million hit if they have to that a loss of $200/Playbook. Assuming there are about 1 million of them in the channel, unsold.

It comes down to usability & Apps ..so RIM should look to port Android to the playbook and customize it with RIM's features.

Todays playbook does not have and SD slot, no Skype. basic items that a lot of people are dissapointed with.

I love my Playbook. The size is perfect. I took it on my Scotland trip and used it quite a bit backpacking through the Highlands. I was abel to take video, great pics, stop in and take advantage of wifi at various pubs or inns. Worked out great. I carry it with me everywhere, and snap pictures or videos of my kids more often as a result.

I can't wait for the 2.0 OS for the playbook though. The feature set just keeps getting better.

With the new case that has the keyboard and mouse along with it, I'd love to see a command line, grin. Add with that the ability to write Java directly on the playbook, and I'd be in heaven.

I paid full price for my 64GB model and feel I got a great value for it. I've seen many other people run out and pay 500.00 for a 10" Android Tablet, and use it for the first week, then less frequently until it becomes a paper weight. I've seen peole with Ipads that have them just to have them, no other reason. And most use them purely as a picture / video viewer.

Please RIM CEO s give up... Blackberry Neefs Young cool CEO s. ..... Look HTC, or others...they take what other do ...smartphone boxes Look like Apple or Charger and cabels..... The playbook is Great but Why yoummake allways so Many Same phones and Not a biger playbook... Why you cant offer Exchange...?.. Why you cant .... Cant ..if you have so Many playbook ... Fire sale man... Weakup... We Love Blackberry ... But you have to Start Hear of us..sorry for my english..... Make a New Start.... Take cool Creek Open Stores...but please don't make bold 9900, 9901, 9902... Make a clean product line..forget The Bankers... They are New Generation of Bankers..they Love cool Things.... Multimedia....you have The Best speakers on your Devices but you don't have Big app Store....common...help us Blackberry God if there is One.....Love BB

Went to Best Buy today to buy a Playbook. Asked the guy if the price would fall in the coming days could i get a price protection. he said NO as when the Touchpad went to 99$ they didn't honour the price protection since it didn't qualify for a price reduction from them but a liquidation from the manufacturer. Personally i don't believe him, but.... didn't want to take that chance.

I had a playbook and returned it on rumours of price drop. Was afraid to be stuck with a tablet i paid 500$ but would sell a couple months later for 300$. What is RIM waiting for, drop the price already, it's been over a week!

The worst part is not failure of the PlayBook, it's the impact on their phone development while they focused on PlayBook. If they'd kept 100% effort in phones we'd already have 4G dual-core QNX phones able to run BB and Android apps and shoot HD video while taking still shots too.

I think at the end of it all, RIM will just be fine. Every worthwhile business will pass through one storm or the other,for RIM to be able to withstand the stormy period till now, RIM will just be fine.And most of the time, you come out of storm losing and gaining some things, that accounts for some leaving BlackBerry for other phones.....I wonder if others including Apple could survive similar period this far.What is happening to Playbook presently is just fall out of it being released unfinished.Playbook is a great tablet that other tablets know it would be difficult for them to compete with....and the 2.0 update will make a great difference with good marketing strategies, which price reduction is not the ultimate of....

My 64GB has been problem free and I'm very happy with it. I would buy it again, no question. Looking forward to the update as it will just make my great investment better.

Don't forget the impact that the starbucks-drinking-iPad-toting-Apple-loving-PC-hating-Blackberry-envious media has on public opinion. There is a definate agenda in the media against RIM, and RIM will have to deal with that if they want to remain a serious player in the personal media device market.

There is no anti-RIM biased media, this is just in your head. RIM products just don't cut it anymore. I use many different products, iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy S2, Playbook, iPad 2, Motorola Xoom, Galaxy Tab 10.1, BB 9900 and so on and I can compare. Trust me when I say that all the RIM critics are pretty much right so far. Forget about the conspiracy, RIM just doesn't offer the right products right now and they missed the train.

Hello everyone my first real post here.

After reading all the comments hear and some are really good, if OS 2.0 is really ready to go right now why not put in Appworld and let registered users try it out. My birthday is October 20th and the last thing I need is to be disappointed with it. I don't see anything wrong with this cause only some people will try it first, others will wait for reports on how it works.

I see it this way because there is only a few hundred thou that have one. It also would be a great test to see if everything is working in real use. Google puts out betas all the time why can't RIM. They want us to accept android market for apps but do they work correctly.

Well enough I could talk about this all night.

TRULY BYTES !! ...that they offer it for $149 to rogers employees only ($249-$100 BB rebate) and not to anyone else ? With the $100 rebate expiring tomorrow I am beyond upset that we BB fans were not given the same oppurtunity.

Fire both dinosaurs in charge of the company.
The playbook has no traction so drop the price before iPad 3 and Windows 8 force you too anyway.
Offer $150 off coupon with the purchase of the new blackberry phone.
Did I mention to fire the two morons in charge?

Yes, the Playbook hardware is great, no doubt about it. QNX is also great, no doubt about it. Why do I still like to use my iPad 2 more ? Very simple: I would miss all the great apps and of course the many tv shows and movies I use on my iPad 2.

To make it short: Hardware alone doesn't sell anymore. Content is very important too.
If RIM drops the price tag of the Playbook to 199 USD for the 64GB, I would probably get that one too (currently I own the 16GB version). On the other hand, I ask myself: What the heck would I do with it ? A cheaper price tag isn't everything but I agree with Kevin: If RIM drops the Playbook price tag substantially, it will sell much better. The question is: Can RIM afford it ?!

800000 unsold units and layoffs at the manufacturing plant.

Oh goody, $100 Playbooks at WalMart for Christmas.

Only if RIM intends to stop selling tablets should they hold a Playbook fire sale. HP destroyed any future market for WebOS tablets priced higher than $99.

Why harp on the absence of Skype when we already have ComWave's ePhone which for a flat annual fee of CAD/USD20.00 you get approximately 250 minutes each month with any excess minutes charged at a very low rate. Appreciate the applications we have available now, others will come in time, and support those developers and vendors and service providers which already support the BlackBerry PlayBook.

I bought an iPad 2 without even looking at any other Tablet & never looked back since. Apples reputation gives you more than enough confidence in their products without needing the marketing side of things to convince you & im sorry but Flash Support isnt going to be an iPad/Phone/Pod killer.

As for the Playbook from the moment i saw the Size of it i knew it was in trouble, theres HTC phones out there nearly the same size. People talk about Portability but i hardly want my Tablet to fit in my pocket. We are now in the age of the ManBag, if people need to take there Tablet out & about with them its not a problem, i want a tablet with a decent size screen to get the best out of its features be it video, games, books etc etc.

RIMs problem & Apples strength is that App World/App Store is Terrible/Fantastic with Hardly Any/Thousands of Apps to choose from many which are Expensive/Fair Priced & poor Quality/Fantastic. Also you cant put the PB in the Same price bracket as the iPad.

I cant even comment on any other Tablet because i havent even give them a second look but what i did find totally strange is that BlackBerrys main strengths with their phones ie Email & BBM werent even available on the PB.......whats that all about??????