Research In Motion (RIM) has a lot riding on the success of its PlayBook tablet, given that it needs to regain its footing in the mobile market. But some analysts are projecting that the company's sales of the tablet will not reach targets.
According to a story by Bloomberg news service, RIM has most likely shipped about 490,000 PlayBooks in the fiscal second quarter ending Aug. 31. That doesn't necessarily reflect sales to end-users, but shipments to distributors and retailers. That compares with 9.25 million iPads shipped by Apple in its fiscal third quarter ending June 25.
'Overplayed the PlayBook'
Accordingly, some analysts reduced their estimates of PlayBook shipments for the full year to an average 2.2 million, compared with estimates of nearly 40 million for Apple and 7 million for Samsung. Some analysts are projecting sales as low as 1.5 million.
The news service quoted Needham & Co. analyst Charlie Wolf as saying that RIM "overplayed the PlayBook" in terms of its sales outlook, which makes the company even more dependent on the next generation of BlackBerry smartphones. The PlayBook got off to a sluggish start, with a delayed launch and without capabilities for its own email or instant messaging.
The Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM, once a dominant player in mobile phones for businesses, has seen its position in business and consumer markets steadily erode in the face of competition from Apple and Android devices.
An August report by Gartner found that RIM's share of the worldwide smartphone market dropped to 12 percent in the second quarter of this year, compared with 19 percent last year, and the company had declined one position to sixth place in terms of mobile-device sales to end users.
"Demand for RIM's devices in the second quarter," the report said, "was impaired by an aging portfolio and delays in shipping products."
In the last year, the company's stock has dropped more than 50 percent, and, in July, RIM announced it was cutting its workforce by 10 percent.
BlackBerry 7, QNX
RIM is trying to upgrade its operating system platform to compete with the fast-moving iOS, Android and others. New phones with the BlackBerry 7 operating system are being released this month, and the product line will transition to the QNX OS early next year. The PlayBook runs QNX.
In addition to straddling these two new operating systems, the company has indicated that QNX-based phones will be able to run Android applications, and it has already announced such a capability for its PlayBook tablet. The PlayBook went on sale in April, and its Android player is expected to be released later in 2011.
On the one hand, this could boost RIM's flagging product line, since there are more than a quarter-million Android apps in the Google Android Market, but only about 40,000 in RIM's App World. On the other hand, buyers might decide that, if they want to run Android apps, they might as well get a native Android device.
Posted: 2011-09-18 @ 8:37am PT
Android player is more likely a desperate move chasing imaginary apps market and depreciating their own operating system. The proprietary operating systems seem to please most customers more than Android one. The TouchPad got a lot of negative publicity but many customers who purchased it, published hundreds of glowing reviews of their experience, particularly when it comes to WebOS. Customers love WebOS. Online marketing research shows that it leads in customer satisfaction in comparison with other offerings.