PlayBook stock mountain: RIM slashes prices
Unloved fondle-slab is 'a dog with fleas'
RIM has started to slash prices for its little-loved BlackBerry PlayBook tablet in the US amid channel talk on this side of the pond that the fondleslabs are shifting more slowly than expected and inventory levels are out of control.
The troubled Canadian firm is taking a lead from HP which saw demand for its TouchPad go through the roof after it hacked prices ahead of canning the product family. RIM is trying to tempt customers with a $100 coupon and $100 rebate.
The latest price-hacking measures have yet to reach Europe, although telco launch partner for the PlayBook Carphone Warehouse confirmed it is now giving PlayBooks away for free when bought as part of a mobile contract with its BlackBerry device.
A spokeswoman at Carphone Warehouse refused to comment on shipments to date or be drawn on any price cuts that may or may not be pending.
Reseller sources reckon RIM rushed its product to market without the features – unless tethered to a BlackBerry – required to mount a credible challenge to Apple: no contact database, native email, chat app or 3G connectivity.
"It's a dog with fleas," claimed one reseller. "Demand is very poor".
Another said customers had trialled it but came back unimpressed. "It's too expensive and not fit for purpose in the enterprise space ... it's a tethering device so has to be carried with a BlackBerry."
Sources estimate that up to 500,000 PlayBooks have yet to find a home. RIM has already cut sales forecasts for the year.
There is a pressing urgency to clear this kit as RIM readies a 3G version with more functionality but it is playing catch-up with Apple – the third-gen iPad is expected to be released early next year.
European PlayBook distributor Brightpoint refused to comment and despite repeated attempts, RIM was unavailable for comment. ®
I really am not at all surprised. They were selling a not-a-ipad for the price of an ipad, and expecting to carve a slice of market action. Just like HP, they were greedy. I've written on here before about my old Dad's dictum, that to compete with the market leader you have to be one or both of:
* twice as good
* half the price
Because they have already done the hard work before you and taken the high ground.
I really hope that this is the end of Mee-toooo engineering.
It has been all too aparant in the world of digital cameras where man+dog was making the same indistinguishable box for drunken office girls to point at each other in italian restaurants. That was a long tradition of copying going back to the days of the Instamatic, and it sort of worked for cameras because you could buy one and it worked and you didn't need anything else.
Fondlepads are not like that. They are part of a system. It's like trying to sell dodgem cars when no-one has put up the chicken wire for the electric supply.
I am sick of people saying "there is a proven market of X million, if we get 15% of that it is Y million". For heavens sake, lads, go out and invent something for yourselves.
Where is my voice-based computer? what about a way to get the BBC radio while driving through poland? Why aren't all the new phones dual- or triple- sim? What about a bonephone layer on the head? spectacles with zoom lenses? What about a camera with IR visualisation for spotting people with a fever? What happened to data gloves? eye movement tracking instead of a mouse (all you need is two cameras on a notebook)
Or even some boring peripherals? what about a printer and scanner the same size as an ipad, that will do a sheet or two at a time? Remember home automation? temperature indicating tableware? Where are the standing stair lifts, the cycle detectors for the left side of large vehicles? What about private family networks on phones, a sort of always-on walkie talkie with intercontinental range? and position tracking? gadgets to weigh things or measure them in 3D? Cheap domestic solid printers? electric cycle retrofits? Why do cars have the same key on every door, central locking, and remote openers, and houses don't? Where is my pocket device to scan bank notes for forgeries? a minature soldering station for reflow soldering IC packages? peltier based spot heating or cooling for foodstuffs? domestic energy recycling for b athwater and flue gasses? a method of keeping next door's cat from using the flower beds as a latrine? linked watches, so you can remind yer partner of an appointment, or know what direction they are in some cavernous shopping mall? Cheap space flight? window glass that goes reflective in hot weather? an UV based bacteria scanner for domestic and catering food preparation surfaces?
There are still a billion things to invent. Stop bloody copying the latest fad and use some brains for a change!
We trialled one
Nobody could use it at even a basic level without training; as opposed to the iPad or even an Android device, which are completely intuitive.
Several said 'So can I have a tablet instead of a Blackberry?' Well... no.
Now the iPad supports Exchange security features, there's really no point in denying requests for them. In fact, I see little point in the Blackberry either if an employee prefers an iPhone or other.
Sounds like the prize list on the gadget show.