Wow. RIM reported their Q2 results yesterday. In amongst the figures reported was this:
— Approximately 200,000 PlayBook tablets *shipped*
So that’s not even the number sold, just shipped to distribution channels.
Just for quick comparison sake, that’s 200K shipped vs. 9.25 million iPads sold in that quarter. Or, that’s two days worth of iPad sales for the entire quarter.
This is the same PlayBook that RIM talked about as being ‘way ahead’ and setting he standard before it was even released. The one they promoted with ads like the one above, declaring that ‘Amateur Hour is Over’.
With those kind of sales numbers, maybe amateur hour is over now, or soon should be.
Ever since it actually got released, to say the PlayBook is way behind would be a huge understatement. It’s had failure written all over it since Day 1 – and given recent history, this big sale may be the beginning of the end of this would-be iPad rival.
From the department of ‘Couldn’t happen to a nicer tablet’ rumors – BGR have reported on an analyst’s note saying it looks like RIM may soon be pulling the plug on their BlackBerry Playbook.
In a note to investors Monday afternoon, RBC Capital Markets Managing Director Mike Abramsky reiterated an OTR Global report that Research In Motion is possibly planning to stop production of the BlackBerry PlayBook’s Wi-Fi model. The Wi-Fi version of RIM’s tablet is the only version Research In Motion currently manufacturers.
If this proves true that will be an awfully quick demise for a tablet that RIM touted as being ahead of its rivals even before it hit the market. One that RIM talked up as being ‘way ahead’ and setting the bar for performance. I posted in April about how the major reviews of the device did not agree at all, and more or less savaged the device. Despite those, promotions for the PlayBook have been full of bragging – like the one at the top of this post shouting that ‘Amateur hour is over’. Their web page for the PlayBook even has this comical headline feature for the device:
More apps. More choice.
Seriously? What are there, around 25 apps for the PlayBook? Against 100,000 iPad apps.
Anyway, it looks like Amateur Hour may not be over just yet.
According to reports today, the first analyst estimate for first month sales of the Blackberry PlayBook is not good. The estimate, from Mike Abramsky at RBC Capital Markets, pegs the PlayBook’s sales so far at just 250,000 units, in right around a month on the market.
Just for reference, some numbers to put that in context:
— The iPad 2 is estimated to have sold around 1 million units in its first three days on the market.
— If this estimate proves right and the PlayBook continues to sell at that rate, it would sell around two million units this year. Based on most of the iPad 2 estimates I’ve seen so far, that would put the PlayBook’s 2011 sales below a good month’s sales for the iPad 2.
The image above is a promo page for the Blackberry PlayBook, spotted by Jim Dalrymple and others recently. Just in case you can’t see it well, the headline reads:
Amateur Hour Is Over
The implication being that now that the PlayBook has arrived we finally have a ‘professional-grade’ (a favorite phrase used in promoting the PlayBook) tablet on the market. And that would be the same tablet that arrived a year after the clear leader in the market but was still ‘rushed to market’. The same tablet that has been met with reviews that range from middle-of-the-road to flat-out scathing. The same tablet that has no native email app, or calendar app, or contacts app.
The Blackberry folks are certainly professionals at talking a whole lot of trash before achieving anything at all. Other than that, I can’t think of a single reason why the term ’professional-grade’ applies to this also-ran tablet.
Early reviews of the Blackberry Playbook are coming out this week from some A-List technology writers, just days before the tablet’s release on April 19. To say the reviews are not living up to RIM’s big talk about their tablet would be a major understatement.
Radio Shack’s promo for the PlayBook (shown above) touts it as the ‘First Professional Grade Tablet’ – with ‘uncompromised mobile browsing’.
During a round of Plants vs. Zombies, gameplay bogged down whenever the animation got intense. Every time I tried to access a Flash game on Facebook, the browser crashed. Yes, every single time. … RIM’s WebKit-based browser is about as stable as your bipolar uncle.
And despite supposedly being the fist professional grade tablet, the PlayBook comes with no native email, contacts, or calendar apps. You have to use a ‘bridge’ feature to a Blackberry smartphone to have access to those sort of capabilities. And that’s not going too well either according to David Pogue at The New York Times:
You should also know that even now, only days before the PlayBook goes on sale April 19, the software is buggy and still undergoing feverish daily revision. And the all-important BlackBerry Bridge feature is still in beta testing. It’s missing important features, like the ability to view e-mail file attachments or click a link in an e-mail.
The question is: Who, besides BlackBerry users, is going to want to buy it? The core email and calendar apps are completely tethered to a BlackBerry. Without your BlackBerry, there is no native email or calendar app—just access through the (admittedly good) web browser.
That’s got to be a very bad call. I can’t ever imagine the iPad requiring you to have an iPhone in order to use two basic and essential apps.
RIM – makers of Blackberry devices – have announced their upcoming tablet device, called the Blackberry PlayBook. This will likely be seen as one of the primary rivals for the iPad when it is released – which is expected to be in ‘early 2011’.
Watching the promo video for the PalyBook, I have to say that the more I see of potential iPad rival devices, the more this feels like deja vu with the way all the other smartphone makers rushed around desperate to copy the iPhone for the first couple of years after the original iPhone launched.