RIM were depending on its new PlayBook to increase sales as demand for its BlackBerry phones diminishes, according to Bloomberg RIM may have shipped just one of the tablet computers last quarter for every 19 iPads Apple sold.
The company will report their earnings tomorrow, estimated sales are about 490,000 PlayBooks for first full quarter of sales, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts, compared to Apple’s 9.25 million iPads shipped last quarter. Analysts cut estimates for full-year PlayBook shipments, to an average of 2.2 million, according to the survey.
“RIM overplayed the PlayBook in terms of its sales and prospects,” said Charlie Wolf, an analyst at Needham & Co. in New York. “What this really shows is that the company’s prospects will depend on the next generation of BlackBerrys.”
When RIM first disclosed plans for a tablet last year, analysts including Tero Kuittinen, then at MKM Partners LLC, said the device had the potential to evolve into a significant new product category. Yet RIM didn’t get the 7-inch tablet to market until April, a year after the first iPad and behind rivals such as Samsung Electronics Co. Even then, RIM drew criticism for introducing the PlayBook without dedicated e-mail or instant messaging and a shortage of consumer applications like Netflix Inc. (NFLX) movies.
RIM will ship about 1.5 million tablets this year, compared with 39.2 million for Apple and 7 million for Samsung, said Michael Walkley, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity Ltd.
“RIM hasn’t given up on the PlayBook, but it’s clearly off to a poor start,” said Minneapolis-based Walkley, who has a “hold” rating on the company. That creates “huge pressure” on the new BlackBerry phones, he said.
Personally, as soon as I seen the BlackBerry advert boasting that the device supported Flash I had my suspicions that the device was not going to do well…