IDC: Tablet market up 303.8% in Q2; Apple iPad dominates with 68.3% share, Android slides

By on September 14, 2011 at 1:45 PM.

IDC: Tablet market up 303.8% in Q2; Apple iPad dominates with 68.3% share, Android slides

Second-quarter tablet shipments jumped 303.8% year-over-year and 88.9% quarter-over-quarter according to new data released by IDC on Wednesday. A total of 13.6 million units were shipped during the quarter, which drove IDC to boost its 2011 shipment forecast from 53.5 million units to 62.5 million units. Apple shipped 9.3 million iPad units during the second quarter, securing the throne of the global tablet market with a 68.3% share. The introduction of RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook paired with the popularity of Apple’s iPad pushed Android’s tablet market share down from 34% to 26.8%, and IDC said the trend will continue during the third quarter when it expects Android’s tablet market share to fall to 23% before it rebounds in the fourth quarter to 25.9%. Read on for more. More →

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BlackBerry PlayBook said to be destined for ‘same graveyard as the HP TouchPad’

By on September 14, 2011 at 12:40 PM.

BlackBerry PlayBook said to be destined for ‘same graveyard as the HP TouchPad’

As Research In Motion prepares to report its fiscal second-quarter earnings on Thursday after the market closes, the future of the company and its next-generation products again takes center stage. While estimates for RIM’s second and third quarters are expected by some analysts to beat Wall Street’s consensus, performance of the vendor’s just-released BlackBerry 7 smartphones obviously doesn’t weigh as heavily on the minds of analysts as RIM’s future products and strategy. QNX and its ability to compete with the likes of Apple and Google will be analysts’ focus for the next several quarters, and unfortunately for RIM, the only QNX device it has launched to date is the BlackBerry PlayBook. Read on for more. More →

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Canaccord sees slow PlayBook sales as iPad 2 continues to dominate tablet market

By on September 7, 2011 at 12:00 PM.

Canaccord sees slow PlayBook sales as iPad 2 continues to dominate tablet market

Slower than expected sell-through of Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet has prompted investment bank Canaccord Genuity to slash its sales estimates for RIM’s first tablet. BGR noted last week that Best Buy’s Labor Day sale likely indicated slow sell-through of at least one PlayBook model, and it looks like a recent round of checks jibes with our take. Canaccord analysts Michael Walkley and Matt Ramsay wrote in a research note that multiple retailers are seeing less than impressive sales of RIM’s slate. “Our August checks continue to indicate soft sales of RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook with some retailers recently lowering prices on the device in attempt to move inventory,” the analysts said. As a result, Walkley slashed his full-year PlayBook sales projection substantially to 1.5 million units from earlier estimates of 2.2 million tablets. Read on for more. More →

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Labor Day sale pricing hints at slow sell-through for RIM’s top PlayBook tablet

By on September 2, 2011 at 10:01 AM.

Labor Day sale pricing hints at slow sell-through for RIM’s top PlayBook tablet

Retail giant Best Buy is currently offering Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet at a discount for Labor Day. For a limited time, RIM’s tablet can be had for as little as $449.99 for the 16GB model, a $50 discount. The 32GB and 64GB PlayBook models are both priced at $549.99, affording a $50 discount on the former and a $150 discount on the latter. The steeper discount on RIM’s high-end PlayBook may indicate that Best Buy is having trouble offloading the pricey tablet, which normally retails for $700. RIM announced on its earnings call in June that it had shipped 500,000 PlayBook tablets during the slate’s first partial quarter of availability. Since then, reports have been mixed; while many analysts have said RIM’s tablet is not selling well to end users, a major Australian retailer has gone on record with claims of “fantastic” PlayBook sales. Best Buy confirmed to BGR via email that its sale on BlackBerry PlayBook tablets will run through Labor Day, September 5th.

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'Non-Apple' tablet makers forced to cut prices following weak sales

By on August 16, 2011 at 5:15 PM.

'Non-Apple' tablet makers forced to cut prices following weak sales

While Apple’s iPad continues on its warpath, other tablet makers are not finding it quite as easy to offload their Android and Windows slates — which is understandable, considering they’re doing it wrong. While Apple managed to ship 9.25 million iPads last quarter and some retailers are still having trouble keeping inventory in stock, other consumer tablet vendors are reportedly having a difficult time pushing their wares past retail channels and into the hands of end users. Even the success stories among tablet vendors are exhibiting less-than-stellar sell-through, with companies like ASUS, creator of the popular Eee Pad Transformer, said to have left nearly 30% of the 700,000 tablets it shipped between May and July on store shelves. As a result, tablet vendors like Samsung, Motorola and HP will be forced to lower their prices in an effort to bolster weak sales, DigiTimes reports. HP has already offered two limited-time sales on its TouchPad tablet since it launched just last month, and now the company has permanently shaved $100 from its tablet’s price tag. Motorola also recently lowered the price of its XOOM tablet, leaving the 32GB model priced evenly with Apple’s 16GB iPad. DigiTimes says its sources are anticipating two more waves of tablet price cuts this year, one in September and another approaching the holiday season. More →

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RIM touts 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook following cancellation of WiMAX model

By on August 12, 2011 at 4:56 PM.

RIM touts 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook following cancellation of WiMAX model

Following Sprint’s confirmation that it has chosen not to move forward in releasing a 4G WiMAX-enabled version of RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, RIM said it has decided to focus instead on LTE. “RIM has decided to prioritize and focus its 4G development resources on LTE,” RIM said in an emailed statement on Friday. “We remain excited and committed to delivering innovative and powerful 4G tablets to the US market together with our carrier partners. Testing of BlackBerry 4G PlayBook models is already underway and we plan to enter labs for network certifications in the US and other international markets this fall.”

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Android steals 20% of tablet market from iPad over past year

By on August 12, 2011 at 10:00 AM.

Android steals 20% of tablet market from iPad over past year

Android-powered tablets have taken 20% of the global tablet market from Apple’s iPad over the past 12 months according to new data from ABI Research. While Android tablets have collectively managed to make a sizable dent in the iPad’s global market share, ABI says no single tablet vendor has managed to “mount a significant challenge” against the iPad at this point. “Many vendors have introduced media tablets, but none are separating themselves from the pack to pose a serious threat to Apple,” ABI Research mobile devices group director Jeff Orr said in a statement. “In fact, most have introduced products at prices higher than similarly-configured iPads. Apple, never a company to be waiting for others, has introduced its second-generation iPad media tablet while keeping product pricing unchanged.” Orr continued, “De-featured, low-cost media tablets are being introduced by more than fifty vendors in 2011. This will certainly help bolster year-over-year growth for the category, but it also creates a negative perception in the minds of the mass consumer audience about the readiness of media tablets to be fully functional within the next several years. Good user experiences and product response are needed to propel this market beyond the ‘early adopter’ stage.” ABI Reseach’s full press release follows below. More →

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Primecap doubles RIM stake in vote of confidence

By on August 8, 2011 at 4:45 PM.

Primecap doubles RIM stake in vote of confidence

Pasedena, California-based investment management firm Primecap Management Co. recently doubled its investment in BlackBerry vendor Research In Motion. According to a recent regulatory filing, Primecap now owns 26.4 million shares of RIM stock valued at about $577 million as of Monday’s close, and the stake represents approximately 5% of RIM’s total outstanding shares. According to Bloomberg, Primecap’s stake at the end of the second quarter of this year was approximately 2.5%. As numerous analysts continue to cut their price targets on RIM stock, Primecap’s continued investment could represent a vote of confidence in RIM’s new BlackBerry 7 phones and its future QNX phones as well, which are due to begin launching in the first quarter of 2012. More →

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Verizon roadmap shows Galaxy S II, 4G Curve, HTC Vigor, new 4G Galaxy Tab, more

By on August 4, 2011 at 10:00 AM.

Verizon roadmap shows Galaxy S II, 4G Curve, HTC Vigor, new 4G Galaxy Tab, more

Verizon Wireless has a blockbuster smartphone and tablet lineup planned ahead of the holiday shopping season this year according to a purported leaked roadmap. Published on Wednesday by IGN, the roadmap reveals numerous previously unheard of devices. While details are scarce for the time being, several highly anticipated phones are mentioned on the document as well, alongside launch dates. The following are highlights from the document along with launch dates and some available details:

  • September 8th: Samsung Stratosphere (presumably Verizon’s Galaxy S II) — 4G LTE, Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • September 8th: Motorola DROID BIONIC
  • September 8th: BlackBerry Curve 9370 — 4G LTE
  • September 8th: 4G Motorola XOOM
  • September 29th: Samsung Illusion — Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • September 29th: HTC Bliss — Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • October 5th: HTC Vigor — replaces the HTC Thunderbolt
  • October 20th: LG Revolution 2 — replaces the LG Revolution
  • November: Galaxy Tab P8 — 4G LTE

The document also mentions a Samsung Plato, though it says the device’s launch has been delayed until January, and it states that Verizon will launch RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook at a date to be determined. None of this is confirmed for the time being, though if accurate, Verizon Wireless subscribers can expect quite a lineup this fall straight through to the holidays. More →

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BlackBerry PlayBook Android support delayed until ‘late fall’

By on August 3, 2011 at 9:50 AM.

BlackBerry PlayBook Android support delayed until ‘late fall’

Research In Motion originally said that its QNX-powered BlackBerry PlayBook tablet would be capable of running Android applications through a virtual player this summer. While early builds of the software have already been leaked, we’re nearing the end of the summer and PlayBook owners are still Android-less. Unfortunately, Engadget has learned that the BlackBerry maker has delayed support for Android applications until ‘late fall.’ There’s no word on an exact date, but the sooner RIM can offer support the more attractive its PlayBook tablet will be. More →

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Russian government may ban iPad, adopt PlayBook or Android tablets instead

By on July 29, 2011 at 6:20 PM.

Russian government may ban iPad, adopt PlayBook or Android tablets instead

The Russian government is considering disallowing the use of Apple’s iPad tablet within government agencies due to security concerns, Russian-language business news site RBC Daily reports. Instead, it is investigating various alternative tablet options including RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook, Android-powered tablets or even a new device created by a Russian agency. Government security experts are reportedly looking for more “cryptographically secure tablet PCs” than Apple’s iPad tablet, and if the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s recent certification is any indication, the BlackBerry PlayBook could fit the bill. RIM announced last week that its PlayBook tablet received FIPS 140-2 certification, thus allowing it to be used by U.S. government officials. No other tablet has received FIPS certification to date. More →

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Did RIM lose its BlackBerry software boss just ahead of QNX transition?

By on July 26, 2011 at 12:30 PM.

Did RIM lose its BlackBerry software boss just ahead of QNX transition?

BGR has learned that Research In Motion’s head of BlackBerry software may have left the company. Suresh Periyalwar, Senior Vice President of Handheld Software, had been with RIM since April 2001 when he joined as Director of Software Development. He came to the company from Nortel, where he managed CDMA-related development for more than five years. Periyalwar was promoted to SVP at RIM three years ago in May 2008 according to his LinkedIn profile, which still has him listed as a RIM employee. BGR has also learned from a trusted source that several additional key executives have been planning to leave on their own accord. (more

RIM’s stock is down more than 60% from its 12-month high of $70.54, and there is a great deal of unrest at the company’s headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario. BGR exclusively published an open letter from an anonymous senior executive at RIM late last month, which pleaded for the company’s top management to make several strategic changes in order to regain momentum and mind share in the smartphone market. A later expose, also published by BGR, painted a troubling picture of the smartphone vendor that once revolutionized the industry.

If Periyalwar did in fact leave the company as multiple sources have informed BGR, it might not bode well for RIM’s next-generation smartphones. The departure of RIM’s SVP of Handheld Software just ahead of the company’s transition to QNX could imply that the executive did not have confidence in RIM’s brand new platform. On the other hand, Periyalwar may have been pushed out in favor of fresh leadership in its software division ahead of the company’s QNX smartphone launches. RIM declined to confirm or deny the executive’s departure when reached for comment by BGR. Periyalwar could not be reached for comment.

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BlackBerry PlayBook becomes first tablet approved for U.S. government use

By on July 21, 2011 at 4:38 PM.

BlackBerry PlayBook becomes first tablet approved for U.S. government use

Research In Motion on Thursday announced that its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet has become the first tablet device to be certified for use by the U.S. government. The company’s slate has received FIPS 140-2 certification according to RIM, and it is currently the only media tablet to have been awarded this certification from the National Institute of Standards and Technology at this point. FIPS certification is required in order for a device to be considered for use by the U.S. government. “RIM is pleased to announce that the BlackBerry PlayBook is the first tablet approved under FIPS for use within the U.S. federal government,” said RIM’s Senior Vice President of Security Scott Totzke in a statement. “This certification demonstrates our continued commitment to meeting the needs of security-conscious organizations and enables the U.S. federal government to buy with confidence knowing that the PlayBook meets their computing policy requirements for protecting sensitive information.” RIM’s full press release follows below. More →

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