In a note to investors on Tuesday, RBC Capital Markets General Manager Mike Abramsky issued the firm’s estimates for sales of Verizon Wireless’ iPhone 4 during its first week and first quarter of availability. Best on the firm’s pre-order estimates, RBC believes that first-week sales of Verizon’s iPhone 4, which goes on sale tomorrow, will surpass 1 million units. Channel inventory at launch is estimated to be between 1 and 1.5 million units, and Abramsky thinks the entire inventory may be depleted during the phone’s first week of availability. RBC also projects that between 3 and 4 million Verizon iPhone 4 units will be sold during the first quarter of 2011. Finally, RBC notes that its previous estimates of between 9 and 10 million Verizon iPhones being sold during the 2011 calendar year may be conservative. Verizon Wireless took pre-orders from existing subscribers on February 3rd and stated that the highly anticipated smartphone broke its previous first-day sales record in less than two hours. Pre-sales were available for a total of 17 hours and analyst estimates for total pre-sales on February 3rd are as high as 500,000 units.
Rumors of possible delays may be further quashed on Friday as industry watcher DigiTimes reports that production of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is now in full swing. Quanta, the China-based manufacturer charged with building the BlackBerry tablets, is said to have ramped up production ahead of the device’s anticipated release in March. A pace of 150,000 to 200,000 units per month has reportedly been reached, and shipments could be ready as soon as next month. Quanta is said to be building PlayBook tablets in its facilities in Taiwan, though the majority of its plants are located in mainland China. An earlier report from DigiTimes claims that RIM has 1 million BlackBerry PlayBook tablets on order in the first quarter of 2011. RIM plans to launch a Wi-Fi-only version of its PlayBook tablet in March, while 3G and 4G versions are expected later in the first half of this year. More →
Motorola Mobility on Wednesday reported its fourth quarter and full year 2010 earnings. It also gave grim but anticipated guidance for the first quarter of 2011 as Verizon Wireless, the company’s top carrier partner, prepares to launch the iPhone 4. Motorola’s revenues were up 21% year-over-year to $3.4 billion and net revenues from the company’s Mobile Devices division grew 33% year-over-year to $2.4 billion. Smartphone shipments were well under Wall Street’s consensus, however, coming in at 4.9 million units. Some analysts’ expectations were as high as 5.6 million units. Shipments totalled 13.7 million smartphones for the full year, and the company shipped 37.3 million feature phones and smartphones combined in 2010. Motorola forecasts a loss of between $26 and $62 million in the first quarter of 2011, which amounts to $0.09 and $0.21 per share in the red. Analysts had projected a profit of $0.01 per share in the quarter. Hit the break for Motorola’s full press release. More →
In a presentation to investors on Friday, HTC revealed first-quarter projections that left attendees wide-eyed and smiling. In short, the Taiwan-based cell phone maker sees revenue and shipments both doubling as it continues to make waves in the smartphone market. “We continue to see strong demand from existing products and expect recently launched 4G products to help drive shipment growth in 2011,” HTC noted in a statement. The company projects first-quarter 2011 revenue to reach $3.2 billion on shipments of 8.5 million units. While overall growth in the smartphone market is expected by some to slow from 13% in 2010 to 8.4% in 2011, HTC is showing no signs of faltering. Exciting new devices like the ThunderBolt, Inspire 4G and DROID BIONIC are waiting in the wings, ready to pounce and help HTC maintain its position among the leaders in the Android space. The company is also reportedly preparing a second wave of Windows Phone 7 handsets as Microsoft’s emerging mobile platform continues to gain momentum. More →
According to an unconfirmed report, Chinese manufacturer Quanta Computer will build and ship over 1 million BlackBerry PlayBook tablets for RIM in the first quarter of 2011. DigiTimes cites industry sources in reporting the numbers, and also states that Quanta will ship between 700,000 and 800,000 Motorola XOOM tablets in Q1. The report claims RIM will launch the Wi-Fi-only version of the PlayBook in March, with 3G and 4G versions to follow in the second quarter. The report also claims, however, that Motorola will begin offering an “LTE version” of the XOOM tablet in the second quarter of this year after launching the 3G model in Q1. This assertion is inaccurate according to Motorola, which said its XOOM tablet would only gain 4G LTE connectivity using a forthcoming modem attachment. BGR published a lengthy hands-on video demonstration of the BlackBerry PlayBook in December, and we played with it again at CES in early January. The QNX-based tablet managed to impress us on both occasions. We also checked out the Android Honeycomb-powered Motorola XOOM tablet at CES and it was quite impressive as well. More →
Apple has increased its first quarter 2011 manufacturing orders for its iPhone handset, DigiTimes reports. Apple had initially placed orders for 19 million iPhones with manufacturing partners Foxconn and Pegatron Technology, and now those orders have been upped to as many as 21 million units.
The first-quarter shipment goal for WCDMA iPhones has been adjusted from 13 million units to 14-15 million units, the sources said. The shipment goal for CDMA iPhones, which will be launched in North America and Asia Pacific in the first quarter, is set at 5-6 million units, the sources added.
First quarter shipment totals of 21 million would represent a substantial increase over Apple’s current pace. DigiTimes’ source notes that year-end iPhone shipments in 2010 will total 47 million units, 15.5 million of which will have shipped in the fourth quarter. More →
Palm has a history of, shall we say, making poor decisions. Hardware components… launch partners… the Foleo. We had hoped all that would change when HP acquired the struggling company earlier this year, but it looks like it’s going to take longer than we had hoped for the stars to align over Sunnyvale, CA. Exhibit A: the Palm Pre 2. The Pre was a good start for Palm but there were tons of problems with it. The Pre 2 addresses some of those problems — the occasional sluggishness, the cheap plastic screen — but many of the usability issues remain. The display is too small, the keypad is cramped, and so on.
If new rumors surrounding the upcoming Palm Mansion turn out to be true, we have our exhibit B. Self-professed rumor monger Go Rumors cites a “close source” in claiming that an upcoming Palm smartphone, likely the Palm Mansion, will feature a 5-inch touchscreen when it launches in three months. The Dell Streak is a nifty little gadget, but we wouldn’t exactly say it birthed a successful new range of ridiculously oversized smartphones / ridiculously undersized tablets. In fact, we’d say the opposite is probably true. We’re hoping Go Rumors ran with some bad intel but the unfortunate truth is that we would hardly be surprised if a 5-inch webOS phone launched some time in February. More →
Ever-connected insider Eldar Murtazin spent some time playing with two unreleased smartphones this weekend. The first was a prototype of Sony Ericsson’s upcoming Anzu, which will reportedly launch as the Xperia X12. The second, perhaps more interesting device was Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S successor. According to Murtazin, the Galaxy 2 features a dual-core processor and an impressive Super-AMOLED display. He claims it will launch some time in the first quarter of 2011. It is possible that Galaxy 2, known also as the Samsung i9100, could be Samsung’s own version of the Nexus S the company is building for Google — in the same way HTC released the Desire after building Google’s Nexus One. Since no one wants to buy phones directly from Google, we can only hope Samsung spreads out the dual-core Galaxy 2 as well as it did with the Galaxy S, which is currently offered by each of the four major carriers in the U.S. More →