Research In Motion’s latest run of BlackBerry smartphones was reportedly well-received early on, with checks from a number of sources having indicated strong upgrade sales for several phone models. Demand has apparently been waning lately however, as strong competition from the likes of Android and Apple’s iPhone has drawn attention away from sleek new BlackBerry phones like the Bold 9900. Now, more bad news comes from a firm that has historically seen RIM’s glass as being half full while other investment banks were telling their clients to head for the hills. Read on for more. More →
Sales of Research In Motion’s new BlackBerry 7 smartphones have slowed in recent weeks as competition from Apple’s iPhone 4S and Android phones heats up. In a note to investors on Friday, Canaccord Genuity analyst Mike Walkley noted that RIM’s new smartphones are not faring well ahead of the holidays. “Our recent checks indicate slowing sell-through trends for the new BlackBerry 7 smartphones the past couple weeks,” the analyst wrote. “Further, with the launch of the iPhone 4S, increasingly price competitive Android smartphones, improving Windows smartphones, and the launch of the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, we anticipate increasing competition across all tiers of RIM’s products in C2012.” Read on for more. More →
Global sales of Research In Motion’s latest round of BlackBerry smartphones were solid in September according to checks performed by Canaccord’s Mike Walkley. The analyst said in a research note on Monday that initial sales of RIM’s new phones such as the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and BlackBerry Torch 9810 have been strong, especially among enterprise customers upgrading from older BlackBerry smartphones. ”Our September checks indicated solid global sales of new BlackBerry 7 smartphones, with strong initial enterprise upgrade sales of the Bold at Verizon, strong initial sales of the Bold in certain markets in Europe, and solid sales of the Torch at AT&T with its $49 price,” Walkley wrote, noting that sell-through to consumers has been weak at Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile. Read on for more. More →
Research In Motion is reportedly slowing production of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet following its second-quarter earnings report, during which the vendor stated that only 200,000 PlayBooks were sold into sales channels in the quarter. RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie confirmed on the company’s earning call that the PlayBook would begin to see price reductions, and the beginnings of RIM’s effort to push PlayBooks off store shelves can likely be seen in an employee-only sale at Rogers. According to a new report, however, RIM isn’t overly optimistic that its efforts with the PlayBook will pay off. Read on for more. More →
Research In Motion’s new BlackBerry 7 smartphones are seeing strong initial sales among businesses looking to upgrade from older BlackBerry smartphones, however consumer sales have been weak according to Canaccord Genuity. In a research note, Canaccord analysts Mike Walkley and Matt Ramsay found during channel checks that upgrade sales of BlackBerry 7 devices in North America were quite strong with enterprise customers in August. Specifically, Verizon Wireless saw strong Bold 9930 upgrade sales among its substantial enterprise customer base, while AT&T and Sprint saw mixed sales. T-Mobile’s $300 Bold 9900 has not been selling well according to Canaccord’s checks. Read on for more. More →
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 →
Sales of Research In Motion’s new BlackBerry 7 smartphones have been mixed out of the gate according to one analyst, with AT&T showing weak sell-through while Sprint stores have shown healthy sales to end users. In a note to investors on Wednesday, RBC Capital Markets Managing Director Mike Abramsky wrote that the majority of subscribers who purchased BlackBerry 7 smartphones during their first two days of availability were upgrading from older BlackBerry models rather than switching from other platforms. Checks performed by RBC at 40 retail stores found that the sales of the AT&T’s BlackBerry Torch 9810 were light while the Bold 9930 sold well at Sprint, with the phone having been sold out at 20% of the stores contacted. Initial inventory at each of the 40 stores is unknown. Abramsky also commented on U.S. carrier support, noting that AT&T and Sprint appear more supportive with aggressive pricing of RIM’s new devices, while Verizon and T-Mobile’s less competitive pricing might have a negative impact on sales. Read on for more. More →
AT&T is reportedly considering pulling the HTC Status Facebook phone from its smartphone lineup due to slower than expected sales. The rumor comes by way of TechCrunch, which reports that it has confirmed the Status’ lackluster sales with multiple sources. AT&T is said to be preparing to discontinue the phone after just over a month on the market. AT&T’s HTC Status is an Android-powered QWERTY smartphone with a dedicated Facebook button that simplifies the process of sharing content on the world’s most popular social network. With the wide availability of native Facebook applications on iOS, Android and other popular platforms, however, consumers are seemingly content with other options and aren’t willing to sacrifice screen size for a Facebook button.
UPDATE: An AT&T spokesperson sent BGR the following statement via email: “The HTC Status is a great product and our plans for it to be part of our portfolio haven’t changed.” More →
During its roller coaster of an earnings call on Thursday evening, Hewlett-Packard confirmed that it will take a huge charge as a result of the TouchPad’s poor sell-through rate at retailers. The company said on its earnings call that the TouchPad would result in a charge of $0.05 per share. With just over 2.07 billion public shares outstanding according to HP’s investor relations website, the total charge will come to more than $103 million. Even more costly, we’re afraid, could be the damage done to HP’s brand image in the eyes of customers who have purchased HP products in recent months. Of course this damage could be limited by the fact that HP might not be in the PC business much longer either, though it is unclear if a spun off PC division would continue to carry some kind of HP branding, or if it would instead opt for something fresh and new (like Compaq, perhaps).
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 →
Acer on Friday drastically lowered its 2011 shipment forecast for tablet PCs, Taiwan Economic News reported. The company now anticipates shipping approximately 2.5 million consumer tablets in 2011, down 50% or more from earlier projections of between 5 and 7 million units. Acer chairman J. T. Wang said at a shareholder meeting that Acer would likely meet its second-quarter shipment goals, which are down 10% sequentially, and that third-quarter shipments could be marginally better. Wang said performance will likely not improve until the company’s planned restructuring is completed in the fourth quarter, however. Company president Jim Wong said the company lowered its tablet shipment forecast due mainly to excessive inventory that has built up at distributor locations. Wong believes end user sales have been lower than expected because of strong competition from competing tablet models. More →
RIM on Thursday finally shed some light on BlackBerry PlayBook sales to date. Shipments to sales channels totalled 500,000 units in the first quarter, in line with the high end of analyst expectations. Analyst expectations ranged from 200,000 to 500,000 units — earlier this morning, RBC Capital Markets Managing Director Mike Abramsky said his firm expected PlayBook shipments to total 450,000 to 500,000 units, with 200,000 in distribution channels and 250,000 to 300,000 having been sold to end users. RIM did not reveal how many tablets have been sold through to end users. To put RIM’s PlayBook shipments in perspective, Motorola shipped 250,000 XOOM tablets during its first two months of availability, and Samsung shipped over 1 million Galaxy Tab units in less than two months.
Research In Motion on Thursday reported earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2012. After cutting its first-quarter outlook at the end of April, RIM’s May quarter came in below analyst estimates. First quarter revenue came in at $4.9 billion versus the Street’s estimate of $5.5 billion, and device shipments totalled 13.2 million versus expectations of 13.5 million. Net income for the quarter was $695 million, down from $769 million in the same quarter a year earlier. Earnings per share in the first quarter beat estimates by a penny at $1.33. RIM’s revenue for the quarter breaks down as 78% hardware, 20% service, and 2% software and other revenue. In the second quarter, RIM trimmed its outlook to $4.2-$4.5 billion in revenue, significantly under the Street’s consensus of $5.46 billion. RIM’s second-quarter EPS forecast is just $0.75-$1.05 versus $1.40 consensus. For the full year, RIM cut its EPS outlook from $7.50 to between $5.25 and $6 per share. “Fiscal 2012 has gotten off to a challenging start,” RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie said in a statement. “The slowdown we saw in the first quarter is continuing into Q2, and delays in new product introductions into the very late part of August is leading to a lower than expected outlook in the second quarter.” RIM also said it would soon begin a “program to streamline operations” that will involve job cuts. Shares of RIM stock opened down 15% in after-hours trading. RIM’s full press release follows below. More →