In a note to investors Wednesday morning, Morgan Keegan analyst Tavis McCourt said Apple’s iPhone is still the best-selling smartphone in the U.S. despite being almost a year old. The analyst says he recently spoke with 50 U.S. retailers about smartphones, and he has concluded that Apple’s iPhone still sits at the top of the pile in terms of sales. McCourt does note, however, that Android phones are quickly gaining ground. He says collective sales of Android phones at Verizon Wireless are “on par” with iPhone sales, though he thought the iPhone’s lack of 4G LTE compatibility would have caused it to fall behind Android phones. “We had assumed that Verizon’s 4G launches would slow down iPhone demand, but that was not evident in the stores we spoke with,” McCourt wrote. “Overall, we believe iPhone momentum remains strong at Verizon.” The analyst also states that iPhone is still the No. 1 smartphone at AT&T, though sales of Android devices are “quickly catching up.” More →
RIM just reached out to us with a statement regarding our post from this morning in which we reported that a big box retailer provided us with information surrounding BlackBerry PlayBook sales and returns. RIM’s response is as follows:
The source of the reported comment is anonymous and unknown to RIM, but the comment is certainly inconsistent with the positive feedback we have received from our main retail partners. As previously indicated, RIM will provide a business update on BlackBerry PlayBook results on June 16.
For reference, here is a public statement recently offered by Best Buy:
“Best Buy has had great success selling BlackBerry smartphones in North America, so our sales expectations for the BlackBerry PlayBook were very high. To date, we have far exceeded those expectations and we’re finding that customers are even more interested in purchasing once they’ve tested the PlayBook in the store.”
While we appreciate RIM’s comment and we have no doubt that PlayBook sales at Best Buy have exceeded expectations, we stand by our source and our story from earlier today.
BlackBerry PlayBook sales miss targets by over 90% at major retailer, ‘much higher’ return rate than XOOM
According to a trusted source from a major big box retailer, sales of RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook have fallen far short of expectations. In addition, we’re told that the PlayBook is being returned at a higher pace than the Motorola XOOM. According to our source, PlayBook sales at this particular retailer missed internal sales targets by more than 90%. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the PlayBook is “being returned at a much higher rate than the XOOM,” which has a very high return rate itself at 7% according to our source. RIM launched its PlayBook tablet on April 19th and sales have been fairly impressive so far according to some analysts. Our source is singing a different tune, however, so let’s hope other major retailers are having better luck with the PlayBook. We’re rooting for RIM, but maybe amateur hour isn’t over yet?
UPDATE: RIM supplied BGR with an official statement in response to this post.
RBC Capital Markets Managing Director Mike Abramsky believes RIM has sold approximately 250,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets to date. In a note to investors on Wednesday, the analyst points to channel checks in stating PlayBook sales have remained steady since the device’s launch on April 19th. If these estimates are accurate, RIM’s PlayBook is handily outselling the XOOM , Motorola’s flagship Honeycomb tablet, which sold 250,000 units in its first two months of availability. Abramsky believes RIM could move 500,000 units during RIM’s fiscal first quarter, though we would note that RIM’s current pace is way off RBC’s initial projections of 4 million units in 2011 and 6 million units total in the PlayBook’s first 12 months of availability. RBC later lowered its projections down to 3 million units in 2011 but at the current pace of 250,000 units per month, RIM is on track to sell just over 2 million units this year. Abramsky also notes that BlackBerry smartphone sales are slowing according to checks, and he now projects shipments to decline 9% from last quarter to 13.5 million units, which is in line with guidance. More →
Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley suggests that not only does Apple have the most popular smartphone and tablet in the U.S., but even its previous-generation gear is outselling the competition. In a note to investors on Monday, Walkley writes that Apple’s iPhone 4 is far and away the top-selling smartphone for both AT&T and Verizon Wireless. The iPad 2 is also the most popular tablet in the country right now, of course. The real bad news for Apple’s competition, however, is that according to the analyst’s checks with retail sales channels, Apple’s old iPhone 3GS is still outselling competitors’ offerings at AT&T and Apple’s first-generation iPad is still outselling other tablets at Verizon. “Interestingly, our April checks indicated continued strong demand for the iPhone 3GS at AT&T and iPad 1 at Verizon, as these older generation products with reduced prices often outsold new Android products,” Walkley wrote. “We believe this highlights Apple’s significant competitive advantage, and these older products help Apple offer a tiered pricing strategy at key channels.” Walkley found that Apple’s original 16GB and 32GB iPads sold out at Verizon in less than two weeks following the introduction of the iPad 2, and the iPhone 3GS recently outsold both the Motorola ATRIX 4G and the HTC Inspire 4G at AT&T. More →
Global Equities analyst Trip Chowdry on Monday became the latest analyst to take a shot at Motorola’s XOOM tablet, though Chowdry’s figures appear a bit suspect. The analyst claims Motorola Mobility manufactured between 500,000 and 800,000 XOOM tablets thus far, and he estimates that the company has only sold between 5% and 15% of those tablets. Chowdry thinks that Motorola may have sold as few as 25,000 units or as many as 120,000 XOOM tablets to date. Yes, a range that large is absurd — some might even call it an egregious disservice to Global Equities’ clients — but if Chowdry’s numbers are at all accurate, this could spell trouble for Motorola. While we argued that recent XOOM sales estimates didn’t render the XOOM a flop, if Motorola did in fact build nearly a million tablets and sell less than 100,000 units, “flop” might become an accurate descriptor. Of course if the XOOM was in fact selling at such a slow rate, Motorola would have likely cut its orders and slowed production, again leading us again to wonder if Chowdry spilled coffee on his notes before typing up these recent estimates. We should know more on Thursday when Motorola Mobility reports its earnings for the last quarter, though we’re not sure the company will disclose a breakdown of device sales. More →
Another analyst has cut revenue estimates for Motorola Mobility, again citing poor sales of the company’s key products as the driving force behind the downward revision. Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette on Tuesday revised his full-year 2011 revenue estimates downward from $13.7 billion to $12.25 billion. Further emphasizing his position on Motorola, he revised his full-year 2012 revenue estimates down from $15.34 billion to $13.62 billion as well. “Based on our checks, we believe overall sell-through trends for of the Xoom and Atrix have been disappointing,” Faucette said in a note to investors. “In particular, we believe Atrix’s lower-than-forecast volumes are a result of the $49 iPhone 3GS and the HTC Inspire, which kept Atrix sales well below forecast in spite of the marketing focus put on the Atrix by AT&T.” Faucette’s note follows a similar note from RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Sue last Friday, in which he cut Motorola sales estimates for both the first and second quarters of 2011.
Samsung on Wednesday issued a statement in response to a new round of rumors suggesting poor sell-through performance of its tablet devices. Samsung has reported several milestones for its Galaxy Tab Android tablet, which has now sold over 3 million units. Like other manufacturers, Samsung reports sell-in figures — sales into distribution — when detailing sales. On numerous occasions, Samsung’s 7-inch tablet has been accused of collecting dust on store shelves, as recurring rumors suggest the Galaxy Tab has very poor sell-through — sales to end users – performance. In response to this latest round of accusations, which caused Samsung stock to dip on Tuesday, Samsung spokesman James Chung issued a statement. “We don’t comment on market speculation but such talk is absolutely groundless,” said Chung. “Our tablet strategy is offering a broad product range with different sizes to support wider customer choice.” Samsung showed off two new Android tablets at CTIA Wireless on Tuesday: the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
In a note to investors on Friday morning, an analyst from investment firm Morgan Keegan & Company claimed in-store sales of Motorola’s XOOM tablet are crawling. Morgan Keegan analysts reportedly spoke with roughly 80 Verizon Wireless retail locations, and the tablet is selling at a rate of two units per day on average in each location. While this purported sell-through rate is less than impressive, the firm notes that at its current pace, the XOOM would reach sales estimates of 300,000 units in the quarter. We reviewed the Motorola XOOM tablet last month and said it packed a serious punch. We also said there is plenty of room for improvement with Google’s Honeycomb operating system, however, and that it lacks innovation in its current state. More →