Sprint abandons plans to sell 4G BlackBerry PlayBook tablet after weak demand

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Sprint Nextel announced on Friday that it has scrapped plans to sell a 4G WiMax version of Research in Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet after the device failed to generate sufficient interest.



The third-largest wireless carrier in the U.S. revealed that the cancellation was a "mutual decision" with RIM, Reuters reports. The two companies had announced in January that a 4G version of the PlayBook would arrive on Sprint this summer.



After rumors emerged last month that RIM was set to cease production of the Wi-Fi PlayBook, the company denied the report calling the rumors "pure fiction." It appears now that the true story is that the WiMax version of the PlayBook was the one getting the ax. Sprint will continue to sell the Wi-Fi PlayBook.



Waterloo, Ont.-based RIM has indicated that it will instead focus its efforts on a Long Term Evolution version of the tablet that should go into testing this fall. Verizon Wireless, which operates an LTE network, had said prior to the launch that it would sell the PlayBook, but the carrier is currently reconsidering the decision. AT&T declined to comment on whether it plans to sell an LTE PlayBook.



"Right now the majority of tablets are Wi-Fi only," Page Alves, Sprint's head of business services, said. "People use tablets in fixed locations."



The Wi-Fi version of the 7-inch PlayBook arrived in April to reviews that criticized the device as having been "rushed to market," noting the lack of native email and calendar functionality. The tablet's launch was disappointing, with most stores reportedly unable to sell through their initial stock of five units on the first day.







Charter Equity Research analyst Ed Snyder attributed the cancellation to RIM's inability to compete with Apple's iPad. "There's two groups with tablets: Apple and everybody else. RIM's in the second group, definitely," he said.



RIM has struggled to keep up with rapid changes to the mobile industry effected by Apple's iPhone and iPad. The beleaguered company announced last month that it will cut 2,000 jobs, or about 10.5 percent of its workforce.



The BlackBerry maker isn't the only one struggling in the smaller form factor tablet market. Dell announced earlier this week that it had killed off its Streak 5 hybrid tablet/smartphone. Apple CEO Steve Jobs predicted last October that tablets 7 inches and smaller would be "dead on arrival" and be abandoned this year as manufacturers realize that they are too small.
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Comments

  • island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The tablet's launch was disappointing, with most stores reportedly unable to sell through their initial stock of five units on the first day.



    wtf! It's worse than I thought.



    Oh how the mighty have fallen.



    Next...
  • brisancebrisance Posts: 25member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "Right now the majority of tablets are Wi-Fi only," Page Alves, Sprint's head of business services, said. "People use tablets in fixed locations."



    This article disagrees. My own anecdotal experience in my part of the world affirms it; supply of 3G models are seriously constrained, up till today. In fact a friend was looking for a 64GB 3G on Wednesday and had to call up favors to get one.
  • silenciosilencio Posts: 134member
    Amateur hour really is over.
  • cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brisance View Post


    This article disagrees. My own anecdotal experience in my part of the world affirms it; supply of 3G models are seriously constrained, up till today. In fact a friend was looking for a 64GB 3G on Wednesday and had to call up favors to get one.



    Heh, did that favor entail calling up Apple and begging, after which it was promised that one would ship within 24 hours?



    That article was 5 months old, btw. Nice.
  • cu10cu10 Posts: 294member
    Apple is killing them, they're just dropping like flies!



    Maybe HP is next...
  • robin huberrobin huber Posts: 2,740member
    "Pure fiction"? More like half a truth. But in corporate-speak that counts as a whole truth I guess.



    Romney says corporations are people. Well, they sure lie like them.
  • d-ranged-range Posts: 396member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brisance View Post


    This article disagrees. My own anecdotal experience in my part of the world affirms it; supply of 3G models are seriously constrained, up till today. In fact a friend was looking for a 64GB 3G on Wednesday and had to call up favors to get one.



    I'd be surprised if 3G tablets (iPads or otherwise) are selling faster than WiFi models, as I just don't see the point of carrying around something as big as an iPad all the time, I have a smartphone for that. My personal anecdotal evidence seems to be in line with that: I know about 10 people with iPads now, and none of them have a 3G model.
  • boogabooga Posts: 1,070member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by d-range View Post


    I'd be surprised if 3G tablets (iPads or otherwise) are selling faster than WiFi models, as I just don't see the point of carrying around something as big as an iPad all the time, I have a smartphone for that. My personal anecdotal evidence seems to be in line with that: I know about 10 people with iPads now, and none of them have a 3G model.



    I see basically two types of iPad users: those that use them primarily at home, and those that use them primarily on their commute. (I commute to NYC every day for over an hour each way.) The home users are predominantly wi-fi. The commuters are predominantly 3G. The commuters also show a little more variation-- 7" models, Androids, etc, mixed in with the by-far dominant iPad. I see very few actually in the office.
  • gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    I see basically two types of iPad users: those that use them primarily at home, and those that use them primarily on their commute. (I commute to NYC every day for over an hour each way.) The home users are predominantly wi-fi. The commuters are predominantly 3G. The commuters also show a little more variation-- 7" models, Androids, etc, mixed in with the by-far dominant iPad. I see very few actually in the office.



    No, there's a third... Those who use them at work. Me for instance.
  • nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Oh dear. Why did Sprint get mixed up with the BlackBerry PlayBook? Are telcos not able to evaluate a manufacturer's product anymore? The telcos have become so dependent on a manufacturer's "latest and greatest" for contracts and preventing churn they stopped looking and what it is exactly the telco would be pushing.
  • markbyrnmarkbyrn Posts: 564member
    Is there a $200 off fire sale yet?
  • gotwakegotwake Posts: 111member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brisance View Post


    This article disagrees. My own anecdotal experience in my part of the world affirms it; supply of 3G models are seriously constrained, up till today. In fact a friend was looking for a 64GB 3G on Wednesday and had to call up favors to get one.



    From that article you linked:



    "While, this is a big percentage, it does not however mean that the iPad sales have grown. On the contrary, iPad sales in the said quarter decrease from the previous quarter by 5%. "



    He is comparing holiday (Oct-Jan'10) iPad sales to (Jan-April'11) iPad sales. No crap! That's why people look at year-over-year growth. You can't get a meaningful comparison by comparing a historically slow quarter to the best quarter. What a freakin' idiot! YOY growth was 183% at the last quarterly report at 9.25 million units sold.
  • dprijadidprijadi Posts: 3member
    all these news of BB lately make me wonder.. what is the real strength of RIM? the corporate messaging and its security? if those are taken from RIM then what advantage left for RIM?



    Im new to apple. my 1st product is an iPad, and i bought ipad because i need a tablet and no other company release theri tablet back then, all vaporware or futureware. and im not disappointed with iPad. in my opinion apple dont jist make a larger ipod but they leverage all their hardware and software resource to create their products. thats what other. ompanies lack. a whole tablet strategy.. it seem anyone can make a tablet these days, but only apple think from software to hardware..



    i think apple got a huge head start and that head start is not when apple launched ipad 1 but way back before to the 1st iPhone and to the 1st OSX..



    thats my take on this situation. im not apple fanatic and i understand some disadvantages of apple's closed system, but their advantage eclipses the disadvantages..



    so i hope other companies keep competing in tablet market because. competition is good for us customers.



    regards
  • addicted44addicted44 Posts: 813member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GotWake View Post


    From that article you linked:



    "While, this is a big percentage, it does not however mean that the iPad sales have grown. On the contrary, iPad sales in the said quarter decrease from the previous quarter by 5%. "



    He is comparing holiday (Oct-Jan'10) iPad sales to (Jan-April'11) iPad sales. No crap! That's why people look at year-over-year growth. You can't get a meaningful comparison by comparing a historically slow quarter to the best quarter. What a freakin' idiot! YOY growth was 183% at the last quarterly report at 9.25 million units sold.



    And actually, that article has even more flaws than the ones you pointed out. The first quarter of CY2011 had lower than expected sales because of the Osborne effect (everyone knew the iPad2 was coming out). Additionally, the iPad2 was released during the tail end of that period, and instead of increasing sales, as would be expected, it reduced them initially, because of supply constraints.
  • gctwnlgctwnl Posts: 272member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Silencio View Post


    Amateur hour really is over.



    In reality, amateur hour is eternal.
  • davemcm76davemcm76 Posts: 262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by d-range View Post


    I know about 10 people with iPads now, and none of them have a 3G model.



    I bought a Wi-Fi iPad2 instead of a 3G because £100 less up front makes a big difference and if I'm ever out and about with my iPad I've always got my iPhone with me too. A tethering add-on for my iPhone contract costs less than half of what an iPad 3G data contract would for the occasional use it gets.
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by d-range View Post


    I'd be surprised if 3G tablets (iPads or otherwise) are selling faster than WiFi models, as I just don't see the point of carrying around something as big as an iPad all the time, I have a smartphone for that. My personal anecdotal evidence seems to be in line with that: I know about 10 people with iPads now, and none of them have a 3G model.



    When sales figures were released last year, about half of iPads were 3G and half were WiFi-only. Your sample is clearly not representative.



    Note that purchasing the 3G model does not require "carrying around something as big as an iPad all the time". Rather, it only means that the purchaser expects at least some of the time to not have WiFi. When I bought my iPad, I got the 3G version but didn't intend to use 3G other than when I was away on vacation.
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    I see basically two types of iPad users: those that use them primarily at home, and those that use them primarily on their commute. (I commute to NYC every day for over an hour each way.) The home users are predominantly wi-fi. The commuters are predominantly 3G. The commuters also show a little more variation-- 7" models, Androids, etc, mixed in with the by-far dominant iPad. I see very few actually in the office.



    Realistically, you can forget the 7" models, Androids, etc. So far, nothing matters except the iPad.



    They couldn't sell 5 Playbooks per store at launch? Heck, when the iPad came out, they were selling that many every 10 minutes or so.
  • digitalclipsdigitalclips Posts: 15,542member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    When sales figures were released last year, about half of iPads were 3G and half were WiFi-only. Your sample is clearly not representative.



    Note that purchasing the 3G model does not require "carrying around something as big as an iPad all the time". Rather, it only means that the purchaser expects at least some of the time to not have WiFi. When I bought my iPad, I got the 3G version but didn't intend to use 3G other than when I was away on vacation.



    I was about to do the same for the same reason but then read iPhones would be able to act as a hot spot for an iPad without the need for the additional monthly fee for the iPad. We both have iPhone 3Gs and I understand it requires the 4 to do that so we were about to upgrade to 4 when we read 5 was close .... I see a pattern here
  • noirdesirnoirdesir Posts: 1,026member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by d-range View Post


    I'd be surprised if 3G tablets (iPads or otherwise) are selling faster than WiFi models, as I just don't see the point of carrying around something as big as an iPad all the time, I have a smartphone for that. My personal anecdotal evidence seems to be in line with that: I know about 10 people with iPads now, and none of them have a 3G model.



    The moment Apple came out with the WiFi hotspot for the iPhone, the 3G iPad lost a lot of appeal, at least on those carriers where (WiFi) tethering does not cost extra.
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