RIM's unsold inventory of BlackBerrys, PlayBooks swells to $1B value

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Last quarter, Research in Motion's backlog of unsold BlackBerry handsets and PlayBook tablets grew to more than $1 billion in value, underscoring the company's struggles to sell its products.

RIM's total inventory last quarter grew to $1.03 billion, up from $618 million a year earlier, as noted by Bloomberg on Tuesday. RIM's inventory is more than twice what it was in 2008, when the company was still a major threat to Apple's iOS mobile platform, as well as Google's Android.

The inventory total held by RIM doesn't include smartphones and tablets that are also being held unsold by retailers and carriers around the world. It's expected that RIM will be forced to write down its $1 billion stockpile of unsold devices.

Last December, RIM was already forced to take a $485 million charge on unsold PlayBook touchscreen tablets. The company also initiated a fire sale of the device for as little as $199 in an effort to spur sales.

Tuesday's report included comment from analyst Neeraj Monga of Toronto-based Veritas Investment Research, who said RIM's inventory levels are not dropping despite the number of writedowns from the company. "Clearly this stuff isn't selling," he said.

RIM


The bad news continues to mount for RIM, as the company announced on Monday that it will ax nearly 40 percent of its workforce in the coming months. In addition, RIM Chief Legal Officer Karima Bawa announced this week that she will resign from the company.

RIM's co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie stepped down from their co-CEO positions in January and were replaced by former Chief Operating Officer Thorsten Heins. The new CEO initially said he did not foresee a major shakeup in the company's near future.

RIM has placed its hopes on the company's forthcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system, which is scheduled to launch later this year. Earlier this month, RIM provided developers with a pre-release prototype BlackBerry 10 device to write software for the upcoming platform.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 68
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Pull an Atari and bury them in the desert.


     


    Or tear them down and sell the rare elements, I guess.

  • Reply 2 of 68
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,113member
    Beleagured?

    Hello, RIM? I got ET on the line from the planet Atari. Something about a landfill.
  • Reply 3 of 68
    ivladivlad Posts: 739member


    2012 will be RIM's last year. Time to pack your bags.

  • Reply 4 of 68
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,820member


    $99 

  • Reply 5 of 68
    gustavgustav Posts: 823member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Pull an Atari and bury them in the desert.


     


    Or tear them down and sell the rare elements, I guess.



    FYI, Apple did that too. Somewhere in Utah, there are a bunch of Lisa systems buried.

  • Reply 6 of 68
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

    FYI, Apple did that too. Somewhere in Utah, there are a bunch of Lisa systems buried.


     


    Really? That's too vague, man; I need to know where to start digging!

  • Reply 7 of 68
    markbyrnmarkbyrn Posts: 606member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


    $99 



    $49.99 and not a penny more.  

  • Reply 8 of 68
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,789member
    All those years of people predicting the demise of Apple; all those years of wincing at the term "beleaguered" ; all those years of the tech media dismissing Apple as irrelevant; all those years of listening to guys like Ballmer denigrate Apple as a "rounding error".

    So excuse us if we take some pleasure in seeing one of the darlings of the Enterprise, one of the tech media's favorites, circling the drain because they didn't see the iPhone coming and didn't know how to respond to it when it showed up on the market.

    Nobody is laughing at Apple now are they. They are shaking in their boots, trying to find a spider hole to crawl into.
  • Reply 9 of 68
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by iVlad View Post


    2012 will be RIM's last year. Time to pack your bags.



     


    Not even close.  Their north american marketshare is dying, but their overseas market is growing.  They aren't in the red.  They are in trouble, but not as bad as the media makes it out to be.  

  • Reply 10 of 68
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,432member


    What a joke.


     


    They already tried desperate and drastic firesales. What's next, get a free phone and also get $50?image


     


    They can make it up in volume, just like Amazon.


     


    There's always the bury it in the desert option, which a few people have already mentioned, if they can afford the concrete.image

  • Reply 11 of 68
    haarhaar Posts: 563member
    RIM should donate all of the used playbooks, to the university of waterloo, laurier, toronto... heck all of the canadian universities... maybe then they may be useful. (or become useful)... because the canadian taxpayers are ultimately going to pay for this inventory, thus the effectively lower taxes caused by the inventory write-down.. IMO.
  • Reply 12 of 68
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

    All those years of people predicting the demise of Apple; all those years of wincing at the term "beleaguered" ; all those years of the tech media dismissing Apple as irrelevant; all those years of listening to guys like Ballmer denigrate Apple as a "rounding error".

    So excuse us if we take some pleasure in seeing one of the darlings of the Enterprise, one of the tech media's favorites, circling the drain because they didn't see the iPhone coming and didn't know how to respond to it when it showed up on the market.

    Nobody is laughing at Apple now are they. They are shaking in their boots, trying to find a spider hole to crawl into.

     

    i think apple is an amazing company but i doubt that they'll be on top forever. so take all the pleasure you want in rim's demise, but don't be offended or surprised when others take pleasure at apple's misfortunes, whenever they might be.
  • Reply 13 of 68
    chuckdchuckd Posts: 34member


    Wake up, RIM, amateur hour is almost over. Zuckerberg will soon devour whatever's left of you and share the scraps with Ballmer and Co. 

  • Reply 14 of 68
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,142member
    I guess someone skipped the classes on manufacturing and inventory management to watch the movie Field of Dreams.
  • Reply 15 of 68

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


     


    Not even close.  Their north american marketshare is dying, but their overseas market is growing.  They aren't in the red.  They are in trouble, but not as bad as the media makes it out to be.  



    They have a major problem in that they can make BBs faster than they can sell them. They likely have their factory running as slow as they can; any slower and it can't be geared up for the BB10. This is why they have such a huge inventory. If they were selling like you say overseas, then why are the warehouses piling up with BBs and PBs??? 


     


    Yes, they aren't in the red, but they are beginning to starve for cash. They are a huge company but even dumping 40% of their staff, is a short term solution. There are sales and marketing included in that bunch... talent that is needed to move the BB10 in a few months. That's assuming that the best talent isn't shopping for a new healthier horse to ride. RIM hasn't been a fun place to work even in the better times, I doubt that many employees have a strong sense of loyalty to RIM. Especially since the Upper level of management doesn't have a love affair with the company.


     


    There's blood on the boardroom floor. The fat lady is running the scales and heading for the wings... 

  • Reply 16 of 68
    jnjnjnjnjnjn Posts: 588member
    pooch wrote: »
    i think apple is an amazing company but i doubt that they'll be on top forever. so take all the pleasure you want in rim's demise, but don't be offended or surprised when others take pleasure at apple's misfortunes, whenever they might be.

    Feeling delight in someone else's misfortune is never a positive thing, but I can understand Apple users having it after decades of Apple hatred and intentional misinformation.

    J.
  • Reply 17 of 68
    jj.yuanjj.yuan Posts: 212member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

    So excuse us if we take some pleasure in seeing one of the darlings of the Enterprise, one of the tech media's favorites, circling the drain because they didn't see the iPhone coming and didn't know how to respond to it when it showed up on the market.


    It's a personal favorite for me. When RIM was at its peak, my daughter asked me to buy some of its stock and I refused, because I don't believe the physical keyboard can withstand the test of time. I believe the screen must be full size. Therefore, I believe a touch screen phone will overtake the smartphone market.

  • Reply 18 of 68
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,719member
    Too bad for RIM. A couple of years ago I had high hopes that they would provide the world with another viable mobile OS but unfortunately they screwed it up badly. The literally are caught in their own technology web and can't see a way out.
  • Reply 19 of 68
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,458member


    Dear RIM,


     


    Thank you for pioneering wireless email in the enterprise.  We will take it from here...


     


    Apple

     

  • Reply 20 of 68
    jmgregory1jmgregory1 Posts: 452member


    RIM will not see continued growth overseas as both Apple and Android (manufacturers) extend their push into new markets.  They are also going to get hammered when they miss and push back the launch of their new OS and the reported new handsets into 2013.  At some point in the very near future, it won't make any sense for them to keep money pouring into new handsets and OS if they can't offer something, anything, that is different or better than what Apple and and Android crowd offer.


     


    Perhaps they have something interesting up their sleeve, but I kind of doubt that is the case - especially given the news of the pending mass layoffs.  Heins obviously has no go-forward plan to turn the ship around and it seems like they're just trying to keep the boat afloat at this point.  I would bet a decent chunk of money that we will start to hear of their looking at opportunities to sell or license their patents - something they've held back on talking about up to this point.  I foresee things falling apart much more quickly than some people here.  RIM seems to be like the VHS tape manufacturer hoping that DVD's just won't catch-on.

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