Wednesday, June 22, 2011

RIM lowers internal 2Q11 sales target for PlayBook

RIM, viewing that only about 500,000 PlayBooks, its first tablet PC, were sold globally from its launch in mid-April to early June, has downward adjusted its internal sales target for the second quarter, from 2.4 million units originally to 800,000-900,000 units, according to sources from Taiwan-based supply chain makers.

The sources pointed out that the PlayBook achieved strong sales of 40,000-50,000 units on its launch day, but demand from then to mid-April was lower-than-expected. RIM originally set to ship 2.4-2.5 million PlayBooks three months after launch, but since the company was only able to sell about 500,000 units in total by early June, it will be difficult for the company to achieve its original goal, the sources explained.

However, since the three models of RIM's PlayBook that are currently available in the retail channel, only support Wi-Fi, market watchers are still optimistic about models with 3G, LTE and WiMAX support, which are set to launch after the third quarter, and believe PlayBook's sales will start picking up after these models are released.

Although PlayBook did not achieve its original shipment target, its shipment performance is still one of the front-end players within the non-Apple tablet PC group, especially for products mainly selling in the US and Europe.

Apple currently still has the strongest sales among tablet PC players with its orders to the supply chain expected to reach 8-10 million units in the second quarter. In addition to RIM, Acer has also recently reduced its Iconia tablet PC shipments target from 5-7 million units in 2011 to only 2.5-3 million units.

Currently, monthly shipments of Motorola's Xoom, Acer's Iconia, Asustek's Eee Pad Transformer and RIM's PlayBook average at about 100,000-200,000 units, and with Hewlett-Packard (HP) also set to launch its TouchPad in early July, these devices will still need to face a lot of challenges to boost their market demand in the future.

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