Tag Archives: HP

RIM Slashes Playbook’s Price

RIM Playbook

I think this is a good move by RIM.  It’s a seven inch tablet for the same price as the 10 inch iconic iPad.  By slashing their prices (Wal-Mart is offering them for $249), it gives people like me a reason to look at them.

Hewlett-Packard Co.’s TouchPad device was deemed a spectacular failure when it launched this summer, which led to now-former chief executive Leo Apotheker’s decision to discontinue the webOS tablet after just 48 days of sales in the U.S.

But when the world’s largest computer maker opted to slash the price of the TouchPad to just US$99 in an effort to sell off its remaining inventory — a decision which may have cost HP more than US$400-million and helped cause Mr. Apotheker’s untimely ouster last week — customers were lining up outside electronics stores to get their hands on the TouchPad.

It appears the PlayBook price cuts may already be having the desired result. Future Shop’s online store lists the 16 GB version of the PlayBook as “temporarily out of stock” and other retailers have reported selling out of the PlayBook.

But just as HP wound up feeling the pain of the TouchPad’s demise on its balance sheet, if RIM’s only recourse to bolster PlayBook sales is to offer steep discounts, the company could be facing a devastating financial reckoning the next time it reports quarterly financial results in December.

While the price drop is likely to give a much needed shot in the arm to PlayBook sales as electronics retailers gear up for Black Friday and the ensuing holiday shopping season, the fact remains that margins in the consumer electronics business are razor thin, and falling prices put a squeeze on potential profit.

In the most recent quarter, RIM’s gross margin fell to 38.7% with net income of US$329-million, down substantially from a gross margin of 43.9% and net income of US$695 in the prior quarter. What sort of impact this price cut has on RIM’s balance sheet remains to be seen.

My new HP Mini 210

hp-mini-210I ordered a HP Mini 210 last week and I have spent the last couple of days getting it ready.  It’s a process of downloading all of my essential Windows applications, getting used to Windows 7, and setting everything up again.  Using Ninite makes the process a lot easier.  With Ninite, you just pick all of the apps you want to install and it downloads, installs and sets them up for you and without any spyware, toolbars or prompts.

So far the machine has exceeded my expectations.  It’s performance doesn’t match my desktop but I didn’t expect it to do so.  The keyboard is a little cramped but I can touch type on it and while I am constantly hitting the \ key instead of the return key, I will overcome that in time.  The internal webcam is far superior to any that I have used in years.

Of course I don’t expect to play many games on the system and a lack of an internal DVD player means that I can’t install many either.

Of course I now I have a netbook, a rustic cabin and a (somewhat) devoted dog which means that I have no excuse not to write the great Canadian novel.  I’ll let you know how that works out.