Casualties in the competitive war against Apple are starting to add up -- so much so that sometimes it barely seems like a battle at all.
HP's TouchPad tablet, for instance, was launched with the highest of hopes a couple of months ago. But that product couldn't compete against Apple's iPad tablet at full price and the company quickly bailed, discontinuing the product and dishing off product at a fire sale price.
Now comes the news that less than a year after hiring Leo Apotheker as its chief executive, HP directors are meeting Wednesday to consider replacing him. Citing unnamed sources for the report, The New York Times said, The surprise move revealed not only the confusion inside the company over its strategy, but also the directors' difficulties in choosing the leadership of the company.
The problems with HP and Apotheker run deep, but had the company succssfully competed against Apple with its TouchPad and better handled that situation and discussion of plans to spin off PC business, then Apotheker would undoubtedly remain in place. Should Apotheker be let go, as it appears, then both the HP's TouchPad and CEO can gain attribution as casualties in the war against Apple.
Similary, Research in Motion (RIM) is biting the dust in trying to compete with Apple. Years ago, before Apple launched its iPhone smartphone, RIM's BlackBerry was the hottest smartphone on the market. But the iPhone changed all of that, launching in 2007 to become what is now easily the world's most popular smartphone.
RIM has tried to keep up, releasing a stream of new BlackBerry models in the effort to compete but smartphone users and hopefuls around the world just keep talking about Apple's iPhone 5, which nobody has even seen yet. When Apple's anticipated October release of the iPhone 5 comes around, the BlackBerry may find its ultimate demise.
Consider only that BlackBerry sales are shriveling faster in the U.S. than most analysts thought.
in a filing Tuesday, RIM noted that the company already has a 50 percent year-over-year decline in U.S. revenue, largely because consumers are moving away from the BlackBerry to Apple's iPhone and Android-based smartphones. RIM is losing sales with the largest U.S. carriers including AT&T and Verizon, and once Apple starts selling the iPhone 5 with Sprint RIM will be be thrust further into the abyss.
Similarly, RIM's PlayBook tablet is a casualty in the competitive battle against Apple as the company's iPad is easily the world's most popular tablet while few want RIM's PlayBook.
And just as HP's TouchPad failed against the iPad, we now have a report from The Guardian citing an analyst at Fubon Securities who says that RIM's PlayBook tablet supplier, Quanta Computer, had shipped 1.5 million PlayBooks to RIM in the first half of the year, but that RIM has reportedly only shipped 700,000 PlayBooks to retail partners.
A little math reveals that RIM may be sitting on 800,000 or more unsold PlayBook tablets that nobody wants. Apple's iPad just keeps on selling, however, and many consumers are already eagerly anticipating the release of Apple's iPad 3 tablet late this year or next year.
Thus, in the war with Apple, the casualties appear to be adding up -- as already we apparently have Apotheker, TouchPad, PlayBook, and BlackBerry