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This week, Horace follows up on his discussion of automobiles and road infrastructure by talking about how road networks were rebuilt in European countries to accommodate cycling. That leads to hints about the challenge of re-building energy infrastructure to support new power train technologies. We talk about RIM’s post-trauma life expectancy. Finally He and Dan also analyze comments made by Tim Cook at the recent D10 conference about Apple TV and disruption of the entertainment industry.
via 5by5 | The Critical Path #40: Awaiting the Big Bang.
Last year we sold … 2.8 million Apple TVs. This year, just in the first six months of our year we’ve sold 2.7.
Tim Cook at D10 1:45.
I note the “our” in “our year”. This implies fiscal year (that and the fact that he spoke in the past tense before six months had passed in the calendar year.)
Given the public information we have so far, it’s now possible to estimate with some confidence the sales history of Apple TV. The following chart is my estimate. It includes all the known data so far with some interpolations to fill in the gaps.
Assuming average revenues per device of $100, we can get an estimate of about $344 million in Apple TV hardware revenues for calendar 2011. This is not a large amount relative to Apple’s other lines of business. It is, for example, only 14% of the overall Peripherals revenues and only 5% of the iPod.
“Clearly this stuff isn’t selling,” said Monga [an analyst at Veritas Investments Research in Toronto.]…
RIM took a $485 million pretax charge to write down the value of its PlayBook inventory in December, after shipping just 150,000 of the tablet computers in the quarter. Then in March, the company recorded a $267 million expense for BlackBerry inventory. RIM said at the time that it would stop giving sales and profit guidance because of “ongoing weakness” in the U.S.
via RIM Writedown Risked With $1 Billion Inventory: Corporate Canada – Businessweek.
RIM has just entered what I call the Post-traumatic period of a phone maker’s life. This period is defined as beginning with a loss-making quarter and ending with the company’s exit from the business. These post-traumatic periods were visualized first here and the pattern was first discussed about a year ago here.
I’ve updated the chart with the current data and added the bar chart below to illustrated the “post-traumatic life expectancy” for the companies shown. Companies still operating are shown with bars without color while companies that have exited are shown with solid color bars.
Markets are difficult to measure. Mainly because the information is not easy to obtain and that which is obtained is not made public. Collecting, analyzing and filling in the gaps is big business with many firms involved in selling it.
However, with all the analysts and companies selling and promoting their “numbers” it’s important to understand the difference between the methods used. There are for instance at least the following measurements:
- Units sold to end users. For example NPD or GfK data of retail transactions. Also Gartner’s estimates for phone units sold.
- Units sold to the channel. For example units recognized on income statements usually reported by companies. Also IDC’s estimates for phone units sold.
- Units in use. For example comScore and Nielsen survey data.
- Units “activated”. The measurement Google uses to describe Android performance.
- Intent to buy. For example ChangeWave surveys of early adopters.
- Utilization rate. For example browser statistics.
Each measurement tells a different story about the market but the best story is told when all data is analyzed in a combined integrated market review.
Before diving into that it’s important to understand the difference between the first and second measurements or the difference between shipped and sold.
What does “Sold” mean?