Razer sold fewer than 1000 Blade Pro systems in all of 2016
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Well known for its snake-branded peripherals and MacBook-like gaming laptops, Razer has always been effective at getting its name and logo out to press and public eyes. The Singaporean-American company opened its latest brick-and-mortar store in San Francisco early last year, is a frequent sponsor of eSports tournaments, and never fails to exhibit headline-grabbing prototypes at the CES convention floor.
According to Razer's latest financial numbers, however, the company's bark may be bigger than its bite. The Hong Kong Limited Stock Exchange (Hkexnews.hk) has made public a summary of Razer's earnings to reveal that the company pushed just 974 Blade Pro units to customers worldwide throughout the 2016 calendar year. This represents a 69.5 percent drop from just a year earlier where 3194 units were sold. The steep decline can likely be attributed to the transitional 2016 Blade Pro refresh that caused customers to forego the older model in favor of waiting for its proper successor. The problems, of course, were that the 2016 Blade Pro shipped late in the year and in very low quantities for an exorbitant starting price of nearly $5000 USD.
Outside of the low Blade Pro sales, it's also worth noting that a good chunk of Razer's expenses has been funneling towards returns and warranties. According to the same report, the manufacturer spent 15 million USD in 2016 for warranty fulfillment to represent 4.8 percent of its revenue for that year.
Not all is doom and gloom for the California-based company. Revenue has jumped from $319.7 million USD in 2015 to $392.1 million USD in 2016 to represent an increase of 22.6 percent. The source credits strong sales of Blade and Blade Stealth notebooks as Razer both introduced its new Blade Stealth lineup and refreshed its 14-inch Blade with proper Pascal options in 2016. This year's more affordable Blade Pro GTX 1060 SKU is one of our favorites in the category that should also leverage higher sales for 2017.
Razer will again have a presence at CES 2018 and has remained tight-lipped about what will be on show. Notebookcheck will be reporting from the booth and many others throughout the second week of January in Las Vegas.
[November 13, 2017 update: Razer has reached out with additional background information on the sales numbers. As stated in our original piece, 2016 was a transition period for the Blade Pro series. The older Maxwell Blade Pro was at its end-of-life (EOL) while Razer invested in the development and production of the Pascal Blade Pro. Combine this with the late launch and limited retail units of the Pascal Blade Pro and the low numbers were not unexpected. 2017 should be a more fruitful year for the Blade Pro series now that multiple SKUs are available and production is in full force.]