Roomba s9 rush to market

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Roomba s9 rush to market

Postby mofan » June 24th, 2019, 8:35 am

The introduction of the s9 only eight months after the i7 came out really is a head scratcher. Has Irobot ever in its history introduced another flagship product only eight months after the introduction of the prior model? I doubt it, unless it happened between the first and second generation roombas, where the early kinks were being worked out on a first-time product.

It is not as though the i7 was an incremental upgrade. It brought the long-awaited self-emptying dustbin, a vastly upgraded smart phone class processor, room specific cleaning, etc. It was a big jump in technology. The s9 seems like a jump in cleaning power, but not necessarily in technology. It has the new shape and the corner and side cleaning ability, with increased suction power. It also introduces the imprint link to work with the Braava, but the i7 apparently also has that capability. No one seems to know what the 3d sensor is or what it can do.

One thing that jumped out at me recently is that Irobot reported that its global market share in the robot vacuum market dropped from 62% in 2017 to 52% in 2018. That is a rather large drop. The market grew a lot in size, so Irobot still saw good sales growth, but the market share drop must still have been disconcerting. Irobot sees itself as the premium brand in the market, and like Apple, does not wish to compete on price, but on user experience. So if dropping the price of the i7 to be more competitive was not an option, the only other option in a crowded market was to get a new robot out the door.

Indeed, the s9 feels like it was rushed to market. The side brush issues appear to be so obvious that one would think that Irobot would have figured out this issue with a bit more testing. If I am right that increasing competition gave rise to the quick introduction of the s9, that is all the better for us, the consumers. Going back to the 500 series all the way through the 800 series, there wasn't a lot of technological innovation going on, but since the 900 series, things seem to really be picking up.
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Re: Roomba s9 rush to market

Postby leonicholson » June 24th, 2019, 9:57 am

I agree that they seem to be adopting Apple's business model and wonder if this will work for vacuum cleaners.
Consumers are used to affordable home appliances that function for years - not like cell phones that are constantly being cycled with new "features".
The vast majority of buyers just want an adequate and dependable vacuum they don't have to push around manually.
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Re: Roomba s9 rush to market

Postby rotorwash » June 24th, 2019, 11:42 am

Honestly I think they realized that the i7 was a huge mistake and fell short in the most important aspect....cleaning.
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Re: Roomba s9 rush to market

Postby leonicholson » June 24th, 2019, 11:48 am

rotorwash wrote:Honestly I think they realized that the i7 was a huge mistake and fell short in the most important aspect....cleaning.

Yeah, the actual effectiveness appears only in the bin. :)
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Re: Roomba s9 rush to market

Postby mofan » June 24th, 2019, 3:18 pm

I do not own an i7, but if its cleaning capability is that bad, perhaps you are right. If the word of mouth was bad, perhaps it was not selling as well as they were anticipating/hoping. Does the i7 do a worse job cleaning than the 980?
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Re: Roomba s9 rush to market

Postby Transammatt » June 24th, 2019, 4:17 pm

About the same. Less power the motor was in the bin, not the robot.
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Re: Roomba s9 rush to market

Postby Transammatt » June 24th, 2019, 4:17 pm

About the same. Less power the motor was in the bin, not the robot.
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Re: Roomba s9 rush to market

Postby rotorwash » June 24th, 2019, 5:43 pm

mofan wrote:I do not own an i7, but if its cleaning capability is that bad, perhaps you are right. If the word of mouth was bad, perhaps it was not selling as well as they were anticipating/hoping. Does the i7 do a worse job cleaning than the 980?

The 980 was much better. I had both and actually sent back the i7 and re-purchased the 980. The i7 would just ball up hair and spit it out. Check out you tube video's on this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=te7_3skXs5Q

I think the big issue was that the i7 exhaust was internal pressurizing the bot and causing issues with the suction.
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Re: Roomba s9 rush to market

Postby BoxerBoi76 » June 24th, 2019, 7:25 pm

mofan wrote:Does the i7 do a worse job cleaning than the 980?
Does not clean as well as the 890 I had previously.

VacuumWars determined in their testing the CFM on the i7 was extremely low on hard flooring, did they not? Believe they said it tested below 7cfm!

S9 vs i7: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uZHwAu2rw48 - go to 1:40
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Re: Roomba s9 rush to market

Postby leonicholson » June 24th, 2019, 7:44 pm

More interesting will be in a couple years when we see how these things hold up after extended usage.
Our 980 continues to perform well and our multiple 650's have never given us a problem
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