The Pacbio is just too expensive and has an unacceptable error rate of ~14% compared to Ion Torrent or Miseq (error rate of ~1% and ~0.1%).
Basically Pacbios are relegated to niche status, and will probably never sell in the amounts require to produce a net profit. They will never be massed produced.
Since they have the longest available reads, they're good for some tasks like de novo assembly, but companies can just do most of the work on Illumina or Life platforms and pay a fee to have one of the few labs that already have a pacbio to patch up gaps.
There's an upstart company called Oxford Nanospore that has claimed that it can perform 10,000 bp reads (as compared to pacbio's current 3,000 bp reads) for less than $1000 per sequence and no equipment cost (compared to pacbio's $300-$1700 cost rate and $700,000 in sunk equipment cost).
If Oxford Nanospore can live up to their claims, Pacfic Biosciences is basically dead in the water.
Oxford Nanospore promised to commercialize their platform in the first half of next year, IMO, this why I think a lot of people don't even bother ordering Pacbios anymore.
I'm buying the stock for now but I won't be holding it long term.
If anyone has a different opinion feel free to share.
Well they knew the error rate would be higher on the longer reads, but it seems like they already have figured out how to fix that.
It's hard to tell how much of a threat Oxford Nanospore really is. They claim to have this incredible technology, but I don't know that anyone has seen it work. They were hyping it and were suppose to show it at American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting 3 weeks ago. Yet theres been zero news about it.