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RIM Drops PlayBook's Price (Production?) After Kindle Fire

By - Source: Yahoo | B 11 comments

RIM has slashed $200 off the price of all three BlackBerry PlayBook tablets, but it may not be due to the Kindle Fire.

Just hours after Amazon revealed its new line of Kindle devices -- especially the semi-clone Kindle Fire -- RIM decided to knock a meaty $200 off the pricetag of its three BlackBerry PlayBook tablets.

The price cut has been spotted over at Best Buy where the electronics retailer is offering the 16 GB model for $299 (from $499), the 32 GB model for $399 (from $599) and the 64 GB model for $499 (from $699). This sale seems to be good for both online and offline purchases, and there's no clear indication that this is a brief promotional price reduction, or a permanent thing. Still, those wanting to grab the 16 GB version may have to wait, as the site lists it as "back ordered" -- the other two are still available.

The sudden price drop is seemingly blamed on Amazon's just-announced 7-inch Kindle Fire Android tablet which reportedly uses the 7-inch PlayBook's base hardware as a template, but with several reductions: there's only 8 GB of on-board storage (but additional cloud storage), the front and rear cameras have been removed, there's no micro-HDMI port, and the battery only lasts up to 7.5 hours (the PlayBook offers 10 hours). Reports claim that it uses a similar Texas Instruments dual-core SoC, but clocked at a slower rate.

Naturally the big difference between the $199 8 GB Kindle Fire and the $299 16 GB BlackBerry PlayBook is the storage capacity and the operating system. But RIM's sudden price reduction may not be solely attributed to the Kindle Fire launch, as the company was forced to dramatically cut down on production of its tablets due to poor sales at its original price point. Like HP, RIM simply may have chosen to hack prices in order to get product rolling off the shelves.

Best Buy's Canadian Web site, Staples and even Walmart kicked off similar discounts for the PlayBook earlier this week, but not quite as drastic. As seen here, Staples is now selling all three tablets with their original pricetag, but is also offering a $100 instant coupon and an additional $100 instant rebate on all three models. Best Buy Canada knocked $100 off the original price and threw in an additional $100 store gift card.

UPDATE: Analysts are now claiming that RIM may have actually halted production of the tablet. "We believe RIM has stopped production of its PlayBook and is actively considering exiting the tablet market," Collins Stewart semiconductor analyst John Vihn wrote in a note obtained by Reuters. "Additionally, our due diligence indicates that RIM has canceled development of additional tablet projects."

RIM reportedly shipped 500,000 PlayBooks in the last six weeks of its fiscal first quarter, and another 200,000 in its full second quarter.

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  • -1 Hide
    eklipz330 , September 29, 2011 6:07 PM
    Kindle Fire Sale? Kind of? I WANT MY HP TOUCHPAD
  • 0 Hide
    kawininjazx , September 29, 2011 6:45 PM
    If it can run Honeycomb, I will buy one. I am waiting for the HP Touchpad wave 2.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2011 6:49 PM two.
  • Display all 12 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    captaincharisma , September 29, 2011 7:25 PM
    makes sense now. right now RIM has the only tablet running a completely different OS then the rest of the tablets out there but add android app support to it and it will be a steal
  • 0 Hide
    captaincharisma , September 29, 2011 7:26 PM
    and there are already reports that RIM denied that they ended production of the tablet. are they just covering this up? who knows
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2011 7:51 PM
    It's all about content. Kindle Fire has books, movies, music and games on tap. Playbook just can't compete with it's lack of apps, and the Android emulator is crippled from the get-go. RIM's only hope is to abandon delusions about media consumption and focus on it's unparalleled messaging platform in phones and, possibly--possibly--come back later with a productivity-driven tablet if the QNX phones save them and the Web transitions to a more app-less HTML5 world.
  • 0 Hide
    hp79 , September 29, 2011 7:55 PM
    I would rather buy a HP Touchpad even if PlayBook were priced the same.
  • 0 Hide
    jimslaid2 , September 29, 2011 8:22 PM
    Don't rely on Toms to tell you if the BB Playbook gets a fire sale like the HP Touchpad. They missed the boat on that one.
  • 0 Hide
    wlachan , September 29, 2011 9:49 PM
    I think the tablet market will soon follow the netbook trail. Think about it. A tablet that does less but cost as much as a full featured notebook? When the fever dies down, so will the market prices. HP was smart to quit b4 too late.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , September 30, 2011 12:13 AM
    $299 for a 16GB tablet that's decently capable, and very capable if it can eventually run Android applications.
  • 0 Hide
    captaincharisma , September 30, 2011 4:40 AM
    wlachanI think the tablet market will soon follow the netbook trail. Think about it. A tablet that does less but cost as much as a full featured notebook? When the fever dies down, so will the market prices. HP was smart to quit b4 too late.

    the netbook trail got bad because of tablets. netbooks were so weak all they could be used for is an internet surfing machine and all tablets look like the netbook evolved

    i may try to get one of the kindle fires just so i can root it and make it a tablet with a full android OS. if not the 8GB acer iconica is looking good too since it has an SD slot that can use up to a 32GB memory crad
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