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Best Buy No Longer Carrying BlackBerry PlayBook Tablets?

Has Best Buy discontinued the sale of RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet? Various reports claim this may be the case after questions began to arise about sudden cancellations starting Thanksgiving weekend. Since Friday, consumers have swarmed Best Buy's forums to complain about the retailer canceling their orders -- even if their cards were already charged -- while employees have reportedly confirmed the store halting "all" orders.

"I am so upset that my blackberry playbook just got canceled," reads one complaint. "I had an order confirmation and they charged my card. The next day I got an email saying it was backordered. Today I got a cancellation. After spending 45 min with customer service who had to research why my order was canceled???? He said the store over extended itself and there was nothing I could do. Sucks for me. I had so many black friday options and I chose Best Buy. What a mistake."

Last Monday RIM confirmed that its 16 GB tablet would be reduced to $199 at Best Buy, Office Depot, Office Max, Radio Shack, Staples and Walmart at participating locations. The non-Black Friday promo would last for a "limited time" and possibly run all the way to December 1, 2011. Customers believe that the retailer may have overextended itself, and thus canceled orders to discourage rain checks. Reports have even claimed that Best Buy pulled the PlayBook listings entirely, but as of this writing, they still appear on the retailer's site -- even the $199 16 GB version -- all of which are listed as "Sold Out Online."

But there's more to the story than just Best Buy. Reports have pointed to Staples and its only BlackBerry PlayBook listing, the $399 64 GB Wi-Fi version. OfficeMax is also only listing one model, the $299 32 GB version. Neither retailers are currently listing the "fire sale" $199 model, yet it still appears on RIM's online BlackBerry shop (use the coupon code "09OLTY12" to get an extra $10 off). That said, there's belief that only a certain number of 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB units have been made available, and retailers have pulled listings until additional stock arrives.

In late September RIM squashed rumors that it would discontinue production of its PlayBook tablet after sluggish sales pushed one analyst to say the company would exit the market. "Rumors suggesting that the BlackBerry PlayBook is being discontinued are pure fiction," RIM spokeswoman Marisa Conway said in an emailed statement. "RIM remains highly committed to the tablet market and the future of QNX in its platform."

Just weeks ago RIM reduced the price of all three tablets to push more units off store shelves. The tablet initially arrived on the market with mixed reviews, many of which complained about its lack of basic applications like a native e-mail client and calendars. The BlackBerry tablet's first update has been delayed three times, with the latest slated projected date scheduled for February.

UPDATE

We received the following Best Buy statement regarding the BlackBerry PlayBook situation:

Starting Sunday, November 20th, Best Buy offered $300 instant savings to the BlackBerry PlayBook, reducing the price to $299.99 and $199.99 for the 32 GB and 16 GB, respectively. Customers have responded very positively to this short-term promotion available until Dec. 3 and, as a result, we are currently sold out of our inventory. We will have additional units available in the near future, at which time customers will be able to purchase the devices online at www.bestbuy.com.

  • xx_pemdas_xx
    ITS THE END OF THE WORLD!
    Reply
  • Marco925
    is the playbook pulling a BFG on us?

    Losing its biggest customer might kill the playbook like it killed BFG
    Reply
  • dalethepcman
    severely limited in the Enterprise market which is where blackberry has shined before, email use requiring a blackberry phone automatically rules out any professional that doesn't have or want a blackberry phone. This was a very sad intentional limitation on these devices that has further pushed blackberry out of the market.

    If they allowed use of Android app's like they promised then most of the issues with the playbook would be resolved, and at $199 it would be a steal.
    Reply
  • K2N hater
    I've seen a lot of anti-blackberry propaganda lately. Woldn't doubt competitors are responsible for these rumors.
    Reply
  • LuckyDucky7
    Sorry, RIM...

    But when even a 42-days-to-live HP tablet has you beat in terms of both out-of-box (i.e. includes an e-mail client and calendar) and modded (Ubuntu 11.04 in WebOS and Android out) functionality... you need to cut your losses and move on.

    I mean- I just can't justify buying this, or rolling it out in an enterprise situation without these things.
    For now it's just a toy- an expensive black square.
    Reply
  • toms usually post biased news.
    Reply
  • V8VENOM
    Still don't get why companies are going out of there way to produce Tablets ... too big to really be a great mobile device, too small to be a good home device, missing a ton of features that a laptop or desktop computer can do soooo.

    The most intelligent move Apple ever made was to dupe all the copy-cat companies into thinking that touch screen tablets are going to be the "next wave of the future". They're spending all their R&D cash on a product that has already fallen flat ... leaving Apple to clean up in the iPhone market. Yes Apple can get market wrong ... and all these "rush to market" copy-cats will have it wrong too ... but like I said, Apple's move of genius was to get all these companies to divert resources from the real market, which is Mobile smart phones -- which is growing still -- doubling every year.

    iPad2 sales are flat ... no real growth since June 2011 -- sure Apple sold 25 million of them total (includes iPad and iPad2) but when you are talking about over 1 billion computing devices, tablets are no more than a blip on the radar. People are curious, but that's about it.

    Anyway, not surprised Manufacturers didn't produce huge quantities, maybe they saw the iPad sales numbers also and could see the downward trend and decide to reduce quantities and save money. Smarter to be very cautious in the Tablet market.

    Reply
  • serkol
    I would say it's a not-so-expensive (for $200) black square with a very good IPS screen, loud speakers, 2 cameras, decent graphics and dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, blue-tooth, GPS, HDMI. I bought one for $200. I also have an iPad. iPad is better, of course, but it's 2.5 times more expensive, and bulky. My kids love iPad, but they also love PB. I've bought a few good educational apps and games for them. PB also have flash, so I can open the site that I use to trade stocks. I don't get people who say that it's not worth $200. I think that it's much better than Amazon Fire for the same price. I can read any ebook I want on Playbook, and it has twice the features.
    Reply
  • darkavenger123
    RIMS should just packed it up. Blackberries are dead in the water and so is this "DeadBook". RIMS simply don't have any significant USP anymore. Corporate world is now all about iPhone and Ipads (all the directors in my compay only wants this), while Android has make a mark in the consumer market (leading even) in the mobile phone, while their tablet platform is slowly growing, estimate can catch up to Apple in 2 years or so (just like their mobile phone platform). Where does this leaves RIM?? And now, even MS joining the party and MS can leverage on their windows server OS and MS OFFICE to gain some foothold in the corporate world. RIMS has .....nothing.
    Reply
  • GPS ? NO way. at less it work some time but when you need ? No way.
    for Kid ? of course ... Thought RIM is for Business users.
    Reply