Just last week, we predicted that the Blackberry Playbook may just find a foothold at its discounted price of $199. Indeed, that seems to be the case, and sooner that we expected.
Less than a week after the price of RIM’s 7 inch tablet computer was dropped by $300, both the 16GB and 32GB versions of the Playbook has sold out on BestBuy.com. According to a report on CNET, the tablet is sold out at Best Buy’s brick-and-mortar stores as well.
The Blackberry Playbook was originally launched in April of 2010 with a $499 price tag for the 16GB version, and $599 for the 32GB version. That matched the price of Apple’s iPad 2. But the iPad was bigger and had a lot more features. From a consumer standpoint, the iPad 2 was clearly the preferred choice.
But Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the Blackberry Playbook, banked on their dedicated user base of enterprise users to support the Playbook. But the Playbook was launched without many of the apps that enterprise users needed. Basic things – like on-board email and messaging. RIM said the apps would be uploaded to the tablets soon after launch… but they were delayed, several times. Now their scheduled to be loaded onto Playbooks in a February 2012 update.
So at a price of $499 to $599, the Playbook was literally going nowhere fast – and with the launch of the $199 Kindle Fire by Amazon and the $250 Nook Tablet by Barnes & Noble, it looked like the Playbook would be gathering dust on store shelves for good.
But now RIM has shaken things up by price matching their more powerful tablet to that of Amazon’s Kindle Fire. As we pointed out last week, if the price can be maintained (and that’s a big if, considering they don’t have content to sell to Playbook owners, like Amazon and B&N have with theirs), and if RIM can get the apps it’s famous for onto the tablet, this tablet may yet have a life.