updated 02:25 pm EDT, Mon September 26, 2011
PlayBook gets 200 price cut in US too
A recent rush of BlackBerry PlayBook price cuts has spread to the US in earnest. Both Office Depot and Staples are selling RIM's tablet with a $100 immediate discount on every model as well as either a $100 gift card (at Office Depot) or a matching rebate (at Staples). The drop puts them at the same
The sales are temporary and, at Office Depot, are listed as ending October 1.
The more direct price cuts somewhat contradict RIM's own message. When it detailed its plan to rescue sales, it focused on bundles, corporate deals and loyalty-specific discounts. The current sales suggest that RIM has instead decided that up-front discounts would be more effective at attracting customers. Company staff haven't commented, though the consistency of the price drops in North America makes clear that the campaign is RIM's and not the individual stores.
Discounting is coming shortly after RIM reported shipping just 200,000 PlayBooks. Both RIM and analysts had, even by conservative estimates, expected the company to ship more. Most of the blame has been pinned on a decision to rush the OS and deliver it without native e-mail, calendars, and a handful of other key apps, automatically limiting most of its appeal to a declining BlackBerry user base. A $499 price for a seven-inch tablet was also seen as a liability when the iPad 2 was as fast or faster with a larger screen.
PlayBook 2.0 will add those features as well as the Android App Wrapper and other features that RIM had promised before the tablet shipped.