updated 01:35 pm EDT, Thu September 1, 2011
BlackBerry Playbook gets big Best Buy price drop
Best Buy hinted at possible sluggish sales of the BlackBerry PlayBook by starting a new sale on RIM's tablet. The deal takes $50 off of the 16GB and 32GB tablets and a much steeper $150 off of the 64GB version, putting it at the exact same price as the 32GB model. The retailer hasn't said how long the sale will last
RIM hasn't said directly how well the PlayBook is selling other than to paint a modest picture of its early results. It shipped 500,000 PlayBooks in its spring quarter and isn't due to report the summer until September 15. Like many companies, though, it hasn't discussed actual sell-through customers and, unlike Apple, is known not to sell every unit it ships to stores.
Rumors have circulated that RIM has had to dramatically scale back its targets after it allegedly made bad presumptions about how much demand there really was for a BlackBerry tablet versus Apple's iPad. The rumor hasn't been confirmed, although few expect a major improvement in PlayBook numbers.
A genuine sequel to the PlayBook isn't anticipated until next year. If not to compensate for immediate sales issues, though, the Best Buy price slash may be to help stoke interest just in time for the native e-mail update that will add many of the major missing features RIM left out and subsequently delayed. Best Buy, RIM, or both could likewise be experimenting to see if price cuts less dramatic than those for the HP TouchPad will have an effect.