back to article BlackBerry PlayBook in US price plummet

RIM's frenzied attempts to offload bags of its unpopular PlayBook tablets continues, with prices on all models in the US slashed to $299. Lucky Americans can now buy a 16GB, 32GB or 64GB version of the fondleslab from the US BlackBerry shop website at the reduced price (obviously there's no point opting for less memory when …


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  1. Gordon 10


    they should spend some of the money deploying a BB email client on the damn thing.

    then they wouldnt need the discounts so much.

    Im wondering if they plan to drop any attempt to upgrade these versions of the playbook to OS 10.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Still an expensive memorystick atm

    Still an expensive memorystick atm :(

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Lucky Americans?

    Braindead Americans morelike.

    Wake me up when you run Android on one of these, and it's £100, and I might be tempted.

    1. David 39
      Thumb Up

      Wake UP

      Android is running on them.

      OS2 later in the year will have it as standard. not £100 though :/

    2. Recaf
      Thumb Up


      We picked one up for £169 (£140+VAT) at PC World as a test device after discovering it can run Android apps and have been pleasantly surprised by how good it is.

      If nothing else, it plays DivX and has HDMI straight out of the box ...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why is Android important?

      It's an inferior OS, the only advantage it has is more apps, but as the vast majority of apps are crap that's hardly much of an advantage. If you want to play silly casual games there are plenty available on the web and they work very well on the playbook.

      What I see people using tablets for the majority of the time is browsing the web, facebook, twitter etc. And for that OS shouldn't matter to the consumer. The playbook does very well with web pages appearing almost instantaneously. In a head to to head with my friends ipad 2 the playbook rendered web pages as fast or faster. And you can view any web page as it was meant to be, not the crippled view of the web Apple allows you to see.

      1. asdf

        all about os updates

        The biggest reason to want android on a discontinued device is if a major nasty security flaw is found your device won't be pwned for eternity or some silly stupid bug that drains your battery will be fixed.

        1. Blank Reg

          Irrelavent for most consumers

          As they don't know how to update the OS unless it happens automagically.

      2. Recaf

        Re: Why is Android important?

        From a developers' perspective, it's not the Android OS itself that's important, but the PlayBook's support for the Dalvik virtual machine (i.e. Android apps) and Adobe AIR, which make it a viable platform to develop for, despite its relatively small user base.

  4. Roger Jenkins

    The old days

    Back in the days of yore it was very common for companies introducing a new product to have an introductory offer. A cheap price. The purpose of this was to gain market share.

    Any losses were written off to marketing as a part of the introductory budget.

    If and when market penetration reached a reasonable level, those companies would revoke the introductory offer and go for profit.

    Now it appears that the greedy buggers want to make big money immediately, they introduce products at top dollar price, no market penetration, no developer support, just 'trust us' pay top dollar and all will be well with the world later.

    If HP and later BB had started the sales at the rock bottom prices that they later posted, many, many more units would have sold. This is proven by how quickly HP flogged off it's stock of the tablet at the cheap price.

    What's the matter with these companies these days? Are they all run by bean counters who havn't a clue about marketing? If that is so, then bring back merchandisers to oversee sales and leave bean counters to only balance the books at the end of the year.

    1. ratfox

      Amazon gets it

      They see no problem with having a loss leader.

  5. James 51

    If I could afford it I'd get one

    Had a quick look at one in currys. I like the idea of the tethering to the phone. It seems like a good product. It's main fault seems to be that it's not an ipad.

  6. 38 Years

    PlayBook will live on

    to bad RIM did not respond to the author's query, she is very lacking in what RIM is trying to attain with its PlayBook promotions.

    first thing first, RIM messed up big time with the release of the product, it was missing key apps and did not have the ecosystem necessary to get consumers or enterprise interested. Now almost 9 month since its initial lauch RIM has built up the ecosystem, albeit very slowly, February will be a critical month with OS2 release, if it has all the bells and whistles as promised then the tablet will have some promise, it will never be an IPad seller but it should be a good complimentary device for whatever smartphone you possess.

    one thing to remember, RIM took a half billion inventory write down so they can sell the Playbook at these reduced prices, its latest promotion selling all three devices at the same price clearly is a move to sell the 64GB tablet.

    PlayBook and OS2 is a prelude to BB10, like RIM said BB10 will be the best of QNX and BB OS, lets hope RIM has learned a lesson from it PlayBook fiasco, better to get it right rather than to get it first. Smarphone industry needs a third OS to churn competiton and innovation, Good luck RIM

  7. Mr Atoz
    Thumb Up

    Great Device if at the Right Price

    I snagged a 32G unit for $299 and then I had to get the wife one too because she liked it so much. Got a 16G for her at $187 CAD. Despite not having an email client (which it sort of does if you have a BB) it is a great device. There are plenty of useful apps including Angry Birds and many productivity tools including file managers. The best feature is that with file sharing turned on it becomes a network share and you simply drag and drop items into the device. NO iTUNES or any such BS required. Battery life is great.

    As/per a previous post, RIM's biggest mistake was going in at a high price, they should have started out low as they are now to seed the market. It's near impossible to find one on a store shelf here in Canada ever since they lowered their prices. Online ordering seems to be the only way to get one and for this price many people want them. For around the $200 mark this is a fabulous tablet, despite what the Reg and many of it's readers claim.

    1. Toastan Buttar

      Useful apps?

      I've never heard Angry Birds described as "useful" before.

      1. Darryl

        Angry Birds

        I hear it's useful when you have small kids and you want them to shut up

      2. Mr Atoz

        My Bad ....

        Poor choice of words, perhaps I should have said "desirable" apps :-)

  8. the-it-slayer

    Any company who's tried Apple at its own game... tsk tsk

    Why oh why doesn't anyone who wants to try take some of Apple's tablet slice playing them at the their own game? Obviously, people now associate the top brass as Apple and that is that. Trying to sell at the similar/same price minus iTunes/iCloud/App Store is going to be a loser straight away. Apple got the education to consumers first and now RIM/HP/Samsung/HTC are having to pay the price for...

    a) adopting Android/developed a poor OS which has been rushed to market

    b) being slow and not taking hints off the Apple rumour mill that a tablet was coming

    c) under-developing their tabs and selling at a way higher price than worth (in comparison to Apple)

    For the quality of OS experience, RIM/Android (which I have personally played with) have not topped iOS IMHO. WebOS was the only OS which could of taken Apple's pie and what have HP done... let become the dogs dinner. Then looking at Amazon, I think they've woken up to the opportunity of developing a user-base from a tight outset.

    1. Mr Atoz

      I don't think you understand!

      If you are ok with handing control of your data over to iTunes and iCloud then Apple products are the way for you to go. Anyone who has concerns about what these so called great features are actually doing will opt for Android and other more open platforms.

      No argument that Apples makes great products but at what cost to the consumer in terms of financial cost and cost of data ownership. Read your EULA!

      1. farizzle


        The typical hooman bean out there just doesn't care!!!!

      2. Ian Ferguson

        Oh no

        Are you saying Apple has access to my Angry Birds save games and shopping lists? SAVE ME GOOGLE :(

  9. Gil Grissum

    With the Kindle Fire around, no one is going to spring for one of these for $100 more. They just aren't worth it. No e-mail client = no sales to businesses. Equals no one is interested. Their only hope is to drop them to $199 and take a bath on the loss. News Flash, NO ONE is going to buy a Tablet that has to be tethered to a Blackberry to use E=-mail on it, particularly if they are not one of the 7 Blackberry users left who did not bail from the platform.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I think you have a typo, you left out 7 zeros after that 7. RIM grew their customer base 35% year over year, clearly they are an utter failure /s

      1. Ed 11

        Presume they've grown earnings by a similar amount? No, thought not. A company with lots of customers that doesn't make money is... an utter failure, albeit an utter failure with customers.

  10. Sporkinum

    Nook Color and Touchpad

    My wife has a Touchpad running Web OS, and I have a Nook Color running Cm7. The Touchpad is much nicer to use, faster, and WebOS is way more intuitive than Android.

    I carry a work provided Blackberry, but would not want to get a Playbook unless it was work provided. We are trialing a few Cisco Cius tablet/phone docs as Citrix desktop replacements.

    1. asdf


      WebOS is yet another technology that will go to the graveyard of superior technologies that were poorly marketed. HP is almost as adapt at destroying any remaining value in companies they buy as M$. WebOS does own iOS and Android but it took an admission of failure for the common man to start using the OS and by then it was too late.

  11. Robert E A Harvey

    I guess the other lorry didn't get nicked then?

  12. jason 7

    Nice hardware.......

    ....shame about everything else really. I had a look in the apps selection and whilst I agree its not the be all and end all to have 50000+ apps with only 10 good ones that are worth using but the RIM app store is woeful.

    My other half was interested but as there was no proper Kindle app she walked away.

  13. Badwolf

    Abort / Retry / Fall about laughing

    Is this the tablet that needs a BlackBerry Handset to do email?????

  14. jason 7

    Isnt it just a case of....

    .....if you have email via a Blackberry then you need the Blackberry?

    Anyone else using Gmail/Hotmail/webmail need not take notice and just access their mail via the browser as usual.

    I wonder if folks in general have got the wrong end of the stick and think that they cant access email at all unless they have a Blackberry phone to tether to it.

  15. OlympicTennis

    Thank The Register and all those comments. Go mine now 16gb. OMG, I am so happy.....

    Thanks to jason7 for expaining what stupid people thought of the Playbook and tethering. My europa is very happy to give net access.

    GMail through browser with Offline Mail style is my email client. Need Office-like software now...

  16. mattj

    The Dixons lot haven't got it on sale any more; the 16gb version was back up to £249 as of today. At £169 it might have been worth a punt based on the OS 2.0 update due soon which adds email and android app support.

    There don't seem to be many options out there for mid-priced tablets. It seems like you have the cheap and cheerful/nasty shanzai stuff at one end and Apple and it's imitators at the other, with not much inbetween.

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