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RIM confirms $199 PlayBook in U.S. and Canada

Official tweet confirms earlier reports of a steeply discounted PlayBook tablet

The 7-inch BlackBerry PlayBook launched in April for $499. So how did it fall to only $199 in merely half a year?

Unfortunately, slow software support and slow sales have both been detrimental to the device as well as RIM’s quarterly earnings. RIM confirmed the new “limited time” price through a tweet earlier today, effective in both U.S. and Canadian retailers. Specifically, retailers such as Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, Office Max, RadioShack and Walmart will offer the tablet at the new price point. Exactly how long the promotion will last is unknown, but given that it’s the holiday shopping season, RIM should hopefully see brisk sales numbers in combination with the new sub $200 price point.

The massive PlayBook 2.0 update is not anticipated to launch until 2012 to much chagrin for users who own the device. As a result, the tablet currently lacks an official Android App Player, native email client and other similar features that should have been built-in to the device. Still, at only $199, the PlayBook is similarly priced to the Amazon Kindle Fire, at least for now. The unit runs on RIM’s proprietary BlackBerry Tablet OS powered by a dual-core 1GHz TI OMAP 4430 CPU, 1GB RAM and a 1024x600 resolution display.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-11-22 (Update: 2012-05-26)