Scattered reports are indicating that RIM is cutting a pretty sweet deal on the BlackBerry PlayBook to those in the family. Employees will be able to snag up to five 16 GB tablets for $100 a pop, apparently. The 32 GB only costs $149, and the 64 GB version is going for $199. Those of us on the outside still have to shell out $200, but that’s still not a particularly bad deal (especially if you can find a place that’s not out of stock).
The last time we saw a reputable brand-name tablet in this price range was with the HP TouchPad, which is just a slightly disconcerting precedent. I’m still of the opinion that any similarities between Palm and RIM are purely superficial, but it’s obvious that RIM can’t throw the PlayBook into the same pricing tier as the iPad and reasonably expect it to compete. The most optimistically you could take this slash to $100 is that RIM is trying to clear out stock to make way for a second tablet. Sure, it might seem a little pre-emptive to think along those lines considering we’re still waiting for a RIM smartphone running their new BBX platform, but a tablet in the 10-inch range would certainly flesh out the device lineup.
In any case, if you’ve got any buddies at RIM, it’s time to get friendly. For all the flak that the PlayBook gets for not having a native e-mail app, at least it’s on the way, and besides that, it handles great as a video viewer and web browser, which is about 80% of what you want from a tablet anyway, right?
[via The Verge]