I admit it. I got a BlackBerry PlayBook day one… Even though I really like my PlayBook for web browsing, the device does truly pale in comparison to the iPad for most everything else. I haven’t recommended the BlackBerry PlayBook to a single person. As a matter for fact, I’ve recommended to the few people who have asked about them that they not get one.
These recommendations are based on fact that the PlayBook suffers from a ridiculously small number of applications that are worth more than the time it took to code them and the fact that the BlackBerry PlayBook costs as much as an iPad. If you had $500 or more to shell out on tablet , why not get an iPad? This was the case, at least, until RIM reported second quarter fiscal 2011 results last week, told the world just how bad the BlackBerry PlayBook was doing, and, Research in Motion co-CEO Jim Balsillie said that the PlayBook would see price cuts.
Rogers must have known what was coming, because they put the BlackBerry PlayBook on a fire sale to Rogers employees two days before RIM’searnings call. Rogers cut the price of the BlackBerry PlayBook in half by reducing the price of the 16 GB model from from $499 to $249. On top of the that they are offering a $100 Master Card from RIM to anyone who buys a device by September 22nd, essentially, dropping the device to $149.
I am here to tell you that if you can get your hands on a BlackBerry PlayBook for under 150 bucks, by all means, do it. The only problem is that the demand right now for Rogers BlackBerry PlayBook tablets is ridiculous. Rogers employees are now buying BlackBerry PlayBook devices 3 at a time. The only reason they aren’t buying more is because Rogers is flagging accounts that purchase more than three for fraud. Clearly Rogers didn’t anticipate the TouchPad effect happening on the PlayBook.
It will be interesting to see if price drops on the BlackBerry PlayBook from other retailers will be as dramatic as the 50% + price cut at Rogers. Something tells me that if RIM decides to just take a hit on the hardware costs for BlackBerry PlayBook tablets already sitting on shelves and offer HP TouchPad like price cuts, they will be able to generate more buzz for QNX than any campaigns being worked on by their new marketing firms could come close too…