Things are not looking up for the PlayBook. Research in Motion (RIM) has been struggling to sell its debut tablet since the device hit shelves in April. Lately, RIM seems to have gotten desperate, slashing the tablet’s price from $500 to $200, and offering it for free to those who buy its BlackBerry Enterprise Server software. The sales cuts may not have been enough. Electronista has cited multiple reports that Best Buy dropped orders for the BlackBerry PlayBook over Thanksgiving weekend and pulled the unit from its listings.
Upon our updated check, the PlayBook does now appear on the Best Buy site, but all models of it are labeled as “Sold Out Online” and are not available for shipping or in-store pickup, even the refurbished models. This could be due to a sales surge after the price cut, or perhaps the price cut was meant to eliminate the remaining inventory RIM had built up. Reports of canceled orders may have been due to retailers overselling the tablet and RIM deciding not to manufacture additional tablets to satiate demand.
If you attempted to purchase the PlayBook or experienced any odd behavior from Best Buy or its site in relation to the tablet, let us know below.
Is this the end of the PlayBook (as in RIM has sold all it will manufacture), or will it return?
Update: Best Buy has issued a statement on the PlayBook: “Starting Sunday, November 20th, Best Buy offered $300 instant savings to the BlackBerry PlayBook, reducing the price to $299.99 and $199.99 for the 32 GB and 16 GB, respectively. Customers have responded very positively to this short-term promotion available until Dec. 3 and, as a result, we are currently sold out of our inventory. We will have additional units available in the near future, at which time customers will be able to purchase the devices online at www.bestbuy.com.”
It looks like low prices have reinvigorated the PlayBook, at least for now. Hopefully RIM is actually making money on the tablet at such low prices. We hope to learn how many units RIM has sold at the reduced price.