RIM dumps 16GB PlayBook tablet, retains other models

BlackBerry PlayBookThere may not be many of you in the thinking-about-buying-a-16GB-PlayBook category, but if you are, you’d better hurry — Research In Motion has announced it is to stop making the tablet.

Existing stock will remain on store shelves but once they’ve been sold, that’ll be it for the device.

The Canadian mobile company is, however, keen to make it clear that it isn’t abandoning the tablet market altogether, saying in a statement on Thursday:

We continue to remain committed to the tablet space and the 32GB and 64GB models of the BlackBerry PlayBook continue to be available from our distributors and retailers around the world.

Sadly for RIM, the PlayBook has been nothing short of a disaster since hitting the market. Launched to great fanfare in April 2011, eyebrows across the tech world arched in unison as reviewers took a closer look at the device.

For a start, it was overpriced — the 16GB model hit the stores with a whopping $499 price tag, while the 32GB model retailed for $599 and the 64GB $699. These prices put it on par with the iPad 2, a device which by that time had already established itself in the market, selling in huge numbers.

Also, the PlayBook was shipped without native email and calendar apps — an issue that took almost a year to sort out. An app store that paled in comparison to the iOS store and Android equivalent also did little to help its cause.

From late last year, RIM began discounting all versions of its beleaguered tablet in a bid to actually sell some of them. But the consequences were severe, with the company posting a $485-million pre-tax write-off due to unsold and discounted devices.

So why has RIM chosen to dump the $199 16GB model? If it was making any profit at all on the device, it can’t have been very much. The arrival of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet, with the same screen size and identical price tag ($199), didn’t help its cause much either. Instead it has chosen to focus on the other two models.

If you’re interested in picking up one of the last 16GB PlayBooks, Best Buy still has a few going, priced at $199. The 32GB and 64GB models will continue to sell — for the time being at least — for $249 and $299, respectively.

[via AllThingsD]


5 features I’d like to see in Google’s Pixel 4 smartphone

We’ve had a sneak peek at Google’s forthcoming Pixel 4 smartphone, and it offers few clues about what we’ll get. These are the 5 features I’d like to see Google include to take the Pixel line to the next level.

Huawei's folding phone held back for more tests, will be released in September

The Huawei Mate X is an exciting 5G folding smartphone with stunning looks. The Mate X has three screens, a clever hinge system, and a Leica camera. All the details you need to know are right here.

You can pre-order the Galaxy S10 5G from Sprint starting today

Samsung announced a whopping four new Galaxy S10 devices, from the low-cost S10e to the triple-camera S10 and S10 Plus. But it's the Galaxy S10 5G that steals the show, as it's the first 5G-ready smartphone to hit the market.

These are the best Moto Z4 cases to boost your new phone’s longevity

The Moto Z4 is the newest way to experience Motorola's flagship range. But just because it's cheap, doesn't mean that it's expendable. Make sure your new and beautiful Moto Z4 survives for a long time with one of the best Moto Z4 cases.

Pixel 4 gets spotted in real world, showing not even Google can stop the leaks

Rumors abound about the Google Pixel 4, Google's next Pixel phone following the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a. Getting around the leaks, Google straight-up teased an image of the back of the phone. Here's what you need to know.
Home Theater

Diagnose and fix some common Apple AirPods problems with our handy guide

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.

Huawei’s lock screen ads were a mistake, but may be a sign of things to come

Ads were placed on the lock screen of Huawei device owners yesterday, causing outcry on forums and social media. Huawei initially said it wasn't responsible, but that's no longer the case. Here's what happened.

Fitbit Versa and Samsung Gear fitness smartwatches get big Amazon price cuts

Some of the best options can get pretty pricey, but with smartwatch discounts on the Fitbit Versa and Samsung Gear Sport, they are really quite affordable right now. You can save up to $125 on a new fitness watch.

These are the best Pixel 3a XL cases and covers to protect your Google phone

If you want to change up the look or feel of your new Google phone, you want some decent drop protection, or both, then we have you covered with this list of the best Google Pixel 3a XL cases and covers.

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Leaked date and what you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a month away, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.

Tapped out? Edit faster with 5 gesture shortcuts in Lightroom CC on mobile

Missing those keyboard shortcuts when photo editing on a smartphone or iPad? Lightroom has a handful of gesture-based controls that can help fill the gaps, if you know where to find them.

Learn how to create a 360-degree panorama with your phone and Google Street View

Google Street View encourages you to explore the great outdoors, including landmarks, natural wonders, and even your own neighborhood. Learn how to create 360-degree imagery using your smartphone camera to add locations to Google Maps.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.