Research in Motion’s tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook, has been overshadowed of late, which may be the reason behind the company’s latest promotion: Buy two PlayBook tablets, get one free. Yes, that’s right, tablets have now become so ubiquitous that we’re buying them in bulk.
The deal, which applies to the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models, will run through the end of 2011 for its business customers. It could be that RIM is admitting defeat in the retail space and going back to its bread and butter business. The company is definitely in a tough spot.
The 16GB PlayBook is the same price ($499) as the much more popular 16GB iPad 2. Sure, they could try making it cheaper, but they’re probably never going to be able to compete with the Kindle Fire on price, seeing as Amazon cares more about making money off content than losing money on the Kindle Fire’s $199 price tag.
Eyebrows were raised a month ago when it looked like Best Buy was selling the PlayBook for only $299. A visit to Best Buy’s website now reveals that prices have returned to normal.
So, how do you market a tablet that our own Harry McCracken called “tremendously disappointing“? Apparently by trying to get businesses to snap up PlayBooks for their employees. The one edge that BlackBerry devices do have is that IT departments love them; the PlayBook is no different, working with restrictive corporate email systems.
Of course, plenty of business already have smaller, more convenient devices that already do that: BlackBerry smartphones.