RIM targets sub-$500 price for PlayBook slate

Let the slate price war begin! According to Bloomberg, Research In Motion has revealed that its seven-inch PlayBook slate will hit the streets next quarter with a price tag "under" $500. Jim Balsillie, the company’s co-CEO, is also quoted as saying the device will be "very competitively priced."

In case you missed our coverage of RIM’s late September announcement, the PlayBook looks like one of the better iPad competitors out there yet. The 7" screen might feel a little cramped next to the iPad’s 9.7" display, of course, but the PlayBook is lighter, packs a dual-core CPU, and has a specially crafted operating system with multitasking and Flash support. The iPad still doesn’t have multitasking and will only get it once iOS 4.2 rolls out later this month. (Of course, Steve Jobs has put the kibosh on Flash support in iOS’s browser.)

Admittedly, "under" $500 can mean many things. RIM could technically be teasing a $499.99 price tag, which would put the PlayBook and iPad at parity. That said, I would think RIM realizes it may need to aim lower to divert sales from Apple’s latest gadget, especially since it has a smaller device and a new, unproven platform without iOS’s monumental app repertoire.

Comments closed
    • WaltC
    • 9 years ago

    I think it is important to remember that no slate/tablet released or announced to date, including the iPad, is meant to be a desktop replacement–eg, a 9.7″ screen is hardly decent netbook screen real estate, let alone desktop screen real estate.

    So at 9.7″ and 7″, what these pads and tablets and slates are shooting for is the *portable* and touchscreen (keyboardless) markets. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that the places a 7″ slate can go are places a 9.7″ iPad can never follow…;)

    • bdwilcox
    • 9 years ago

    Everyone hired by Research in Motion gets a RIM job.

      • geekl33tgamer
      • 9 years ago

      +1 I’m supprised no one had that sooner 🙂

    • geekl33tgamer
    • 9 years ago

    Just what I needed – A giant Blackberry Torch 9800.

    Complete with a RIM standard power-off button that never really turns the device off, the need to do a battery pull every time an app is installed, and a clunky operating system.

    But it will support exchange servers and BBM. On a nice big screen for everyone else on the train to have a good read of your inbox. Fantastic. Try making the Torch better RIM (I hate mine), before making this thing…

    • deathBOB
    • 9 years ago

    What’s with all the hoopla about flash? I have an Evo and I turn flash off because I don’t find it in anyway useful. Others may disagree but I don’t think it deserves the attention that it’s been getting.

      • WaltC
      • 9 years ago

      Flash wouldn’t be getting any attention at all if Steve Jobs hadn’t decided to ban it from certain Apple products simply because those products didn’t run it as robustly as other, non-Apple products run it…;) The notion of “Flash versus HTML5” is utterly ridiculous, and serves only to buttress Jobs’ utterly self-serving purposes, because if you can have both, then who cares about one or the other? By banning Flash from iOS users Jobs isn’t forced to explain why it runs like such a dog only on iOS. Apparently, the iOS sheeple are content to let Jobs ban whatever he wishes from their repertoire of choice, because -[

    • HisDivineShadow
    • 9 years ago

    “Under $500” has always been marketing speak for $499.99. At least, in my experience. If they mean $399.99, they’d say, “Under $400.” If they meant $450, I’d expect them to say, “Well under $500.”

    That said, RIM has not a chance in hell in competing against Apple. It is obvious to everyone, except them, I guess.

    • blastdoor
    • 9 years ago

    The clock is ticking for RIM and this product is a waste of their focus and resources. The BlackBerry is all about highly secure and efficient e-mail for corporate and government users. There are plenty of people who value that. They should focus on their strengths and stop trying to compete in markets they can’t possibly win (and they can’t possibly win in the tablet market). Heck, maybe they should even sell an iPhone app that works with their e-mail system.

    You can make plenty of money without taking over the world.

      • raddude9
      • 9 years ago

      I disagree that this is a waste of their focus, they really need to move all of their phone products onto a more modern operating system and the new QNX based OS in the Playpad looks like a good platform to move to. So any work they do on this tablet should benefit future versions of their phones.

      They have been losing market share to both Android and iPhoneOS for a number of years now, so they need to do something.

        • blastdoor
        • 9 years ago

        I think it’s totally unrealistic for RIM to compete with Google, Apple, and Microsoft in building a computing platform, and that’s what selling a tablet means they are trying to do. They should focus on what they’re good at — e-mail and hardware that’s good for e-mail. I think their best bet would be to switch to Android and add in their unique e-mail system. That way they could piggy back on the Android app ecosystem while offering a unique value-added that no other Android OEM adds.

        But instead they are letting their egos get the better of them. They are currently on a course to become the Commodore of smart phones.

          • raddude9
          • 9 years ago

          Funny that you mention Commodore, because to me the analogy would be:

          Current Blackberry’s = The Variants of the C64
          Playpad = Commodore Amiga
          BlackBerry on Android = Commodores IBM compatible PC’s

          Any historian of Commodore will quickly tell you that the company made all it’s money on the C64 and then the Amiga, but lost it’s fortune trying to compete with other PC makers.

          I think if they switch to Blackberry-On-Android they will become an increasingly irrelevant software-only company. They will not last long.

      • moog
      • 9 years ago

      iphone app, android app, phone7 app.

    • Farting Bob
    • 9 years ago

    If they price it at $499.99 it wont sell. People will look at it and say “you can get an ipad with a bigger screen, downloadable fart apps and a sexy apple logo on the back for the same price!”. The fact it has a dual core CPU and flash support will only matter to a very small percentage of potential tablet buyers. Make it $400 and you’ll sell alot more. None of these tablets coming out can rival the ipad on marketing, price is going to be key but all the ones ives seen announced so far are at best the same price.

      • dpaus
      • 9 years ago

      Look who’s making fun of fart apps…

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 9 years ago

    Cool, I don’t know how I feel about RIM’s software support VS Google’s android though. Price won’t be the ultimate deciding factor when it comes down to wheather or not I purchase a RIM pad.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This