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Best Buy slashes RIM PlayBook tablet price by $150

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Big-box retailer Best Buy has dropped the price of Research in Motion's 64GB BlackBerry PlayBook to $549, making it the latest salvo in an ongoing price war among non-iPad tablet makers.

The 16GB and 32GB models received a more modest discount of $50, bring their prices to $449 and $549 respectively. However, the sale does not appear to be fully thought out, the 32GB PlayBook is now the same price as the 64GB version.

Best Buy advertises on its website that the sale will run from Thursday through Monday. The 7-inch tablet is Wi-Fi only and now advertised as supporting "all POP e-mail services." Initial reviews of the device criticized it as unfinished because it lacked a native email app.

RIM revealed in June that it had shipped 500,000 PlayBook tablets, though it declined to comment on actual sell-through of the device. Analysts have called the company a "one-trick pony" with a trick that no longer works. The struggling company announced in July that it will cut 2,000 jobs, roughly 10.5 percent of its workforce.

Interest in PlayBook does not appear to be strong. Sprint announced last month that it was abandoning plans to sell a 4G WiMax version of the PlayBook tablet. One recent report claimed RIM is placing its tablet hopes in 2012.



Apple's competitors in the tablet space are expected to slash prices throughout September, followed by "at least two waves of price cuts" between September and the 2011 holiday season. The discounts will reportedly come as companies seek to "digest inventory and minimize losses." Motorola, Asustek and Acer have all recently reduced their tablet prices.

HP has upped the ante for its competitors by clearing out the cancelled TouchPad tablet with a $99 fire sale. Despite the fact that the PC maker is estimated to lose as much as $200 on each device it sells at that price, the company has announced that it will produce a final run of the tablet. Given that HP has flooded the market with low-cost tablets at a loss, rival tablet makers have been left reeling by the company's parting shot.

Even a newcomer to the tablet space is facing downward pressure on pricing. Electronics giant Sony formally unveiled its foray into the tablet market this week, but analysts and bloggers quickly labelled the device as expensive. "Consumers want tablets, but they are not prepared to pay the same amount they'd pay for an iPad for something that's not an iPad," said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi.

Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs predicted pricing struggles for his competitors as early as last October.

"Our potential competitors [in tablets] are having a tough time coming close to iPad's pricing. iPad incorporates everything we've learned about building high value products," he said. "We create our own A4 chip, software, battery chemistry, enclosure, everything. This results in an incredible product at a great price. The proof will be in the pricing of our competitors' products, which will offer less for more."
post #2 of 31
Apple really made a decision to go for the jugular with the iPad and it appears to be paying off so far.

Perhaps this is one major unseen use of apple's cash. Apple made a big bet on the iPad, pricing it at a level that required big economies of scale in order to be profitable. If it had not been as popular as it has been -- suppose for example that it had flopped like the TouchPad -- Apple would have taken a big loss. The existence of their cash pile gave them the security to take that kind of risk.
post #3 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


RIM revealed in June that it had shipped 500,000 PlayBook tablets, though it declined to comment on actual sell-through of the device.

I think the price cuts are some indication of sell-through.
post #4 of 31
Another day, another non-Apple tablet gets slashed in price or gets dumped in a firesale, what else is new?
post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Another day, another non-Apple tablet gets slashed in price or gets dumped in a firesale, what else is new?

The spin on the business shows will be that apple will need to address these price cuts and iPad margins will crumble. Who will be first? Bloomberg? CNBC? FOX?
post #6 of 31
Nice try DingleBerry. Try cutting another $400 off the price and maybe you have a chance. Lol
post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Big-box retailer Best Buy has dropped the price of Research in Motion's 64GB BlackBerry PlayBook to $549......However, the sale does not appear to be fully thought out, the 32GB PlayBook is now the same price as the 64GB version.

"RIM: Less is as good as more."
post #8 of 31
None of the tablet manufacturers seem to get the ball rolling without google's help. Perhaps motorola was bought specifically to make a google tablet that would be a worthy competitor for the ipad.
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post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by fjose1929 View Post

The spin on the business shows will be that apple will need to address these price cuts and iPad margins will crumble. Who will be first? Bloomberg? CNBC? FOX?

I really think these "fire sales" are serving a different population. Might scrape off a few sales this fall, but the big picture is that apple is kicking everyone's butts in this market segment. At the same time, I do think tablet prices will come down substantially in the next year, and I also think chrome tablets are going to be a serious competitor once they get more of a presence in the market.
post #10 of 31
Bring it down to $49 and I will consider it (Hey I bought 2 $99 Touchpads for my kids). Better throw in a file too because the 7" screen is too small.
post #11 of 31
Even the reduced price is high for that turkey. I just don't know if this is nearly enough to even get BB fans interested. Non-BB-owners are out of the question because you have to have a BB to use a PlayBook, unless they've fixed that little tie-in mistake. It seems they vastly over estimated their ability to draw in new handset customers.
post #12 of 31
So now PlayBook supports POP mail. You dont want that on a tablet. You want IMAP.

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post #13 of 31
So, $99 fire sale next?
post #14 of 31
It's likely the Playbook will end up like the Touchpad. What's next - Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab? Keep them coming!
post #15 of 31
"But...I don't *want* a PlayBook...."

RIM: "You're going to marry Princess Lucky, so you better get used to the idea!
post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by mihir79 View Post

It's likely the Playbook will end up like the Touchpad. What's next - Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab? Keep them coming!

The carnage continues. This is just getting sad.
post #17 of 31
DAAAAAAAAAAAYUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!
Apple is rinding through the village on a super size steep chopping heads with a machete.
Rusted, just in case they can't hit that aorta, so the infection would lay them out. LOL!!!
Seriously, when I had my 1st generation ipad(16 gig wifi/3g) is performed flawlessly. I could ride through the web, email, game, music and movie like a god!!!
I sold it for $300.00 b/c I'm waiting ipad 3. I miss my effing ipad!!! But ipad 3 will be a freaking beast.
post #18 of 31
Worthless at any price! The only device of it's type that I couldn't figure how it worked.
post #19 of 31
Quote:
RIM is placing its tablet hopes in 2012.

Now, Just what the hell does that mean?

...maybe the PlayBook can run an inspirational prayer service as a background task -- or does it grow mold and turn into roquefort?.


Sure inspires investors' resellers' and consumers' confidence!..


I knew it* was dead in June... How about you?

* the PlayBook
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post #20 of 31
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -
"He who laughs, lasts!" - Mary Pettibone Poole -
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"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -
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post #21 of 31
So there's 2 market niches now; iPad and non-Apple tablets? The HP and RIM price cutting indicates consumers don't perceive non-Apple tablets to be worth more than $200.
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

DAAAAAAAAAAAYUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!
Apple is rinding through the village on a super size steep chopping heads with a machete.
Rusted, just in case they can't hit that aorta, so the infection would lay them out. LOL!!!
Seriously, when I had my 1st generation ipad(16 gig wifi/3g) is performed flawlessly. I could ride through the web, email, game, music and movie like a god!!!
I sold it for $300.00 b/c I'm waiting ipad 3. I miss my effing ipad!!! But ipad 3 will be a freaking beast.

Apple isn't doing the killing. It's more like Apple riding though the village and it's competitors committing sepukku as Apple passes them by.
post #23 of 31
Drop the price another $500 and I'll be on it like a fly on...
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Now, Just what the hell does that mean?

...maybe the PlayBook can run an inspirational prayer service as a background task -- or does it grow mold and turn into roquefort?.


Sure inspires investors' resellers' and consumers' confidence!..


I knew it* was dead in June... How about you?

* the PlayBook

Well DA... I was with ya then as I am now... but I took it a bit further to add that RIM will be sold or will take on a "Sugar Daddy" investor by the end of the year, or latest Q1-2012. I still stand behind that prediction.

In addition, I made the bold prediction BEFORE the iPad 2 hit the shelves even, that it would sell 60 million by years end. Once again, I think I'm gonna be not so surprised when the numbers come out end of January 2012.

Still pretty shocked about HP giving up so soon though. That was a stunner to say the least. And as for Google Android Tablets: there won't be a serious competitor to iOS 5/iPad 2 until Q2 next year, at which time iPad 3/iOS 5.3 will have set the bar a few notches higher already in April. I expect Google to cave in re: Tablets about Q3, at which time I believe Larry "Lawsuit" Ellison will be awaiting a hefty check after winning the uh... lawsuit.

Now I'm waiting to see what MS has up their sleaves with Win8. IF they do it right by concentrating on getting their core services and Office smoothly integrated, they should be able to talk more than a few manufacturers into dumping Android. That is until component prices come down to be able to produce a tablet under $150.00 with a 10-15% profit margin.

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post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post

Well DA... I was with ya then as I am now... but I took it a bit further to add that RIM will be sold or will take on a "Sugar Daddy" investor by the end of the year, or latest Q1-2012. I still stand behind that prediction.

Possible, but I think it's more likely that RIM will buy he Motorola handset business from Google.

If you're correct, who would buy RIM? A potential acquirer is not obvious:
- Sony? Would love to get into the consumer cell phone business, but RIM is too business oriented. Maybe a way to leverage the Sony name into business, but I doubt it. If Sony wants into this business, there are better acquisitions (Motorola).
- HTC? Possible. HTC has done very well on the consumer side but hasn't done well on the business side. Plus, HTC's tablet offering isn't very impressive. Perhaps if they combine the best of both HTC and RIM's tablets they might have something useful. Might create antitrust issues.
- Nokia? Maybe. Would leverage the cell phone business and expand Nokia into business. More importantly, would give Nokia a backdoor way to not put all its eggs in one (WP7) basket. Although if Nokia were to do this, I suspect they'd go for an android play, not RIM. Plus, there's the risk of antitrust rejection of Nokia buying RIM.
- White knight? Unlikely. I can't see anyone wanting to spend a lot of money buying a failing company to get into this cut-throat business. If you're not Apple, you're probably not making money. Not the kind of market that attracts investors.
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post #26 of 31
They could drop it to $20 and I sitll wouldn't want it. The TouchPad had WebOS and decent hardware going for it; this has nothing.
post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conscript View Post

Apple isn't doing the killing. It's more like Apple riding though the village and it's competitors committing sepukku as Apple passes them by.

Oh I like your imagery ... Or they refuse to find their own way, insisting they must keep right behind Apple's horse which shakes the earth with its thunderous hooves and they perish falling off the crumbling path's precipitous sides.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #28 of 31
stick a fork in it.
post #29 of 31
just wait till October, and Christmas deals start heating up. All these tablet over stocks will go on sale. The HP touchpad did us a favor, an extremely cheap but decent tablet left the market, that means that everything else that isn't as good as the touchpad (which most aren't) already look too expensive. and everything else that is better than the touchpad will have to compete with the iPad. In the end consumers will win thanks to their over producing/over stocking.
post #30 of 31
I think I will rush out and still not buy one.
post #31 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Possible, but I think it's more likely that RIM will buy he Motorola handset business from Google.

If you're correct, who would buy RIM? A potential acquirer is not obvious:
- Sony? Would love to get into the consumer cell phone business, but RIM is too business oriented. Maybe a way to leverage the Sony name into business, but I doubt it. If Sony wants into this business, there are better acquisitions (Motorola).
- HTC? Possible. HTC has done very well on the consumer side but hasn't done well on the business side. Plus, HTC's tablet offering isn't very impressive. Perhaps if they combine the best of both HTC and RIM's tablets they might have something useful. Might create antitrust issues.
- Nokia? Maybe. Would leverage the cell phone business and expand Nokia into business. More importantly, would give Nokia a backdoor way to not put all its eggs in one (WP7) basket. Although if Nokia were to do this, I suspect they'd go for an android play, not RIM. Plus, there's the risk of antitrust rejection of Nokia buying RIM.
- White knight? Unlikely. I can't see anyone wanting to spend a lot of money buying a failing company to get into this cut-throat business. If you're not Apple, you're probably not making money. Not the kind of market that attracts investors.

You forgot 2 big names, that of late are playing "fast and loose" with their money: Google and MS.

I originally wrote months ago that I think MS might step in, just to get the last hook in to the enterprise with RIMs secure server business. I still think that's feasible. Whether it "works" for MS is certainly up for discussion, and I'm not sure if they really "need" RIMs expertise. More than likely they would kill RIM and keep the IP.

Speaking of IP, that would be the only reason Google would want RIM. The handset business would be spun off surely... but who would even want it? Although as we all know, Google was originally gaga over the Blackberry, considering Android was prototyped on a similar looking device.

As always... just my wild preds... uh meds... uh....
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