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Retailers ready BlackBerry PlayBook fire sale for holiday push

post #1 of 31
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Retailers are getting ready to slash as much as $300 off the price of Research in Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook in hopes of clearing out inventory this holiday season.

Big-box retailer Staples will begin a sale on Friday for RIM's PlayBook tablet in the BlackBerry maker's home country of Canada. The 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models of the device will sell for $199, $299 and $399, respectively. According to a photo of an advertisement sent by an AppleInsider reader, the sale will run until Dec. 1.

The timing of the Canadian sale will coincide with Black Friday, traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year in the U.S. The Verge reports that Staples in America will hold a similar sale for the PlayBook. A tipster also told the publication that the price cut will be made permanent in Canada starting Dec. 18.

RIM shipped just 200,000 PlayBook tablets last quarter, disappointing analysts who had expected sales in the range of 400,000 to 600,000. In September, Best Buy attempted to stoke sales of the device by offering $150 off the 64GB version and $50 off the 16GB and 32GB models.

Tablet makers have found themselves squeezed by downward price pressure from low-end competition and an overwhelming preference for Apple's iPad from consumers. One report from this summer suggested non-iPad tablet manufacturers would be forced into a price war this fall as they seek to move excess inventory and cut their losses.



Hewlett Packard has been the most offensive in the tablet price war. After sales of its TouchPad tablet got off to a sluggish start, the company tested out a $100 price cut. When that proved insufficient, HP surprised the industry by admitting defeat and canceling further development on the device. The company revealed that it was taking a $100 million write-off on the TouchPad and then initiated a $99 fire sale. The $99 price was apparently enough to kickstart demand for the device, even if it was a 'lame duck' by that point. Remaining inventory of the TouchPad quickly sold out.

HP's competitors, with the exception of Apple, were left reeling as industry watchers predicted that the clearance sale would affect consumer perceptions of tablet value. Motorola revealed late last month that it sold just 100,000 Xoom tablets in the third quarter, with an operating loss of $32 million.

Amazon added fuel to the fire when it unveiled its own tablet at the low price of $199. The Kindle Fire has especially put pressure on the PlayBook because it is uses similar hardware and is made by the same Original Design Manufacturer. The online retailer has adopted a content-focused approach that allows it to sell its tablet at a loss in hopes of making money back from Amazon Prime subscriptions and sales of digital media.

The company warned investors last month that its strategy will hurt profit margins in the short term. Amazon guided for as much as a $200 million loss next quarter.

The first part of Amazon's business model appears to be working, as sales of the Fire have exceeded expectations. It remains to be seen, however, whether Amazon can make any money off this venture. Reviewers have been impressed with the price of the Fire, though they don't see it as competing with the iPad. Amazon is reportedly set to ship five million tablets by the end of the year, a feat that would push it past many of its rivals in just six weeks on the market.
post #2 of 31
And another one bites the dust, again. These non-iPad fire sales are starting to become a common occurrence. Apple is bloody murdering everybody! That's hilarious.

Which of following two statements is a child most likely to say to their parents?

(1) Hey mom and dad, I really want a PlayBook for Christmas, because none of my friends have one, it's been a fiasco of gigantic proportions and it has no future.

(2) Hey mom and dad, I really want an iPad for Christmas, because I've tried it before, all my friends have it, and it's great.

I feel sorry for any poor bastard who gets stuck with #1. What a shitty Christmas present to get this year. Money down the drain, no matter how cheap it is.
post #3 of 31
In my opinion this thing is way to small to really do anything as productive as the iPad can. It may be slashed for a fire sale but to me its a toy.
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post #4 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

And another one bites the dust, again. These non-iPad fire sales are starting to become a common occurrence. Apple is bloody murdering everybody! That's hilarious.

Which of following two statements is a child most likely to say to their parents?

(1) Hey mom and dad, I really want a PlayBook for Christmas, because none of my friends have one, it's been a fiasco of gigantic proportions and it has no future.

(2) Hey mom and dad, I really want an iPad for Christmas, because I've tried it before, all my friends have it, and it's great.

I feel sorry for any poor bastard who gets stuck with #1. What a shitty Christmas present to get this year. Money down the drain, no matter how cheap it is.


You forgot about the third option:

3. I think I want an iPad but Mum and Dad will buy me a kindle fire as it does all the same things and they can buy one for my brother as well and still have money left over. And I will be just as happy.
post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaramanga89 View Post

You forgot about the third option:

3. I think I want an iPad but Mum and Dad will buy me a kindle fire as it does all the same things and they can buy one for my brother as well and still have money left over. And I will be just as happy.

LOL..... not even close
post #6 of 31
Even at 199..I don't want it...99$ maybe for the largest capacity
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post #7 of 31
They're essentially incomplete products with no real marketing or long term strategy simply rushed to market. What did they think would happen?
post #8 of 31
Hasn't RIM also delayed the Playbook update which brings the email client etc to it until next year? Really not worth $199 if it still can't do email
post #9 of 31
Being Canadian I do welcome the Sale price. After playing around with my bosses Playbook a bit, I discovered it wasn't as bad as many are making it out to be.

Sure - it's definitely no ipad, however for just browsing the web, looking at photos or playing some videos off YouTube its actually a great device! I personally love the size. The ipad can get a little heavy after extended use and at times feels a little overkill in size (especially in coffee shops).

Between the Fire and Playbook at $199, I'd definitely take the Playbook due to more output options to TV and the buttery smooth operation I personally experienced flipping between apps, scrolling on the Internet and viewing photos.

I know the Ipad can do more. Can't argue that. But at $199 it's the perfect coffee table/shop companion!
post #10 of 31
The Playbook is one of the stupidest tablets. Not having an email client unless you have a BB phone is extremely stupid. Even Palm (back when they were Palm) decided against having the Folio Palm Phone Companion netbook because the model didn't work.

It's a shame because the underlying OS is actually very technically competent, being based around QNX.

The saddest thing is that all these companies have no idea how to market and sell tablets. HP being the most ridiculous by taking a massive loss with that firesale, when they would have sold for twice the amount easily.
post #11 of 31
Wow, there must be more playbooks stuck in retailers inventory than I thought! Hope many have they shipped? A fire sale suggests less than half of shipped units have been sold.
post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by silver99 View Post

The ipad can get a little heavy after extended use and at times feels a little overkill in size (especially in coffee shops).

iPad 1 or 2? I use mine (iPad 2) for hours at a time and never felt that it was heavy or tiring to hold (after all, theres only 200g between them). Maybe you should consider going to the gym? Even if you did find it a little heavy its large enough to use comfortably propped up on your lap something your not going to do with a wee 7" unit.

Also, how big are newspapers where you are? If the iPad is too big for a coffee shop how do you cope with gigantic newspapers??

post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by silver99 View Post

But at $199 it's the perfect coffee table/shop companion!

As a drink coaster...
OMG here we go again...
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OMG here we go again...
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post #14 of 31
Does the PlayBook even have a mail app yet? Last I heard, they didn't. Web mail only.
post #15 of 31
hi everyone i am newbie......i hope my hello will get some responses
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post #16 of 31
All RIM needs really is some kind of snappy marketing slogan to re-introduce this great product to the masses.

Wait, I've got something. "It's like Amateur Hour all over again." Whattya say Mike?
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by womble2k2 View Post

Wow, there must be more playbooks stuck in retailers inventory than I thought! Hope many have they shipped? A fire sale suggests less than half of shipped units have been sold.

Less than half?

I bet they only sold about 15% of units built... or that's the final count after including returns.

Amateur Hour Has Just Started.

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post #18 of 31
This is the next TouchPad story. RIM's days are numbered.
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Apple had me at scrolling
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post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Maybe you should consider going to the gym? Even if you did find it a little heavy its large enough to use comfortably propped up on your lap something your not going to do with a wee 7" unit.

Also, how big are newspapers where you are? If the iPad is too big for a coffee shop how do you cope with gigantic newspapers??


LOL - go to the gym Pffff!

Also don't read newspapers - that soooo 90's.
post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaramanga89 View Post

You forgot about the third option:

3. I think I want an iPad but Mum and Dad will buy me a kindle fire as it does all the same things and they can buy one for my brother as well and still have money left over. And I will be just as happy.

You can pour syrup on shit, but it's still not pancakes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver99 View Post

The ipad can get a little heavy after extended use and at times feels a little overkill in size (especially in coffee shops).

I often hold my iPad with one hand (proceed with masturbation jokes).

Quote:
Between the Fire and Playbook at $199, I'd definitely take the Playbook due to more output options to TV and the buttery smooth operation I personally experienced flipping between apps, scrolling on the Internet and viewing photos.

I'd rather find a TouchPad floating around for $250 than bother with either.
post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaramanga89 View Post

You forgot about the third option:

3. I think I want an iPad but Mum and Dad will buy me a kindle fire as it does all the same things and they can buy one for my brother as well and still have money left over. And I will be just as happy.

it is more like:

3. I think I want an iPad but Mum and Dad will buy me a kindle fire as they bought into the marketing BS that it does all the same things and they can buy one for my brother as well and still have money left over. Then on Christmas morning they will see how sluggishly it responds, how Amazon tracks your every move via the web browser, how small the app market is, and how unpolished the experience is. They will then return it and get the iPad they should have bought in the first place"
post #22 of 31
I was thinking "will it blend?" and some good alternatives such as "will it float?", "will it roast with turkey stuffing?" or "will it skydive?". Then I thought of the questions RIM should have thought about before announcing it.

"Will it work?"

"Will it sell?"

"Will it kill RIM?"
post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by bedouin View Post

I'd rather find a TouchPad floating around for $250 than bother with either.

Actually, the Fire isn't bad. It's certainly not an iPad, but if you're planning to use it mainly for reading with a little other stuff thrown in, it's OK.

The Touchpad is OK for $250 (you can find plenty of them on eBay for less than that). My daughter likes hers a lot. (I bought 4 of them, sold 3 on eBay, so my net cost for hers was .... free).
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post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by bedouin View Post

You can pour syrup on shit, but it's still not pancakes.

Hmmmm... I went to a restaurant where they definitely served me pancakes, but they tasted like shit.

Which is, I think, analogous to the situation with RIM and the Playbook.

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post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by silver99 View Post

Being Canadian I do welcome the Sale price. After playing around with my bosses Playbook a bit, I discovered it wasn't as bad as many are making it out to be.

Sure - it's definitely no ipad, however for just browsing the web, looking at photos or playing some videos off YouTube its actually a great device! I personally love the size. The ipad can get a little heavy after extended use and at times feels a little overkill in size (especially in coffee shops).

Between the Fire and Playbook at $199, I'd definitely take the Playbook due to more output options to TV and the buttery smooth operation I personally experienced flipping between apps, scrolling on the Internet and viewing photos.

I know the Ipad can do more. Can't argue that. But at $199 it's the perfect coffee table/shop companion!

I also plan on getting a KIndle Fire/Playbook/Kobo Vox as a companion to my iPad. It will be perfect when travelling in the car. If one of children wants to get on Facebook or do some web-surfing, they'll have a bigger screen to use than their iPod Touch. (Tethered to an iPhone)

$199 to $249 is all I'd pay for a non-Ipad device.
post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by bedouin View Post

You can pour syrup on shit, but it's still not pancakes.

Fascinating insight, has anyone ever told The International House of Pancakes? They could use this advice.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #27 of 31
It would be kind of a downer to end up with a PlayBook or Kindle instead of a full iPad for Christmas! Cheap is cheap, but if it cant come close to doing what you want, even cheap is a bad buy.
post #28 of 31
totally agree with you. ipad is so over priced.
also my new iphone battery is dying daily. yuck.
post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by THE BABE View Post

totally agree with you.

No, you're disagreeing with everyone.

Quote:
ipad is so over priced.

Not a single person has made that point. That point is also blatantly incorrect, as it cannot be 'overpriced'.

Quote:
also my new iphone battery is dying daily. yuck.

It's a phone.

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #30 of 31
I totally agree. Blackberry is still aces for prices here in Canada. It has a better battery than my iphone which needs recharging daily. Not like my darlings at all or friends Samsung either which is the best battery out there.
post #31 of 31
I saw it's $199 at staples. Lame. I might pay $50 for one, though.
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