Rejected Blackberry, Playbook Tablet Slashed To $199

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Struggling phone Company Research In Motion have dropped the price of their “rejected” Playbook tablet after consumers gave the device a miss despite a major investment in marketing.

Overnight US and Canadian retailers have slashed prices of Research In Motion’s Blackberry PlayBook tablet in the wake of poor sales and ahead of the coming holiday shopping season which begins tomorrow following today’s Thanksgiving holiday.

The RIM gadget is now selling for US$199 at Best Buy, Radio Shack, Office Depot, Wal-Mart and other chains, which is $300 cheaper than the tablet’s original price of US$499. Some analysts believe RIM is selling the devices at a loss.

RIM said it sold just 200,000 tablets in its most recent quarter, down sharply from the 500,000 it sold in the PlayBook’s initial three months on the market. The device has been plagued by poor reviews, focused in large part on its inability to run an e-mail application without being tethered to a BlackBerry smartphone.

The Canadian company has never forecast publicly how many tablets it expected to ship, but some analysts put the internal target at five million units in the first year. Apple says it sold 11 million iPads in its most recent quarter.

– Australian recommended retail pricing of the PlayBook remains unchanged at A$579 (16GB), $689 (32GB) and $799 (64GB) a spokeswoman told CDN – though she said there might be specials offered by retailers themselves.

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