Research in Motion promised that it would lower the price of the BlackBerry PlayBook soon in response to sluggish sales. Now it looks like you can pick up a PlayBook in RIM’s home country of Canada for just $299.99.
Best Buy and Future Shop are both offering a 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook tablet for $399.99 — but if you buy a tablet now you also get either $100 off the price of the PlayBook or a $100 gift card that can be used for future purchases. Note that you need to add the tablet to your shopping cart in order to see the new prices.
The price of a 32GB model has also been knocked down to $399.99, while a 64GB model runs $499.99.
The BlackBerry PlayBook features a 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel capacitive touchscreen display and a 1 GHz TI OMAP4 dual core processor. It’s the first tablet from RIM, and it runs software based on the QNX operating system. It’s actually a pretty nice little device, but it doesn’t currently run very many third party apps — and right now if you want to use native email, calendar, or contact apps you’ll need to pair the tablet with a BlackBerry smartphone.
RIM plans to release a software update soon that will add native apps for these functions, as well as the ability to run Google Android apps. This could make the tablet a much more useful device — especially for potential tablet customers that don’t already have BlackBerry phones. But as HP recently discovered, nothing drives up demand for a tablet more than a steep price drop. I guess we’ll find out soon whether lowering the price from $500 to $300 is enough of a price cut.
There’s no word on if or when we’ll see similar price adjustments in the US and other countries.