Research in Motion hasn’t yet announced the pricing for the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, but the folks at CrackBerry have gotten their hands on an image suggesting that Office Depot will offer the tablet for $499.99.

That’s the price for a WiFi-only PlayBook with 16GB of storage. Sprint is also expected to offer a 4G capable version of the PlayBook, although it’s not clear if that model will cost more because of the 4G or less because a Sprint subsidy for customers who sign up for a service contract.

The CrackBerry photo says the tablet will be available in stores during Week 17. If week one was the first of the year, that means we’ll probably have to wait until April to pick up the tablet from Office Depot stores.

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4 replies on “BlackBerry PlayBook may hit stores for $500”

  1. uggh why do all the tablet manufacturers insist on pricing at the ipad level or higher!! Get over it .. apple had a monopoly and could charge those prices.

    1. They are going for the subsidized marked like the Samsung Tab did. They think they can put it at these high prices to get people to buy on contract and after a few months they will start dropping the price most likely via rebate–it’s the carriers trying to get a few extra bucks. Just wait till some of the big computer companies get into it and aren’t tied up with a carrier.

    2. Apples margins on their desktop and notebook computers is way higher than anyone else’s. Ditto for the non-touch iPods. There are a dozen companies in each category who sell equivalent hardware for much smaller margins. But if you look at the iPod touch, iPhone, and the iPad, no one else seems to be able to pull out comparable hardware any cheaper. That leads me to believe Apple’s margins on these devices aren’t as good as on their other hardware. So if the playbook has hardware comparable to or better than the iPad, we’d expect similar pricing.

    3. It remains to be seen how it’ll compare to the upcoming iPad 2 but against the original iPad the RIM Playbook is significantly more powerful and has a greater range of features, at least as far as the hardware goes it’s arguably more worth the price than the iPad.

      It’s the software everyone isn’t too sure on right now. On the surface it is very capable but it’s not easy developing a new app market and they’re far behind the competition. Though they may give it native support for Android apps to help increase its market appeal for now as a quick booster.

      We’ll just have to wait and see how they play it out.

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