Several North American retailers have started to cut prices on RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook as part of a major marketing campaign intended to drive sell-through and increase adoption of the tablet.
RIM's move does not comes as a surprise, especially after the company confirmed sales of only 200,000 units during the first quarter.
Three variants of the BlackBerry PlayBook are now available on the market: the 16GB model, a 32GB model and a 64GB version.
Some of these models have already seen price cuts from most retailers across North America, including Staples, Walmart, Office Depot and Best Buy.
For example, Staples has just axed $100 from the tablet's suggested retail price and another $100 in the form of a mail-in rebate, while Office Depot adopted the same promotion, by offering the tablet for $100 off and another $100 price cut via mail-in rebate.
Although Best Buy offers only a limited-time promotion on the BlackBerry PlayBook, customers won't have to wait to receive the rebate card in the mail, as the retailer offers an additional $100 Best Buy gift card to those who purchase the tablet in-store.
Currently, Best Buy offers RIM's 16GB PlayBook for $399.99 while the 32GB and 64GB versions are available for $499.99, and $599.99 respectively.
According to the guys over at BGR, Walmart is also offering the 16GB PlayBook for a special “unadvertised” price of $250, though the price displayed in-store is close to $500.
However, it appears that Research in Motion stated that the official retail price of the BlackBerry PlayBook has not changed and approached BGR with the following statement :
“The official retail price of BlackBerry PlayBook has not changed. However, as mentioned on the Q2 earnings call on Sept. 15th, we have a number promotional plans in place for the fall with our retail partners that are intended to drive sell-through and increased adoption of the BlackBerry PlayBook.
We are already starting to see some of these promotions being implemented in the form of instant rebates and gift cards within the consumer channel, and expect these promotions to continue into the holiday season.
The BlackBerry PlayBook has established itself as a high-performance tablet, and we are confident that these activities, along with the upcoming software upgrade, BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, will help to generate an increase in demand and sell through of the BlackBerry PlayBook over the upcoming months.”