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BlackBerry slashes PlayBook's prices by 50%

Katya B Naidu & Shubhashish  |  Mumbai 

Canada-based Research in Motion (RIM) today cut the prices of its tablet, PlayBook, by almost half.

The 16 GB tablet will now cost around Rs 13,490, instead of Rs 27,990, which was the price when it was launched in June this year. The 32 GB tablet will come for Rs 15,990 and the top end tablet of 64 GB will be sold at Rs 24,490.

The company, however, says that these new prices are just an offer. "We have announced a limited period offer for BlackBerry PlayBook. This offer is valid till December 31, 2011," said a spokesperson of BlackBerry.

Such promotional activities are being undertaken all over the world and this is just a part of it.

The move comes after BlackBerry globally took a hit of around $485 million, earlier this month. For the third quarter, the company made a pre-tax provision of this size, related to the PlayBook inventory. This means that the sales of the tablet did not meet expectations.

PlayBook received mixed reviews from various markets and the sales have remained muted even as the market was garnered by Samsung Galaxy Tab and Apple's iPad.

In addition, PlayBook will also be upgraded with a 2.0 software next year, the company claims. Branded as an enterprise ready tablet, PlayBook can be synched with a BlackBerry and also use Wi-Fi to access the internet. The PlayBook is a seven-inch tablet which runs on BlackBerry's own QNX software systems.

However, retailers are of the opinion that lowering the prices of the products might not help the company increase sales.

"The sales have not been that great," admitted a top-end electronics retailer in India who refused to be quoted. "Tablets are a small market and it would remain small," he added.

Ajit Joshi, chief executive officer, Infiniti Retail, said there were a number of tablets, including Reliance Tab and Olive, which were at the lower end of the market. "Still, we have seen that a number of people prefer to buy 3G enabled tablets," added Joshi.

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First Published: Wed, December 28 2011. 00:47 IST