RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook price drops in U.S., Canada soon to follow?

Deja vu (read: HP TouchPad).

Earlier this month, RIM temporarily offered $100 to anyone willing to buy its tablet. Now, following magnificently mediocre sales of the BlackBerry PlayBook (RIM shipped less than half of what analsysts had conservatively estimated), it appears that more permanent price drops are occurring, namely in Staples in the U.S.

In slicing $50 off all three models of the PlayBook, Staples is setting a precedent that should see all other U.S. retailers follow suit sooner than later. Canadian retailers shouldn’t be far behind, either.

We’ve seen this before, very recently, with the death of the HP TouchPad that came after numerous ineffective price drops and financial incentives. The PlayBook has been around longer, sure, but not because of success. Shipments have declined drastically since launch, a factor in RIM’s one-day, 19%-plunge in the stock market last week.

If RIM kills the PlayBook, there will be virtually no other non-Apple, non-Android tablets. Of course, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Well, except for RIM.

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