RIM: ‘The Price of the Blackberry PlayBook Has Not Dropped’

Over the past week I have reported the myriad retailers who have put the BlackBerry PlayBook on some sort of sale—first it was Walmart, then it was Future Shop and Best Buy, then it was Office Depot and Staples.

However, RIM is insisting that “the official retail price of BlackBerry PlayBook has not changed.” Instead, these (substantial) price drops are dubbed “promotional.” This gives the sense of being temporary, and perhaps they are, but RIM also says that it expects these promotions “to continue into the holiday season.” Which leaves me wondering… truly, will the price ever be a full $500 again, given the terrible sales the tablet experienced at that price? Of course, I can see why RIM doesn’t want to actually drop the price permanently, or at least have it percieved as such: one word, TouchPad.

Below is RIM’s official release:

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.

But can RIM’s PlayBook make a living at a lower price point now that Amazon has announced the Kindle Fire tablet?

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