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RIM's Playbook On Clearance

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the 64GB-sounds-nice-doesn't-it? dept.

Android 141

symbolset writes "Engadget reports that the much-maligned RIM Playbook tablet has hit the clearance skids. I've confirmed that all three models (16GB, 32GB, 64GB) are for sale on RIM's website for the same price: $299, or up to $400 off. The site says until February 4, but presumably that's 'or while supplies last.' If you're into clearance merch and rooting, the Engadget article includes instructions on getting Android and the Android market on the thing. If you'd rather have a tablet made for Android, the original Acer Iconia A500 may be a better choice at only a few dollars more — but without the capacious internal storage."

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7 inch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38571338)

Those are 7 inch tablets fyi.

You know what they're doing... (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571364)


They can't compete at the higher price points so they're moving to a model where they lose money on every sale but hope to cover it with volume.

Very smart, RIM, very smart...

Re:You know what they're doing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38571374)

It's not even that, RIM has written these devices off completely.

Re:You know what they're doing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38575558)

That's the joke.jpg

Re:You know what they're doing... (0)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571408)

If you lose money on every sale and add volume, you're losing loads of money fast. That's hardly smart.

Sometimes there may be reasons to do this (like getting a foothold in a market), these tablets ain't it I think. Probably these are just write-offs, and any money they get for 'em is better than tossing the remainder of their stocks.

Re:You know what they're doing... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38571454)

If you lose money on every sale and add volume, you're losing loads of money fast. .

Wow, you must be really smart.

Re:You know what they're doing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38571714)

whoosh... hurrrr....

Re:You know what they're doing... (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571818)

Actually if these are already manufactured then they lost the money in 2011. This way they get their only BB 10 device currently available out there en mass so developers actually have a reason to still care about them. I decided to pick one up pre-black Friday and have not regretted it. They are actually quite nice and unlike hp RIM doesn't have the luxury of an enterprise PC/server/printer business to fall back on so they cannot just walk away. With their first OS 10 handset pushed back to "in the latter part of calendar 2012." [foxbusiness.com] they need this tablet or a newer model to propel them into the next generation.

Re:You know what they're doing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38573334)

[q]If you lose money on every sale and add volume, you're losing loads of money fast. That's hardly smart.[/q]

But if you do it enough the money you lose adds up! Everyone knows that adding things up leads to big numbers. Big numbers mean lots of money! Making lots of money is smart.

Re:You know what they're doing... (1)

redcat23 (2526720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38574438)

If you lose money on every sale and add volume, you're losing loads of money fast. That's hardly smart.

Sometimes there may be reasons to do this (like getting a foothold in a market), these tablets ain't it I think. Probably these are just write-offs, and any money they get for 'em is better than tossing the remainder of their stocks.

Apparently you missed the sarcasm-o-meter sitting in the corner.

Re:You know what they're doing... (4, Interesting)

Jaxim (858185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571440)

This may be what RIM needs to get people to adopt the Playbook and for developers to code for the Playbook.

Before Christmas, my little (and might I say addicting) BOGGGLE app "Word ZigZag" ( http://goo.gl/5ga0j [goo.gl] ) was only downloaded a few times a day on Blackberry Playbook's App World Store. But on and after Christmas, my app was downloaded about 3-4X as much.

Perhaps a lot more people have the Blackberry Playbook because of the $200 Playbook "fire sales". And perhaps people will continue to buy them at the new $300 price.

I know as a developer, I'm starting to look at developing for RIM's App World as much as I would for iTunes. http://goo.gl/5ga0j [goo.gl]

Re:You know what they're doing... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38572534)

fuck off you cocksucker.

Re:You know what they're doing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38576252)

Since November, my gross profits on PB outstrip iOS and Android because the margins are much juicier. It may not last, but no developer should ignore PB.

Re:You know what they're doing... (1)

penguinstorm (575341) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571550)

Others have pointed out how stupid what you've said is, so I won't. I *could* be generous and suggest that you *meant* they'd make it up in volume selling apps and accessories, but hey...why bother?

I'm not sure how even that arguably viable strategy would as "very smart" this late in the game. It's popularly compared to the Video Game Console sales strategy, and it can work but frankly this product has failed and the market is ignoring it that this would be like introducing an Atari 2600 into today's market and expecting consumers to buy it and the software to go with it.

The Playbook is dead. RIM will follow it in 2013.

Re:You know what they're doing... (1)

grub (11606) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571602)

It was meant as a joke, hardly an original one at that.

Re:You know what they're doing... (1)

honestmonkey (819408) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572272)

No, no, I'm sure your comment was absolutely serious, and, haha, it makes you look goofy. Let's dissect it some more. I mean, you said , "Smart, RIM", and you must have meant 'smart' like in 'hurting from a slap'. So you think that RIM selling this at this price is a slap in the face of consumers, i.e., they aren't even worth the $300 they're asking. Maybe because they were made by alien technology, and only cost RIM $1.50 to make?

That is just silly. What were you thinking?

Re:You know what they're doing... (2, Insightful)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571736)

I don't think RIM will die in 2013, but they're certainly circling the drain at this point. BBX/Blackberry 10 needed to be released in 2008/2009 as a complete rewrite, at this point they're going to end up as a novelty brand known for "how good their keyboards used to be before the buyout". Visually there's no difference between BB OS 3.5 (released in what, 2003?) and 7.0. At this point I think expecting a modern OS from them before 2014 isn't a realistic goal for them. Someone high up at RIM got all wrapped up in the idea that the iPad was the second coming of jesus, bet the company on it, and lost.

Re:You know what they're doing... (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38576582)

Visually there's no difference between BB OS 3.5 (released in what, 2003?) and 7.0.

OS 4.5 shipped on the 8700 in mid-late 2000s: http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2008/05/5-29-08-blackberry-8700g.jpg [blogcdn.com]

OS 7.0: http://www.muycomputerpro.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/BlackberryOS7-2.jpg [muycomputerpro.com]

So.. what were you saying again? (And of course this is just a still screen shot - there are visual and design changes that run much deeper than can be shown this way.)

Re:You know what they're doing... (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572122)

It was nearly epic how badly you missed this one.
That was not an F-15 Strike Eagle 6 feet over your head doing 900 knots.
That was just a huge Whooosh.

Re:You don't know what they're doing... (1)

Flytrap (939609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571756)

Dude... if each unit is being sold at a loss... then selling tons of them at the same loss making price simply loses RIM a lot more money... a lot faster.

When people talk about "making it up on volume", what they are referring to is when each unit is making a small or marginal profit... so, the only way to turn that into a more attractive proposition is to sell a whole lot more of whatever stuff they are selling. Volume does not magically turn a loss making line into a profitable line; however, it can turn a marginal line into a handsomely profitable one (if costs associated with ramping up volume can be contained)

We shouldn't confuse Amazon's and Barnes & Noble’s smart and innovative content driven strategies with RIM's confused and incoherent "copy whatever Apple is doing" strategy.

Re:You don't know what they're doing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38572284)

whoosh....

Re:You don't know what they're doing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38572310)

...epic whoosh...

Re:You don't know what they're doing... (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572760)

Dude... if each unit is being sold at a loss... then selling tons of them at the same loss making price simply loses RIM a lot more money... a lot faster.

When people talk about "making it up on volume", what they are referring to is when each unit is making a small or marginal profit... so, the only way to turn that into a more attractive proposition is to sell a whole lot more of whatever stuff they are selling. Volume does not magically turn a loss making line into a profitable line; however, it can turn a marginal line into a handsomely profitable one (if costs associated with ramping up volume can be contained)

We shouldn't confuse Amazon's and Barnes & Noble’s smart and innovative content driven strategies with RIM's confused and incoherent "copy whatever Apple is doing" strategy.

RIM took the loss last year and before when they ordered the components and built the devices. Now, they are dealing with cash flow. Expensive tablets that nobody buys doesn't generate any cash to pay the bills. Selling them, steeply discounted, generates cash that can be used to pay existing bills or to develop something that the market wants. Any retailer will tell you that merchandise sitting on the shelf is losing them money. That is why things regularly get marked down. RIM is just late in doing it.

Re:You don't know what they're doing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38575226)

How do people as fucking stupid as you exist? "lose money but make it up on volume" is a joke that is older than your mother.

Firesale pt. II (1)

iB1 (837987) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571368)

It'll be interesting to see how quickly the 64GB models get snapped up and then resold on eBay...

Re:Firesale pt. II (2)

grub (11606) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571388)

I was on the store and selected a 64 GB model but closed the window. Thankfully reality hit. We already have an iPad, iPhones, Samsung Captivate, iPod Touch... I don't need to spend $299 on what will soon be an unsupported trinket.

No thanks. (2, Insightful)

SniperJoe (1984152) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571370)

No thanks. I've already got a fire sale TouchPad. At least HP had the brains to do that right and generate some buzz. RIM has made missteps along every part of the journey, including this one.

Re:No thanks. (4, Informative)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571446)

$300 is a total fail. It's not clearance, because you can get a Fire for $200.

Re:No thanks. (2, Informative)

jjm496 (1004054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572220)

Sure, if you want half the RAM of the lowest model, no camera's instead of two, no microphones, no bluetooth, half the processor. But hey...it's android so it will have Skype...oh, wait.

Re:No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38573868)

But you do get email, contact list, and calendar apps. And also (probably) hardware buttons that actually work. Those are things that the Playbook doesn't have.

I got one last week and I'm taking it back to the store this morning. How did RIM miss the mark on what makes a good tablet?

Re:No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38572580)

You are comparing a Nissan Versa to a BMW. Fire is a looser at $200. jjm496 said it perfectly.

Re:No thanks. (1)

Gruuk (18480) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572874)

You think the two devices are equivalent?

Dude.

Compare the specs yourself. Notice what the Fire lacks compared to the most basic of Playbooks.

16GB Playbook:
CPU: 1 GHz TI OMAP 4 4430 dual core
Display: 7", 1024×600,Capacitive touch sensitive.
Storage: 16 GB
RAM: 1 GB
GPS
3-axis accelerometer-gyroscope
Magnetometer
Camera 1080p HD video: 5 MP rear, 3 MP front
Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Micro-USB
Micro-HDMI

Now, the far shorter list of the Fire:
CPU: 1 GHz TI OMAP 4 4430 dual core
Display: 7", 1024×600,Capacitive touch sensitive.
Storage: 8 GB
RAM: 512 MB
Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n)
Micro-USB
3.5 mm stereo socket
Accelerometer

I got my wife a Kindle Fire for Christmas and I do think it's a very nice device (and good enough for her needs), but aside for the CPU and screen in no way is it equivalent to the lowest end Playbook feature-wise; GPS + Bluetooth + twice the RAM + Twice the Storage + 2 Cameras + gyroscope + Magnetometer + HDMI out justify the $99 difference. I do like Android a whole lot (even have my own Android tablet) but it doesn't make me blind to the fact that at this price, the Playbook is an excellent value.

Re:No thanks. (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38573558)

Yes, for a slab that can't even be used to read email...
As much as I dislike Fire, PlayBook is much less versatile than Fire or Nook. Currently it's like comparing a lowly nettop to a Sun SPARC Station. Sure SPARC station outperfroms that nettop, but I'd rather have that cheaper nettop and actually use it daily, than have a system that there is hardly anything for.

Re:No thanks. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38574072)

Yes, for a slab that can't even be used to read email...

That's only a partially true statement.

Yes, you can't connect to a mail server and pull down your emails like that.

But for many people, their email is primarily in the form of webmail. My wife connected to her gmail and hotmail shortly after her playbook was out of the box. And I know I regularly access my corporate email through Outlook web access (not on a Playbook mind you, but just a browser).

Admittedly, I thought the apps offerings for the Playbook were quite limited ... but for my wife, a tablet with wi-fi, web surfing, and available e-reader apps so she could buy books ... well, I picked it up at employee pricing through a friend, and I'm quite pleased with it. It certainly more than covers her needs, and she expressly didn't want something which was just an e-reader.

So, what does a Fire or a Nook do that can't be done on a Playbook?

Re:No thanks. (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38574552)

You picked up a Playbook for you wife which only wanted Wi-fi, web surfing, and e-reader. Again, why did you buy the Playbook and not the Fire Kindle?

Re:No thanks. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38574692)

You picked up a Playbook for you wife which only wanted Wi-fi, web surfing, and e-reader. Again, why did you buy the Playbook and not the Fire Kindle?

Bought it via a friend at employee pricing ... $99 + tax + shipping = $160 CDN. Price was too good to pass up.

Again, I ask, what can you do on a Fire you cannot do on a Playbook?

Re:No thanks. (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38576336)

Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, and many more apps not available on PlayBook.

Re:No thanks. (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#38576370)

Actually the Fire is more like a thin client than a netbook. Much of its functionality is run on Amazon's cloud ( Formerly referred to as a mainframe or server ). I haven't used a Fire but have heard that the browser isn't as good as Amazon would like you to believe. The Playbook OTOH has the best mobile browsing experience hands down. I also have The Touchdown application installed that allows connection to Exchange/Domino email servers. I don't really need it because as a Torch owner I also have full blown BlackBerry email experience on my Playbook which is really nice but it's available to anyone who isn't fortunate enough to have a BlackBerry.

Grr (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38571372)

I like how the 64Gb model is $299 in the US but over £400 in the UK. Drop prices worldwide RIM!

Who Cares about Rim, when there's Windows? (4, Funny)

mrclisdue (1321513) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571376)

The Windows 7 tablet is the greatest tablet ever. It is the top seller in Listanbul, Elbania, Drateskustan, Simbia and Australasia. It combines the superb technological hardware from Torchiba and the world class Microsoft OS, renowned and acclaimed for its ability to be snappy on all devices - phones, potatoes, tablets, netbooks and hot tubs.

Android just totally sucks, and I can't figure out why anyone would want an iPad. Like "eewww."

cheers,

mrclisdue

 

Re:Who Cares about Rim, when there's Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38571478)

The Windows 7 tablet is the greatest tablet ever. It is the top seller in Listanbul, Elbania, Drateskustan, Simbia and Australasia. It combines the superb technological hardware from Torchiba and the world class Microsoft OS, renowned and acclaimed for its ability to be snappy on all devices - phones, potatoes, tablets, netbooks and hot tubs.

Android just totally sucks, and I can't figure out why anyone would want an iPad. Like "eewww."

cheers,

mrclisdue

How many shills do you have to post before you can afford your playbook?

Re:Who Cares about Rim, when there's Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38571534)

It's a joke. Durrrr!

Re:Who Cares about Rim, when there's Windows? (1)

tapspace (2368622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571490)

I know a genuine Panaphonics when I see one

if yer gonna write parody... (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571628)

make sure all the names are genuine sornys,
  one of your place names is a real place, representing 34 million real people.

Re:if yer gonna write parody... (1)

mrclisdue (1321513) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571738)

ya, I threw the real place in there to add legitimacy; sorta like potatoes....

Re:Who Cares about Rim, when there's Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38574042)

The Windows 7 tablet is the greatest tablet ever. It is the top seller in Listanbul, Elbania, Drateskustan, Simbia and Australasia.

Any idea if it's popular in Ubeki-Beki-Beki-Stan-Stan? I travel there on business a lot.

Re:Who Cares about Rim, when there's Windows? (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 2 years ago | (#38575264)

Don't forget Poland!

$299 still not worth it! (4, Insightful)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571378)

Even at that price, I doubt they will sell much. The Kindle Fire is still cheaper, and who wants to pay $300 for something that may have no support in the next year. Rim should be selling these for $99!

Re:$299 still not worth it! (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571588)

Rim should be selling these for $99!

They did make them available to their employees [theverge.com] at that price.

I happened to know a guy who could hook me up, and ended up getting one for the wife for Christmas (a little more by the time I paid shipping and a few other things). Figured at that price, she could have a tablet/e-reader.

They're clearly losing money on the transaction, but it was a good gift idea.

Re:$299 still not worth it! (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571758)

Yeah... $299 would be worth it for an Android tablet with these specs, but not a Playbook.

Basically, it's $100 more than a Fire for extra storage - after all the Fire is almost identical hardware-wise.

Re:$299 still not worth it! (1)

jjm496 (1004054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572242)

Sure, if almost identical means half the processor, half the RAM of the lowest model, no camera's instead of two, no microphones, no bluetooth, and half the processor. But hey...it's android so it will have Skype...oh, wait.

Re:$299 still not worth it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38573122)

Unless by saving 'half the processor' twice, you meant 'all the processor', you got it wrong, based on Gruuk's list above which shows both tablets using the same dual core 1Ghz cpu (and Wikipedia says the same). However, I agree that the Fire clearly has less hardware overall than the Playbook.

Re:$299 still not worth it! (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572952)

Bingo. If it was priced at say $100 for the 16 GB model and then $25-$50 more for each increment in storage, I'd snap one up. My view is that for the next couple of years tablets will progress so fast that anything you buy will be utter crap so fast that it's not worth the money.

Evaluated it at work, too heavy and not that great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38571410)

The Playbook weights more than some 10 inch tabs, The 64Gb would be the only one to consider. The screen is bright though. but,,,, nah.

no native Skype = no Skype Video (4, Informative)

blackfrancis75 (911664) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571442)

I set up one of these for my mother-in-law over Christmas. The #1 use she had for it would be video-calling her grandkids on Skype. Guess what? No native Skype app exists for Playbook. There are crappy browser-based IM sites that enable it to chat on the Skype network, but no way to get Skype Video to work on it.

It seems RIM don't even have enough momentum behind the PB to make it worth Skype's while to make this possible.

Skype = Microsoft (4, Insightful)

Comboman (895500) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571712)

Considering Skype is now owned by Microsoft who has absolutely no interest in promoting RIM's products, I'm hardly surprised.

Re:Skype = Microsoft (2)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571806)

Considering Skype is now owned by Microsoft who has absolutely no interest in promoting RIM's products, I'm hardly surprised.

Well, since their goal is to sell Skype, and since people aren't exactly clamoring for Win 7 phones/tablets ... you'd think it would be to their advantage to actually sell the product and stop worrying about the platform.

Hell, MS has started to support apps on iOS, so why would it benefit them to withold from RIM?

If Microsoft is going to slavishly stick to "only on a Microsoft platform", they're going to lose potential revenue. Hopefully they're learning that if they can't control the platform, they might as well support it.

Re:Skype = Microsoft (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#38574606)

Because it's ORDERS of magnitude more difficult to support an app like Skype on RIM phones than on iOS.

There's a zillion slightly different models of RIM phones, each with a slightly [or greatly] different OS and hardware capabilities. With iOS, supporting 8 hardware models [3 iPhone, 3 iPod Touch, 2 iPad] and 2 versions of the OS covers the vast majority of all iOS devices.

Re:no native Skype = no Skype Video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38575324)

I've been wanting a Skype solution as well. What tablets work well with Skype?

Re:no native Skype = no Skype Video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38575658)

skype is available to blackberry users...

if you are a verizon customer. they have an exclusive agreement with skype. even if you aren't in the usa you can't skype on a blackberry. even tho verizon isn't available outside the usa the exclusive holds true. i have the software on my 9300, a skype compatible phone, but the connection attempt tells me i am not a verizon customer so the service is not available.

blame verizon, not rim.

Perhaps Developers will come now (0)

Jaxim (858185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571448)

This may be what RIM needs to get people to adopt the Playbook and for developers to code for the Playbook.

Before Christmas, my little (and might I say addicting) BOGGGLE app "Word ZigZag" ( http://goo.gl/5ga0j [goo.gl] ) was only downloaded a few times a day on Blackberry Playbook's App World Store. But on and after Christmas, my app was downloaded about 3-4X as much.

Perhaps a lot more people have the Blackberry Playbook because of the previous $200 Playbook "fire sales". And perhaps people will continue to buy them at the new $300 price.

I know as a developer, I'm starting to look at developing for RIM's App World as much as I would for iTunes. http://goo.gl/5ga0j [goo.gl]

Price Error? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38571460)

Seems suspicious that they would offer all three models for the same price. Then again this is RIM.

Re:Price Error? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571486)

Seems suspicious that they would offer all three models for the same price. Then again this is RIM.

Oh no. I told my wife to look out for a cheap 16gb tablet - I better phone her before she orders one

Loving the bias Slashdot is showing lately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38571520)

What's up with the headline??? RIM has said EVERYWHERE they are not giving up on the Playbook so why is this a clearance? They have wrote down the price already ($485 million) as they reported in the 3qrt earnings call back on Dec 15th. So they are no longer "losing money" on the sale.

You would think that even the RIM-haters would jump on a tablet that runs android at this price and that everyone would love the competition, but I guess the love for Apple and Google is just too strong.......

This seems pretty ingenious if you ask me, get some buyers at the lower prices (India sold out in 4 days) to compete with the Kindle Fire and even the HP Touchpad, which in turn gets some developer attention on QNX and the upcoming QNX-based phones. All this without having to wait on the carriers to approve a new phone platform when there isn't a developer community or applications since the Playbook and the phones are running the same QNX OS.

Re:Loving the bias Slashdot is showing lately (1)

thsths (31372) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571718)

> You would think that even the RIM-haters would jump on a tablet that runs android at this price

At 299 you have a lot of other options, and they offer either better hardware or better support. This is a bargain only for the 64GB model, otherwise it is actually pretty lame.

QNX obviously failed, the only future for these tablets is that Android becomes reasonably stable.

Cheaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38571548)

Sprint has the 16gb for 199

Hurry! (4, Funny)

Palshife (60519) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571566)

So last chance to buy a tiny tablet without email!

$199 already at Futureshop (1)

Nesa2 (1142511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571574)

This is not news as 16GB is on sale at Futureshop at $199 link [futureshop.ca] (Canadian)

32GB is also on sale for $249 link [futureshop.ca] (Canadian)

64GB is selling for $399 so in that case "buy any for $299" is a good deal... essentially only for 64GB version is good for this deal.

I saw these deals during Christmas Boxing day on-line sales, and even though I'm in a market for a tablet under $200 that performs reasonably well, I still didn't have any interest in RIM product. It's too proprietary for my taste and it locks me in their very limited market, and it can not be rooted to run android last time I checked...but I might be wrong... I'd pay around $100 to buy it as a kids toy, for them to draw or play YouTube videos as similar products geared towards kids are much more expensive and much more lacking even than RIM's PlayBook.

Re:$199 already at Futureshop (1)

mrops (927562) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571676)

I picked one of these on sale, to be honest, it got the best browser on tablets, android and iOS included. Its the closest I have seen to a full desktop browser.

Apps still very limited and that suck but still surprised to see a few big name titles showing up.

Its been a perfect companion to my travel needs, where I need good battery life, small size and an excellent browser. It needs native skype to make it perfect for my needs, so I will go short of calling it excellent.

hmm... I don't know. (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571664)

No removable storage, you'll probably have to root it to maintain it, and it still cost $299. Did anyone get X to build on QNX yet? Oh wait. It isn't open source any longer. Or it was, then it wasn't, now it is, or is it?

Re:hmm... I don't know. (1)

jjm496 (1004054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572262)

Yeah, because the iPAD and Fire have removable storage.

"or while supplies last" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38571750)

> The site says until February 4, but presumably that's 'or while supplies last.'

I'd hold off purchasing one until February 4th as that's when they'll probably cut the price again.

After February 4th I'll hold off purchasing one because it's crap.

Us brits are left out again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38571832)

It seems that the fire sale only applies to those of us who are on the western side of the atlantic. The prices are still in the £400 region on the UK site.
Oh well, I still have my PC and my 6 year old k800i *sigh*

Already cheap (1)

HideyoshiJP (1392619) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572050)

I thought these devices had already been on sale for $199 (16GB) for some time. They were the last time I was at Staples, at least. I like these devices, despite their small screen size, but I don't care for the software only being half-baked. In other news, I love my Acer A500.

Not really a fire sale (1)

accessbob (962147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572134)

It's not really a fire-sale, they are creating a user base for 3rd party apps. Get enough of these devices in people's hands and developers will create the apps for it.

They seem to be following the established x-box/playstation approach - make money off the apps, not off the kit itself. These are baby steps, but I can see the logic.

Re:Not really a fire sale (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572510)

Unfortunately that won't work. No one is jumping on these for that price, unlike the HP Touchpad which IMO is far superior and for only $99. The Touchpads sold over a million in a few days, the Playbook will be lucky to sell a few thousand this year. There are many other Tablets coming out, some will be cheaper with better support. RIM and BlackBerry remains a bad memory for many people. They lost their name recognition, and are just flailing like a fish out of the water. It's just a matter of time now.

Re:Not really a fire sale (1)

accessbob (962147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572752)

"Unfortunately that won't work"

You reckon? I know four people now who have bought the playbooks since Future Shop here in Canada started discounting. And none of them are techies. There seems to be a price-point for tablets, and the RIM discount is pretty much there I think.

It's also interesting to hear their opinions - they all love it, but one is complaining about lack of Skype (as people on here are).

Re:Not really a fire sale (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 2 years ago | (#38574052)

Unfortunately that won't work. No one is jumping on these for that price, ...

Then how come the online store is crumbling under the load if no one is buying them?

Re:Not really a fire sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38576386)

Nobody?
I know more people who got a PB for xmas than an iOS device. And others who would've bought it but had a hard time finding the 16GB ($200) model.

As for selling a few thousand this year, I bed they've done that already (Jan 3).

You're setting some sort of record for being out of touch, even on ./

Not about discontinuation (3, Insightful)

jjm496 (1004054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572356)

This isn't about discontinuing them, in February RIM is releasing the new OS version. This leaves them with the choice to either recall the unsold units and reload the OS and repackage them, or get as many of them out there as they can now and avoid that cost. Either way it would mean a loss of money, but the more new users they pick up now the better in the long run. Once the newer ones come out with the new OS version loaded, who will buy old stock? Sell the units now and let the users install the upgrade themselves.

Re:Not about discontinuation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38574418)

I keep reading similar thoughts on various sites talking about the reasoning behind the sales. I just don't understand how this makes sense. When I got my PlayBook, after the initial setup of connecting to wifi and setting the time, the first thing it did was get the currently released OS for it. I never got to the home screen before it loaded the new OS and restarted. Why would it make sense to clear out all stock or pull it all back to reload the OS when the setup steps take care of that the moment you turn it on?

Joke's on you HP... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38572428)

And I payed just $17.41 at QuiBids.com!

Jokes Aside...Its pretty good if you own a BB (3)

Karna99 (784157) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572476)

I bought one with the intention of trying it out and returning it. Its actually pretty good for what I need. Great display, get all my BB functions on it. Ebook and PDF reading is decent. Uses my BB mobile internet access for web browsing. The OS feels solid and polished. The 7" size is perfect, I find at 10" I may as well have a netbook or laptop. The media loves to dog pile on both losers and winner. Don't be an isheep, try it and make your own mind.

Re:Jokes Aside...Its pretty good if you own a BB (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572988)

the OS should feel solid considering it's based on QNX which has been a real-time embedded OS for a couple of decades. I fear that what happened to BeOS with Palm will be the same for QNX and RIM. ie some very good technology goes down the drain and is lost.

LoB

I bought one. Took it back. Total bag of fail (3, Informative)

Stu101 (1031686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572728)

I bought one. The form factor is lovely, the feel is great. That's where the good stuff ends.

There is no calendar, no email (REALLY, TRULY - not even an app you can download, let alone a Gmail one). If you want to load android apps, you have to install the 2.0 beta (which doesn't include email and calender still in beta release but will in final one in Feb.)

The side load of android apps is poor. The core google apps don't work (at least for me) but then again, I didn't really expect them to.

I had it for about 6 hours and just took it back. If you have a BB then you may get somewhere, without, don't even bother. It will end up a glorified browser.

The app store is also pretty crap. Angry birds is £5 to install if you want it. Android it's free. The number of apps is totally cack. No firefox app, no RDC type connector app, no VDI app.

There are no ports of android underway etc, so you are stuck with QNX and it seems only the BB fanbois love it.

Re:I bought one. Took it back. Total bag of fail (1)

Bill Dimm (463823) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572996)

Even the hardware doesn't seem very good. On the loaner I played with, the screen was very readable, but it frequently didn't respond to touches. I suppose it could be a software issue, but it seem to fail more often on certain parts of the screen, so I'm tempted to think it was a hardware issue. Maybe just a flaky unit, but I would be reluctant to buy it for the hardware even if there was an alternative to QNX for it.

Re:I bought one. Took it back. Total bag of fail (1)

Kadagan AU (638260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38574588)

Not being responsive is a typical blackberry thing. That's how my Storm was. It's most likely software.

Re:I bought one. Took it back. Total bag of fail (1)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 2 years ago | (#38575754)

When we eval'ed it, a month after release, loading simple, 500 kB PDFs from our website would freeze the entire unit for seconds at a time (trying to invoke multitasking and other controls didn't work), and bringing off-screen parts of the page into view frequently wouldn't render.

Adobe Acrobat-created PDFs, opening in the Adobe PDF Reader app on the Playbook. One could blame it on Adobe or its browser plug-in, but the OS shouldn't allow itself to get locked up by an app/plugin.

Risky Move (1)

Jamel Toms (2541304) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572778)

This is a risky move. Even after people purchase these at a discounted rate, will their interest be prolonged enough to create customer loyalty?

Re:Risky Move (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572920)

Only for BB users will find it useful, otherwise most people will be looking for another tablet within the next year. I purchased an HP Touchpad for $99 (couldn't resist the price) and even though WebOS seemed cool at first, it didn't do it for me. Luckily I can install Android and get some real use out of it. The coolness factor wears out quick after it's been sitting on your desk for weeks because you can't find a good excuse to use it.

You know... (1)

Y-Crate (540566) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572844)

Maybe having working email on the device would have helped its chances of success.

It's only been out for the better part of a year.

PlayBook great with BB, Android and native soon. (1)

benmhall (9092) | more than 2 years ago | (#38573384)

I've owned a PlayBook since it came out and haven't regretted the purchase, even at full price. The hardware and size are great, the speakers in particular are quite impressive. The screen even works very well outdoors, too. Moreover, I much prefer BlackBerry Bridge to native apps. I love being able to turn off the phone and not have to worry about alarms going off on the tablet. The Bridge integration is great. I wish that, rather than native apps, RIM would bring Bridge apps to iOS and Android phones.

I'm running OS 2 beta now. The Android player works as advertised. That said, I haven't added many Android apps, as there are now reasonable native apps for everything that I need but WordPress. (For which the Android version is working perfectly.)

I know it's cool to dump on RIM these days, but I just bought a Torch 9810 and prefer it to any Android phone, and I love the OS that the PlayBook runs. It works so much like webOS and is such a quality device. Apps at launch were pretty terrible but I now have a few great games, an SSH client, a reasonable epub reader etc. Docs To Go works well, and the browser is the best tablet browser I've used.

If I didn't already own a PlayBook I would absolutely snap one of these up. RIM is still profitable and I think they're in this for the long-haul. There's no doubt that 2012 will be a critical year for them but they aren't done yet. (Of course, this is coming from someone who just recently gave up on webOS.)

Re:PlayBook great with BB, Android and native soon (2)

acoustix (123925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38573602)

I've owned a BlackBerry phone since 2004 and I've also been a BES admin since 2004. I had the 7750, 8303e, 8830, 9530 and now the 9930. The 7750 was a terrible phone, but great for everything else. My next two phones were absolutely amazing. The Storm (9530) left some to be desired for their first touchscreen phone. But the 9930 is fast, fast, fast.

I also ordered a PB when they came out. I'm trying to justify its use for business, but so far I'm struggling. It's difficult to find apps that relate to my profession in IT. The fact that it was also released without native integration to BES is also a huge negative. Rumor has it (by developers) that RIM still isn't any closer to having native email/calendar/contacts on QNX and apparently this is true of both the tablet and phone version. I suspect that we will not see native apps until late 2012 at the earliest. I really hope that I'm wrong. I really think that BB has the best overall platform. However, RIM's management is completely messed up and needs to be replaced ASAP.

Re:PlayBook great with BB, Android and native soon (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38573650)

BB is yesterdays technology at a high cost. Most of us consumers have higher expectations, and since this year will bring ICS tablets for less than a Playbook, where is the value? Anyone buying this for $300 will be kicking them selves in a few months.

Re:PlayBook great with BB, Android and native soon (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38574332)

I've had few problems with Blackberry phones. (The original Bold had a bad mechanical design and build problems, but electronics were excellent.) The problem with Blackberry in my case was reliance on BES, and when BES is working it's excellent. When you lay off all your local BES admins and outsource to a foreign country who's never seen a Blackberry, well, it isn't pretty. This is the one and only reason I carry an Android phone, and I still miss my Blackberry.

Re:PlayBook great with BB, Android and native soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38574642)

BB user since 2005. The Playbook at full price was stupid. You can do less than an iPad at the same price, why? Seriously why? I will likely be going Android with my next phone too, after 4 BBs in the last 6.5 years... I was dissatisfied more and more with each new phone. Same clunky OS, more bugs, less reliable hardware.

Playbook activation with BlackBerry ID (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38573430)

Maybe it's just me, but requiring a BlackBerry ID to activate the device is a real turn off to me.

PlayBook: I could'a been an iPad killah! (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 2 years ago | (#38574038)

I could'a been somebody, instead of a bum, which I am.

Really? (2)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38574292)

$400 off $299... RIM was trying to sell the Playbook for $700? No wonder it failed.

I got one of the Acer A500s (1)

Derek Pomery (2028) | more than 2 years ago | (#38574714)

And I'm fairly happy with it.
Performs well, price was and is still good ($350) and, a feature not on the Galaxy Tab, it has standard USB - so you can just plug in any old thumb drive or keyboard you have lying around the house. Heck. We even plugged the iphone into it once to charge it and transfer photos off of it. Haven't tested it with anything but USB keyboard, mouse and mass storage yet.

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