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RIM Says BlackBerry PlayBook Reductions Are Coming

BlackBerry PlayBookRIM is still struggling to shift its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, and to many of you that will be no surprise. The device has had a pretty unfortunate start, what with the lack of key features such as native email support, and a torrent of poor reviews that branded the firmware “half-baked.” But RIM has some tricks up its sleeve that will make the PlayBook all the more attractive.

During a company earnings call yesterday, RIM’s co-CEO Jim Balsille promised that a new version of the PlayBook’s QNX operating system is on its way — bringing with it “major enhancements” like email, contacts and calendar support; and that much-anticipated Android App Player.

However, that won’t be RIM’s only attempt at luring you into a PlayBook purchase: Balsille has also mentioned that the Canadian company plans to make price reductions to the device.

RIM has only shipped — not sold — 200,000 PlayBook units so far, which is “well below expectations.” However, co-CEO Mike Lazaridis says that the device is still in its infancy and that the company still expects it to perform well.

CFO Brian Bidulka said:

“In addition to the inventory on RIM’s balance sheet, there is inventory in the channel that we will work through with our partners to sell through over the coming months.”

It’s currently unclear when these price cuts will be coming, or how generous they’ll be, but we don’t think RIM will wait too long before it reduces those price tags — especially not now that it has announced its plans and encouraged would-be customers to hold onto their cash until a reduction.

Big companies struggling to sell their tablet devices is becoming an all too familiar story. In recent months, HP was forced to cut the price of its TouchPad tablet in a bid to boost sales, and shortly afterwards gave up on the device and reduced it even further down to just $99 to clear inventory.

It’s unlikely RIM’s PlayBook will see a reduction like this, especially while the company continues to hold onto hopes of its success, but we’ll be keeping an eye on its price tag in the coming months.

Will that major update to the BlackBerry PlayBook’s OS and a price reduction encourage you to purchase RIM’s tablet?

[via TechRadar]


Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...

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