Reports: BlackBerry May Be Closing the Book on the PlayBook
Reports are coming in that the BlackBerry PlayBook may be kicking the bucket sooner rather than later. Best Buy has dropped the price of the PlayBook considerably, and some reports say RIM may be looking to leave the tablet scene altogether. Here’s the scoop …
According to AllThingsD, Best Buy is yet again dropping prices of the PlayBook — this time by as much as $200, which makes the 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook a low $299. A few weeks ago, that would have been a pretty good deal for the 7-inch RIM tablet, but now, with the Amazon Kindle Fire available in less than two months, the PlayBook is unlikely to see any increase in adoption (unless RIM pulls an HP TouchPad move and goes for broke at $99).
Reuters reports say RIM is denying rumors it’s exiting the tablet market. But realistically, it might be the smartest thing RIM could do. I’ve long argued that RIM’s greatest asset is QNX, PlayBook’s operating system, and building QNX phones (which Reuters is calling “super phones”) is definitely RIM’s best and last chance to be relevant in this volatile marketplace. But ensuring QNX phones kick major butt means RIM needs to focus its resources in the right places. RIM may want to back off on its PlayBook or other tablet development and put all its energy into new phones.
We know QNX phones are coming, but we’re not sure whether they will carry the BlackBerry moniker. I recently opined that for RIM to stay relevant and fresh, it might want to move on to a new fruit and let the past stay in the past. One thing is for certain, RIM is at a do-or-die moment in time. With a constant onslaught of Android devices, a new iPhone on the horizon and Windows Phone 7 gaining popularity, playing hardball is no longer optional.