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RIM cuts all BlackBerry PlayBook tablets to $299 for limited time

RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet

Research In Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet has hit a new low price -- $299 for every model.

Yup, that's $299 for the PlayBook regardless of how much storage you buy it with: 16 gigabytes, 32 gigabytes or 64 gigabytes.

RIM made the temporary price cut, which ends Feb. 4, on its BlackBerry online store. If you've been waiting to buy a PlayBook, this might be the time to go for it -- though it was offered as low as $199 on Black Friday.

Normally, the 16-gigabyte PlayBook sells for $499, the 32-gigabyte model for $599 and the 64-gigabyte unit for $699.

RIM officials weren't available on Tuesday to say just what prompted the price cut, which can fairly be described as a fire sale of sorts. But it is well known that the PlayBook hasn't lived up to RIM's sales expectations since its launch April.

Last month, RIM took a $485-million loss on unsold PlayBook inventory. The PlayBook also has yet to entice wireless carriers, as none has offered a 3G or 4G version of the BlackBerry tablet as RIM had planned.

The dramatic price cut follows what was a difficult 2011 for RIM with multiple product delays, layoffs, service outages, shrinking market share, disappointing earnings results, sliding stock prices and takeover rumors.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: Mike Lazaridis, president and co-chief executive officer of Research in Motion, speaks about the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet at BlackBerry's DevCon in San Francisco on Oct. 18. Credit: Beck Diefenbach / Reuters

 
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