Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sale pricing begins: PlayBook prices slashed in half for Rogers employees

BlackBerry PlayBook price cuts have begun, though only in terms of Rogers "employee" pricing, thus far. The Canadian cell phone carrier is giving employees the opportunity to purchase BlackBerry PlayBooks for up to 50 percent off in an internal sale.

Downloads: safe, fast, uncensoredRogers and RIM are natural partners considering both are Canadian companies.

It was already revealed by RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie during the company’s fiscal second-quarter 2012 earnings call that RIM would soon be dropping prices on its BlackBerry PlayBook tablets. Official price points have yet to be determined.

Rogers employees are able to purchase the tablet at discounts, normally priced at $499.99 for 16GB (prices are in Canadian dollars) for just $249, while the 32GB model is slashed to $349 from $599.99, and the top-end 64GB PlayBook is now $399, down from its normal $699.99 price tag. These prices are good from Sept. 14 through Dec. 1.

While it is unclear what RIM's lowered pricing for consumers might be, these prices could be an indicator of the possibilities. Still, an earlier iSuppli teardown of the $499 model showed a bill-of-materials cost of $271 for the PlayBook. In Canadian dollars, to compare against the Rogers employee pricing, that's $265, which would be above the Rogers employee pricing for the same model.

RIM said in its recent earnings report that it only managed to ship 200,000 PlayBooks in fiscal Q2 2012. That's ship, not sell-through.

It's unclear how low prices would have to go for RIM to see more uptake of its QNX tablet, but a planned "big" October software update could certainly help.

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