Here we go round the TouchPad déjà vu, all over again. The BlackBerry PlayBook sale was so much of a success even BlackBerry ran out of the 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook when the price went down to $199. The price had been lowered to $299 previously and that didn't catch the eyes of tablet bargain hunters. Now all the online retailers who have the BlackBerry PlayBook sale are showing either out-of-stock or email sign-ups.
Earlier this week, Best Buy mistakenly was taking orders when it did not have the 16GB PlayBook in stock. They say they will have more inventory in the near future. However, the coveted sales price of $199.99 well end on December 3. We checked and Walmart, Office Depot and RadioShack are all sold-out of the 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook.
We have recieved reports from readers that RIM has cancelled pending transactions. We contacted RIM PR rep Shelly Sofer to see what the "official" situation is.
As of today the RIM website has the following message under the 16GB PlayBook:
"Out of Stock We are sorry!! This item is currently out of stock. You can still place a request using Keep Me Posted option. We will get back to you as soon as we receive inventory. " There is a delay in shipping. The RIM website warns "Due to high volume of PlayBook orders, orders may take up to 7 days to ship." ON SALE: $199 (16 GB), $299 (32 GB), $399 (64 GB) - Limit 3 per customer. SALE ENDS: 12/3/2011
The 7-inch (1024 x 600) touchscreen tablet runs the new BlackBerry Tablet OS on a1GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM. The PlayBook supports Wi-Fi and Flash. It weighs less than one pound.
The BlackBerry PlayBook and tether to a BlackBerry smartphone. Features include user-friendly QNX technology, true simultaneous multitasking - apps run simultaneously and in real time, accelerometer, 6-axis motion sensing (gyroscope) and digital compass (magnetometer), GPS and micro USB port.
What appears to be holding tablet buyers back is not the desire but the price. When the 16GB HP TouchPad fire sale price went down to $99.99 it sold-out and help make it become the top market share holder of non-iPad tablets.
For Black Friday and Cyber Monday Wireless dropped the price of the Motorola Xoom to $199, it depleted inventory and won't be shipped until December 4. The Motorola Xoom is back up to $299 and still shipping on 12/5. ecause Google now owns Motorola, you can be sure that the Xoom will continue to be supported.
The fate of the BlackBerry PlayBook is not sure, however, it's selling like cheap HP TouchPads and Motorola Xooms...
If someone is watching out there, consumers want a cheap full-featured tablet with all the bells an whistles. All the frenzy over deals fit with what consumer research is saying that people want tablets this holiday season. Kids 6-12 want iPads. Adults also want tablets this year according to Retrevo and desire the Kindle Fire according to ChangeWave.
Top 5 U.S. Tablet Brands (excluding Apple)
Retail Sales Jan-Oct 2011
Source: The NPD Group/Connected Handhelds Report