Unlike Motorola, which will apparently sell its new Xoom tablet for a whopping $800 starting in a couple of weeks, Research in Motion is taking a saner approach to pricing its forthcoming PlayBook tablet.
CrackBerry.com received a leaked internal document from Office Depot that shows that the PlayBook will be priced at $499.99 for the 16GB model, which puts it in line with the cost of the equivalent Apple iPad. The document also lists an on-sale date of late March/early April, which will precede the rollout of the HP TouchPad by a few months.
While RIM's pricing is certainly more reasonable than Motorola's, it still shows an unwillingness to undercut the price of the iPad. There are dirt-cheap tablets running Android from no-name vendors, but no major manufacturer is even trying to price its product at $399 to see if it bring a competitive advantage. (Granted, the Dell Streak can be had for $199.99, but only with a two-year mobile contract with T-Mobile.) It suggests that margins on these devices may be slim for other companies, with Apple able to keep costs down through its supply chain and profits high. Or that one company dropping its price will set off a pricing war that will leave no winners among the iPad competitors. What do you think?