$199 BlackBerry PlayBook: the HP TouchPad of this Black Friday?

$199 BlackBerry PlayBook: the HP TouchPad of this Black Friday?

Summary: Perhaps RIM's $300 sale on all PlayBooks during Black Friday was too much of a good thing for the Waterloo-based company and its beleaguered tablet.

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HP's summer fire sale of its short-lived HP TouchPad proved that there is no better tablet feature than a huge price drop, so the fact that the $199 BlackBerry PlayBook ($300 off regular price) is practically all sold out across America this Black Friday is not surprising. (Office Depot is only selling the slate in stores and I'm not counting Amazon/eBay sellers' stock. RIM and Canadian retailers like BestBuy.ca still have the higher capacity 32GB and 64GB models available so perhaps a trip up north is in order).

While some new PlayBook owners are quite impressed with their 7-inchers, others unfortunately got their hard earned orders cancelled days after completing their purchases online, as reported by Electronista. I know this also happened to some unlucky souls during the TouchPad fire sale, where retailers oversold slates without having stock on hand. In my case, despite receiving a "congratulations on my order" email from Office Depot, there was no guarantee that my order would be fulfilled because the shipment from HP had yet to arrive. I only breathed a sigh of relief when I received my tracking number and know my purchase was on its way.

Judging from comments from irate consumers on Best Buy and CrackBerry forums about their cancelled PlayBook orders, it sounds like stores once again took money for orders they could not fulfill. At least BestBuy.com is removing listings of the unavailable tablets from its website quickly, leaving just the accessories online to not give consumers false hope. But it still begs the question: Is it that difficult for any retailer to just sell the number of units it has in its warehouse?

Although RIM's $300 price cut on all PlayBooks is only good until December 1, with successful orders being cancelled this quickly by retailers, it doesn't seem like they'll be getting extra stock in-time to meet demand. After all, the idea with this sale is to clear inventory, not to sell more (likely) below-cost PlayBooks than necessary (sorry consumers). I guess that's the difference between a discontinued tablet and a discounted one.

Did you manage to bring a PlayBook home this Black Friday? Share your thoughts on your new tablet below.

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Topics: BlackBerry, Hewlett-Packard, Security, Smartphones, Tablets

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30 comments
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  • RE: $199 BlackBerry PlayBook: the HP TouchPad of this Black Friday?

    I ordered my Blackberry Playbook tablet through BestBuy.com only to have my order cancelled saturday. I'm still in pain, what can I do? Nothing...
    emendez07002
    • RE: $199 BlackBerry PlayBook: the HP TouchPad of this Black Friday?

      @emendez07002 try shopblackberry.com it is RIM store, they have stock and the sale will continue till Dec 3rd , also there is a coupon you can apply to get another 10$ discount: 09OLTY12 , hope you will get one.
      mdhiab@...
      • RE: $199 BlackBerry PlayBook: the HP TouchPad of this Black Friday?

        @mdhiab@... Thanks for the info, I just ordered one!
        gil_seiler
      • RE: $199 BlackBerry PlayBook: the HP TouchPad of this Black Friday?

        @mdhiab@...
        Thank you! Just ordered one on shopblackberry.com.The coupon code doesn't work though.

        Have put an order on Futureshop but was in back order. Been worried about being canceled...
        MotionJack
      • RE: $199 BlackBerry PlayBook: the HP TouchPad of this Black Friday?

        @mdhiab@...
        Thank you! Just ordered one on shopblackberry.com.The coupon code doesn't work though.

        Have put an order on Futureshop but was in back order. Been worried about being canceled...
        MotionJack
      • RE: $199 BlackBerry PlayBook: the HP TouchPad of this Black Friday?

        Duplication bug...
        MotionJack
  • RE: $199 BlackBerry PlayBook: the HP TouchPad of this Black Friday?

    RIM is still shipping out new stock and will continue. I had to go back 2 times to buy mine in Canada but I finally got one. I don't believe they are doing away with the playbook, I think they are trying to flood the market with them so app developers will finaly want to spend time and money developing apps for the playbook. The lack of apps is the biggest complaint with the playbook and I don't think the developers cared to make them for the 700,000 playbook users that already had playbooks before the sale stared last week.
    jwyoungy
  • RE: $199 BlackBerry PlayBook: the HP TouchPad of this Black Friday?

    bought two, one at Futureshop and a second directly from RiM. i had my own since April and it's one of the best purchases i have ever made, it's an excellent device contrary to all the naysayers. only gripe i have is the typing, i hate typing on glass, looking forward to the ability to use my Bold keypad which will act as a bluetooth keypad when OS2 is released.
    HabsSuck
  • As a huge Apple fan that I am I have to say I hope the Playbook

    remains. Actually I am pulling for RIM in general. I hope they turn things around in the phone business as well. To all the naysayers out there the word being said about RIM today sound to me very much like the words that were once bandied about when it came to Apple in the 1990's time period and look where Apple is now.

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
  • RE: $199 BlackBerry PlayBook: the HP TouchPad of this Black Friday?

    I purchased 5 yesterday! I had to go t 3 indianapolis area Office Depots to do it. Haven't used them yet because they are Christmas gifts for my college kids, including two for me my husband. I fell in love with it after playing with one my sister-in-law has (she paid full price $499 earlier in the year). I like the way it integrates with the Blackberry phone via bluetooth. That's a plus. Can't wait til Christmas morning!
    Marwilliams
    • What a huge waste of money

      @Marwilliams The reason the Playbook wasn't selling was because it was a completely useless piece of junk.

      The platform has less apps than WP7 had at release time .... and it is being out for a year. On top of that, the platform is unable to even do even basic (non-web) email without being tethered to a Blackberry phone.

      You just wasted $1000 on paper weights.
      wackoae
      • RE: $199 BlackBerry PlayBook: the HP TouchPad of this Black Friday?

        @wackoae Well, clearly the tablet is not a waste if those are the only 2 complaints.<br><br>With OS2.0 coming out and capability with Android apps soon, the App problem will be resolved in a matter of time. Furthermore, if you are using this for professional purposes, you don't need thousands of mindless games in the App Store.<br><br>Regarding native email, did you know that the tablet is so powerful that it can run websites like a laptop? Even if you don't have a Blackberry Smartphone, with such a great web browser you can use Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, etc. as if you were on a computer. In most cases, this is better as most native mail clients do not support features such as calendars and contacts. And if you do have a Blackberry Smartphone, the bridging exceeds any native email client out there.
        Memoirs
      • RE: $199 BlackBerry PlayBook: the HP TouchPad of this Black Friday?

        @wackoae Now that the Android player and the native email are coming out in a couple of months with the release of OS2, for $200.00 the PB would be the best purchase anybody would ever make.

        The PB is far from being a paper weight and the proof is in the fact that every store in Canada and the USA is sold out.
        nehmeg
      • RE: $199 BlackBerry PlayBook: the HP TouchPad of this Black Friday?

        @wackoae
        The only email you can't get with the Playbook is email through the Blackberry Enterprise server, and if you don't have a Blackberry then you don't have a Blackberry Enterprise server account so it's a non-issue. And if you have a Blackberry, you simply tether to the tablet to get access to the BES, and BES and Android app support will be added in Feb so it is even less meaningful.
        Doctor Demento
    • RE: $199 BlackBerry PlayBook: the HP TouchPad of this Black Friday?

      @Marwilliams
      hi just got 2 yesterday for kids, but also got an acer iconia 500. Since you have opened yours already do you know if you have record on the blackberry. My son wants a table which can record in his large lecture hall for college next year. thx much suz2q@sbcglobal.net
      suz2q
      • RE: $199 BlackBerry PlayBook: the HP TouchPad of this Black Friday?

        @suz2q The Playbook has Voice and Video recording capability. It has great stereo speakers and stereo microphones too, they do a pretty good job.
        John Hanks
  • blackberry playbook vs acer iconia 500 for college students

    I purchased both units for my son going off to college next year. I viewed a few different web comparisons and some don't even agree on features. If someone has these, I'd sure appreciate feedback. He is looking for GPS and recordable features for college lecture halls with note taking while recording like the ipad does. thanks much
    suz2q
    • RE: $199 BlackBerry PlayBook: the HP TouchPad of this Black Friday?

      @suz2q My first post. I have a Playbook and I do take it to college with me. It has a built in GPS and dual microphones for recording. In addition, Documents to Go (MS Office) is included which can be used to take notes. I did it for a few of my classes, where I would be typing on Word, recording simultaneously (and the device multitasks without a hiccup) and if there are any diagrams, take a quick picture with the camera. The GPS works, but better apps are needed to utilise it properly.
      ElweFeanorfin
  • RE: $199 BlackBerry PlayBook: the HP TouchPad of this Black Friday?

    I just ordered a 16gb playbook from sprint.com. Hopefully doesn't cancel few days later. (crossing fingers)
    vinmpin
  • RE: $199 BlackBerry PlayBook: the HP TouchPad of this Black Friday?

    there are still blackberry available at store.shopblackberry.com. If you go to slickdeals.com, you will find an additional $10 off. So, that's $189 for 16gb. Hurry! -headlining
    xoxobebejayxoxo