If you were holding out on buying a BlackBerry PlayBook because you think there's a fire sale right around the corner, pack up your tent and go home. The managing director of RIM Australia told ZDNet Australia yesterday that the company has no intention of flogging the device for cheap in Australia.
The BlackBerry PlayBook
This week it was revealed that Research In Motion (RIM) will write down the value of the PlayBook internationally to increase sales of the flagging tablet, with the 16GB version of the tablet now selling for US$199 internationally.
Speaking at an event in Sydney yesterday, Adele Beachley, managing director of RIM for Australia and New Zealand, told ZDNet Australia that the company would rather offer deals on the device rather than lower the local recommended retail price.
"I think if you're asking me, 'am I going to go away and fire sale PlayBook?' The answer is no. We're completely committed to the tablet market and we're going to continue building our PlayBook base here in Australia," Beachley said.
"We've been doing some very, very specific and I would say, very, very aggressive marketing promotions in this market. We've done some big promotions with Harvey Norman and we're also doing some significant promotions with Optus as well. I mentioned a $49 cap deal with a free PlayBook. The model is different depending on the market," she added.
One retailer has come forward to express their frustration over the strategy from RIM Australia and New Zealand, saying that teaming up for deals rather than lowering the price outright like in the US is making the low-margin PlayBook even harder to sell.
"I'm watching Best Buy's PlayBook prices fall and [RIM Australia] aren't doing anything to help us get to that pricing," one retail executive said on the condition of anonymity. "I'm not doing anything to help them make their run rate. If the suppliers reduce their price, we lower ours," the executive added.
The anonymous retailer said that they have asked RIM Australia many times to lower the price, to no success. RIM Australia said in an official statement yesterday that Christmas deals and lowered prices would be up to the retailers. Not so, according to the anonymous source.
"When a supplier says it's up to the retailer it's because they can't set the price themselves. We're all over them, but we're frustrated," the executive added.
The last tablet to get the fire sale treatment in Australia was the wildly successful HP TouchPad.