RIM drops BlackBerry PlayBook to $199 in time for the holidays

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Research in Motion has announced via Twitter that they will be dropping the price of the BlackBerry PlayBook to $199 for a limited time. This is a significant price cut as the tablet originally launched with a $499 price tag earlier this year.

The list of participating retailers includes Best Buy, Office Depot, Office Max, Radio Shack, Staples, Walmart and the BlackBerry Store. RIM didn’t announce when the sale would begin or how long it would last and as of writing, none of the retailers listed above have cut prices yet. That said, it’s entirely likely that the $199 PlayBook could be sold as an unadvertised Black Friday special at said retailers come Friday.

We’ve seen RIM offer multiple sales on the PlayBook since its lackluster release. The most recent was in late September when several major outlets offered a $100 instant rebate on top of a $100 mail-in rebate for the tablet. This brought prices down to $299 for a 16GB model, $399 for a 32GB unit and $499 for a 64GB tablet.

CNET points out that Newegg offered the PlayBook for $199 over the weekend but it quickly sold out at this price. If Newegg’s sale is any indication, the PlayBook could sell out pretty quick at this price point which is right in line with Amazon’s Kindle Fire and $50 cheaper than Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet. Apple remains firm on iPad 2 pricing, starting at $499 for a 16GB model in white or black.

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