iPad 2 Rival Alert : RIM to Drop Price of Blackberry Playbook Tablet

RIM is expected to follow in the footsteps of HP and cut the price of the Blackberry PlayBook tablet down to a staggering $199 for the 16GB model.

According to The Verge, a number of North American retailers, including Staples and Best Buy, will be cutting the price of the tablet to $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB) and $399 (64GB) respectively.

This will make the PlayBook competitive with the Kindle Fire and the Nook, but it is almost certain that RIM will be taking a financial hit given that the bill of material for the tablet is around $200.

RIM has promised a software update that will add some missing featuers including email, calendar and BBM but this will only come until next year.

While still quite limited, we suspect that enthusiasts DIYers will hack the tablet and run Android on it.

Like the Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble Nook tablet, the Blackberry PlayBook tablet comes with a 7-inch 1024x600 pixel capacitive touchscreen and a dual core TI OMAP4430 SoC clocked at 1GHz.

There's 1GB RAM plus a number of other features not found on the two other variants (multi megapixel rear and front facing cameras, microHDMI, external volume control etc).