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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 (opens in new tab), 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).

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.