One month after Canadian smartphone pioneer Research in Motion took a $485 million charge against its unsold inventory of PlayBook tablets, the company has cut the price of all its PlayBook models to just $299.
This means the version with 16GB of storage costs the same as the one with 64GB, a pricing decision likely made to force the sale of the highest-capacity models first.
Though it looks like a final liquidation, this is actually a promotion that will only last until February 4th. In December, RIM said it planned to increase promotional activity supporting the PlayBook in order to drive consumer adoption around the world and hopefully bump up the device's sales, which have been steadily dropping each month rather than increasing.
The promotion also lasts until the QNX 2.0 update is expected to arrive, which will finally endow the PlayBook with email, calendar, and contact sync functionality, which have been tragically missing since launch.
It also makes the device much more competitive among the non-iPad tablets vying for their place in the still-hot media tablet market. Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet appears to have snagged an early lead as the most popular budget tablet, and has set the bar for all other competitors at just $199.
In a similar move taken over New Year's weekend, Sony knocked $100 off the price of its Android-powered Tablet S, bringing it down to a more competitive $399 and $499.