Blackberry PlayBook Prices Cut, But Will the Price Drop Help Save the Platform?

Blackberry may not be the leading tablet platform, but there are still millions of Blackberry loyalists in Asia. Even while the platform is on a decline in the U.S. and other developed markets, carriers are actively promoting BlackBerry smartphones and data plans in countries like the Philippines and Indonesia.

In the Philippines, RIM has cut prices of its PlayBook tablet to more than half the original prices. Unbox.Ph┬ánotes how the entry-level 16 GB Blackberry Playbook is now priced at PhP 10,990 (US$ 261.67). That’s more than a 50% cut:

  • BlackBerry PlayBook 16 GB = Php 10,990 (old price is Php 23,990)
  • BlackBerry PlayBook 32 GB = Php 13,990 (old price is Php 28,990)
  • BlackBerry PlayBook 64 GB = Php 15,990 (old price is Php 33,990)

The regional price cuts follow the price adjustments elsewhere. For instance, the 16 GB PlayBook was priced at US$ 199 in the American market since earlier this year, while the 32 and 64 GB models are now US$ 249 and US$ 299, respectively. UK prices have likewise been cut, starting at GBP 169 for the entry-level PlayBook. RIM earlier cut prices in India to about half.

But, the question at this point is whether the platform has a future. Consider that HP had poor sales of its webOS-powered TouchPad when it first came out. But when HP announced spinning off its mobile division and webOS, its US$ 99 “fire-sale” of the TouchPad resulted in sold-out inventories. HP even had to produce a few additional batches just to meet demand.

But even with dirt-cheap prices, would you consider buying into a platform that’s not necessarily the most active, in terms of support and applications?