Blackberry Playbook Prices to be Slashed for Holiday Season

Blackberry Playbook Prices to be Slashed for Holiday Season

Retailers are preparing to slash as much as $300 off the price of Research in Motion’s Blackberry Playbook, hoping to clear out backed up inventory of the device during the holiday season.

Blackberry PlayBookAppleInsider reports:

Big-box retailer Staples will begin a sale on Friday for RIM’s PlayBook tablet in the BlackBerry maker’s home country of Canada. The 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models of the device will sell for $199, $299 and $399, respectively. According to a photo of an advertisement sent by an AppleInsider reader, the sale will run until Dec. 1.

Similar sales are expected in the United States as U.S. retailers attempt to sell of their inventories of the disappointing device. Staples and Best Buy are expected to offer the device at the lower prices during the holiday season.

Just 200,000 PlayBook tablets were shipped last quarter, a disappointment to analysts who had expected a range of 400,000 to 600,000. (No word on how many devices were actually sold, and how many still sit on the shelves, facing rejection from knowledgeable buyers.) Best Buy attempted to shake up sales of the PlayBook earlier this year by offering discounts of $50 off of the 16GB and 32GB models, and $150 off the 64GB model.

Tablet makers have found themselves facing pressure from two points: a price squeeze from low-end competitors, and overwhelming consumer preference for the iPad. Tablet manufacturers may be forced into a price war this holiday season as they attempt to move excess inventory and cut their ever increasing losses.