RIM extends 50% discount offer for PlayBook in India

Research In Motion (RIM), makers of BlackBerry PlayBook
Tablet PC, has extended its festive offer by a week.

The company said that the device is sold out in retail
across the country. RIM slashed the price of PlayBook Tablet PC by almost 50
percent at the end of December last year.

The company sold more than 12,000 devices in four days
since the offer was announced on December 28 and distributors such as Redington
and Ingram are waiting for new stock to come in.

RIM had earlier offered free BlackBerry smartphones
to buyers of the tablet during Diwali.

The 16-GB version of the PlayBook is available at a more
than 50 per cent discount from the regular price of Rs 27,990. Prices for 32 GB
and 64 GB versions were also cut. The 32-GB version was available at Rs 15,990,
while the 64-GB model was priced at Rs 24,490 under the offer. The devices are
originally priced at Rs 32,990 (32GB) and Rs 37,990 (64GB).

“BlackBerry continues to be an aspirational brand
and we have seen a huge uptake in the market across the country for PlayBook
during this offer period,” said Sunil Dutt, managing director, Research In Motion.

Since the launch of Apple’s iPad in the country, the
tablet market has been witnessing huge competition, with more and more new
contenders launching their devices.

RIM had launched the PlayBook in India, along with other
markets like the UK, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Australia and the UAE.

RIM, known for its BlackBerry series of phones, had
introduced PlayBook in June in the Indian market. However, RIM’s PlayBook
tablet device has been vividly heralded as a disastrous product, because
of its limited features and high price.

Weeks later after its debut, the PlayBook was criticized
for lacking a dedicated e-mail program. RIM promised it would fix that in
software upgrade that it now says won’t come until February. Moreover, the
company says the first BlackBerrys built on BBX won’t come out until they’re
ready, declining to reiterate an earlier goal of the first quarter of this

Shipments of PlayBook were declined to 150,000 units last
quarter, from 500,000 units in the quarter of their April debut. In its Q3
results RIM had written-off $485 million in PlayBook-related losses.

RIM’s revenue for the third quarter of fiscal was $5.2
billion, up 24 percent from $4.2 billion in the previous quarter. During the
quarter, RIM shipped approximately 14.1 million smart phones.

By Danish Khan
[email protected]