After Canada and US, RIM likely to slash PlayBook tablet price in India

Research In Motion (RIM) is likely to bring down the price
of PlayBook tablet in India shortly. The smartphone major has already started
slashing the price of its first touch screen tablet at a number of retailers in
the United States and Canada.

The reduction in price is likely to happen at a time when
many mobile and tablet companies and telecom service providers are battling for
market share in the Indian tablet market.

Recently, Beetel Teletech, a Bharti Enterprises group
company, announced the launch of its tablet device – Beetel Magiq – priced at
Rs 9,999. Reliance Communications’ Reliance 3G Tab, a fully loaded Android
tablet, is available for Rs 13,000. iBall is also offering its media tablet at
competitive prices.

RIM’s PlayBook is available in India at Rs 25,000-37,000.
The Apple iPad 2 is available at Rs 29,500-46,900, Samsung Galaxy tab at Rs
28,000-35,000, Motorola Zoom at Rs 34,999 and Dell Streak at Rs 33,000. The
possible reduction in price ahead of the festival season in India will boost

We have not yet announced any price revision for PlayBook
in India. We cannot talk anything beyond this at this point of time,” said
Krishnadeep Baruah, director, marketing India, RIM.

The BlackBerry PlayBook  was officially launched in the US and Canada on April 19 2011 in three models 16GB,
32GB and 64GB, and is prices at $499, $599, and $699, respectively.

The BlackBerry PlayBook has already sold approximately
500,000 tablets on the first day of its launch. One of the main differentiating
factors for the successful launch is that the BlackBerry PlayBook runs on the
BlackBerry OS itself, while Samsung and Motorola run on the Google Android.

In a statement in the US, RIM said the price cuts in the US
were part of a promotional plan mentioned in its second-quarter earnings call
earlier this month intended to drive sell-through and increased adoption” of
the tablet.

We are already starting to see some of these promotions
being implemented in the form of instant rebates and gift cards within the
consumer channel, and expect these promotions to continue into the holiday
season,” RIM said in the statement to the Financial Post.

The BlackBerry PlayBook has established itself as a
high-performance tablet, and we are confident that these activities, along with
the upcoming software upgrade, BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, will help to
generate an increase in demand and sell through of the BlackBerry PlayBook over
the upcoming months.”

In Canada, Best Buy and Future Shop have reduced the price
of all three versions by $100, selling the 16GB for $399, the 32GB for $499 and
the 64GB for $599. Best Buy is giving a $100 gift card to in-store purchasers;
at Future Shop, in-store and online buyers both get a $100 gift card, which
they are then allowed to apply to their PlayBook purchase – essentially a $200

Wal-Mart Canada is offering the 16GB version of the PlayBook
for just $249, a 50-per-cent decrease in price.

In India, the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is distributed nationally through Redington India and Ingram Micro, initially
in 1000 retail stores across 8 cities and then expanding to other parts of the
country.  Accessories for the BlackBerry PlayBook will also be available
in these stores.

India is going to see more fierce competition in the tablet
space since there will be more uptake of 3G services during the festival
season. If Reliance Industries is launching 4G services in December 2011, it
will create more market opportunities for tablets.

By Baburajan K
[email protected]