Most readers are familiar with the dramatic debut and the almost-immediate epic flop of HP's TouchPad tablet. Boasts by HP that webOS would compete hard with Apple's iOS and Google's Android were followed by lukewarm or negative reviews, rumors of low sales, a series of increasingly desperate-seeming price cuts and, inevitably, HP's apparent surrender in the mobile OS market.
Let's see where Research in Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook is on the tablet disaster timeline:
Empty boasts about PlayBook. Check.
Lukewarm or negative reviews. Check.
Rumors of low sales. Check.
To those we now can add "aggressive price cuts," because electronics retail giant Best Buy is slashing prices on PlayBooks so much that you'll think they've gone crazy!
OK, maybe not $99 TouchPad crazy, but for a limited time (Labor Day weekend?) you can get the 16GB version of the PlayBook for $449.99, a savings of $50! The 32GB PlayBook also can be had for $50 off, at $549.99.
Then there's your big boy, the 64GB PlayBook. Best Buy is knocking $150 off the 64GB tablet, pricing it at $549.99. Which doesn't make the 32GB PlayBook seem like much of a bargain, even at the sale price. I'm just sayin', Best Buy.
Unless RIM wants to go down the HP tablet road, it better make those price cuts steeper and permanent. PlayBook simply won't ever be able to compete with the iPad in terms of quality or demand-generating word of mouth. The only recourse is to compete on price.
Or give up, like HP.