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BlackBerry PlayBook Price Update: At least one version of the Playbook should be available for under $500

BlackBerry Playbook
By Adam Zeis on 10 Nov 2010 03:33 pm EST
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According to Bloomberg RIM's upcoming BlackBerry Playbook tablet will be available (at least in one model) for under $500. The device is rumored to land in North America sometime early next year in multiple versions including an 8gb, 16gb and 32gb models. At the time of the press announcement, RIM also made it clear that 3G/4G versions would be available at some point too (hopefully sooner than later!).

As it stands the 8gb model could come in under $500 -- maybe just at $499, or maybe even less -- but it would still serve as a great starting point for the new tablet. The higher models like the 64gb 3G/4G would obviously carry quite a higher price tag. In our BlackBerry Playbook price poll most users thought the device would be between $400-$500 and would be willing to pay somewhere in that range.

This news comes via Research In Motion's co-CEO Jim Balsillie who said recently "the device will be competitively priced" and may also be available through retails stores Target and Best Buy. RIM has always been about giving users choice in their BlackBerry Smartphones, so let's hope they follow through with this strategy on their tablets to have a tablet at just about every price point - from affordable to high end. 

Read more on official PlayBook pricing and availability

Source: Bloomberg

Reader comments

BlackBerry PlayBook Price Update: At least one version of the Playbook should be available for under $500

60 Comments

If the BB-PB 64Gb will be 650-700 ill buy it for shore :) if is close to 850-900 no ill not spend that much :(

And BTW stop with that thing im First please. :)

No is not that my friend i was browsing this blog for almost 3 mounts every day and every time i see new Blog post here on each one 85% it say "FIRST" hehe

It's under $500 based on a 1 year contract from the carrier :) Kidding, I think the low-end WiFi device will sell sub-$500. With a 3G contract, the carriers decide the price breaks. This is where there needs to be both a WiFi and WiFi/3G version.

Or just get the 8GB and stick a big SD card into the puppy... hopefully you'll be able to configure app / storage location.

If the device has USB mass storage mode like a BB and USB ports, which I'm pretty sure I saw in the photos, then what reason is there to no have a slot. USB SD adapter will just get used and it become more inconvenient. Also if no SD then maybe transflash?

There is no reason RIM should not include an SD slot. If the device is to be linked to a Enterprise then the BES administrator would have the ability to encrypt the card or totally disable the slot. If RIM omits the SD slot then they are behind again before the device hits the market.

So the iPad has an SD slot?

The SD slot though great to have will not be a deal breaker for 90% or more of buyers, a Majority of buyers of Smartphones never even put a MicroSD card in their phones, in my company only 3 people have MicroSD cards in their Blackberry's

a 32GB playbook will most likely be all the storage I will ever use, or at least when I need more chances are a much larger Playbook 2 or 3 will be available, just like I do with notebooks I upgrade once more space is needed.

Yeah, but Galaxy Tab at that price is w/ a 2 year contract which would be pretty stupid to do when all these new tablets are coming out.

I heard the "under $500" this morning on the Bloomberg Business Report & the first thing I thought was oh great, so it'll be $499.99. It's a shame that's probably what most people are thinking because that's how most companies do it. I just hope this "under $500" version isn't a stripped down, no use buying item. I love Blackberry & can't wait for this to drop but being a Guidance Counselor it's not like I have a ton of disposable income to spend on stuff like this but I'll be saving what I can until it comes out, that's for sure.

If the larger Apple Tab ia already at that price point and has an enourmous head start with applications and user base, if Apple cuts the cost to $350 for their WIFI only 8gb model BB may be "DOA" as had earlier been suggested.

Soo many tablet choices, pricing has got to be competitive and hardware has got to impress. I think BB should consider going much lower to compete against Apple and Galaxy Tabs - especially if Playbook isn't releasing for a few months. That market is going to be flooded.

The Market is still an expanding desert. it will be a long time till the market is flooded,
Even with the iPad at 350, and the Playbook at 500 I would take a Playbook over an ipad because of my usage, and disdain for itunes.

a Sub 500 pricing is a competitive pricepoit as a MSRP, assuming the build in the Margins to allow retailers to offer deals with the product I am hopeful. What is great about this announcement is that clearly preproduction pricing is putting it at an achievable pricepoint of sub 500, even if it is 499.99 but because it is still 3 months away I don't think they would have narrowed the final costing down. meaning the top end of projections is 500 for the introductory model, and the cost of SSD's seems to be around the $2:1GB mark making the cost of a 8GB at $500, making a 16GB sit around $519 a 32GB around $549 and a 64GB around $619

I really hope that Jim being a Ceo of a Big company was being conservative on his pricing predictions, and that they are targeting a 16GB to be the high volume, unit, and price that at the approximate $500 mark building the other units pricing based off of that.

$500 8GB device??? $500? Puhlease! This is outrageous. Perhaps thare enough suckers to pay more for this than a new loaded laptop or even bigger loaded netbook. Maybe. But I'm sure they'll be buying it on credit, too, so that prolly explains the senselessness of buying a $500 8GB device. Phooey!

It was never said which model would be under $500. What if it is 8Gb for $299, 16Gb for $349, 32GB for $399, and 64GB for $499?

why?? because weights 1/10th of your laptop, portable, dual core, camera/camcorder, connects to your BB and moreover tops in its class

$500 is a lot for an 8GB device. If it is "best in class" it is a lot, if it synchs with my BlackBerry it is a lot. If it wakes me up in the morning, makes me breakfast, and pours me a cup of coffee, while doing handstands and reciting poetry, it is a lot. Personally, for 8GB I am looking at under $300, and probably closer to $200.

I understand that 500 is a lot put I just felt the need to say.. Where do you see a tablet on the market (or even announced) that offered a dual core processor for 200$? One couldn't even get a decent tablet for 200$ (GT is way over 200$) - 400$ for an 8gb isn't so extreme when your comparing to the GT or the iPad, especially since an iPad at 16gb is going for 500$ (and the only thing that it has going for it is the amount of apps)

Pricing tiers - I don't understand them.

Maybe someone can explain why they'll (most likely) charge more money for more onboard storage, instead of including a basic SD slot? Do you think it's just to make more money on high-margin hardware?

I'm a little disappointed - I was hoping they would be more reasonable, especially with a 7" screen. The large jump in price for wi-fi and 3/4G seems like a lot considering the electronics to add those features do not cost that much.

i feel like the 1st playbook is gonna be rushed, because RIM seems to rush everything at first and the product suffers.

itll probably be smartest to wait a year for the playbook 2.

You are right here it seems is that always :) lets hope this time they will put good parts on the device not Recycle ones.

i dunno what you mean by they always rush things first... they've been slow at everything... i love the RIM and the blackberry line but man are they slow on the uptake sometimes. but this is the first time i admit it seems a little rushed. first time for everything eh?

Could it be that the PB is coming out sooner than expected? Why talk about price if this coming out March?------- Ill be happy with something before the end of Jan...

Im a big blackberry fan and i am looking forward to the playbook, but how can this compare with what Notion Ink is doing. The Adam is innovation at its finest and the price is amazing. And if these guys pull-off the gui they have in mind, wow. while 499 does sound like a good starting point for the playbook, 500 gets you all the bells and whistles with the Adam. BB has to do better. Hell, the Galaxy Tab has to do better too.

Keep in mind we are going off a statement: "Jim Balsillie said in an interview in Seoul today, without being more specific than saying it will be “under” $500." So this $499 price is just a guess - who knows could be much less.

I'm not so sure I completely understand why a lot of folks are interested in a 3 g version? When I saw the playbook, my first reaction was "cool, I can use it for wifi, but also via tether with my BB 9650." What am I missing here? Why do I want to pay another 3g monthly cost?

Thats kind of the attitude I have on the myfi, as I can tether my macbook via "tether" when in a pinch. Fill me in on why a 3g version is so desirable, I guess I am missing it.

I agree in that I don't see why I would want another bill. I was fully intending to do as you said, just tether my 9650. I would be 99.999(etc.) percent of the time on wifi. I am going to buy the 32gb, it's a good balance in my opinion of storage and portability. I for one am not looking to put my itunes library or all my itunes movies on this device. It's really going to be an addition to my brief case( ie. presentations and PDF manuals), which my Mac does not travel well in. As long as the price is reasonable, I'm in.

I'm getting a playbook, however I'd still recommend you dump your mac for a Sony Vaio Z. I did this an couldn't be happier to leave the mac world.

I originally went with Mac Pro for the battery life but that's no longer the issue with most Laptops. I'm still getting the PB but I'll look into the Z.

just ignore the trolls, they have something or the other to complain about. for BB owners PB with Wifi is just enough

I want a 3G version because I do not own a Blackberry phone and do not plan on buying one. I love my Droid Incredible and plan on getting the HTC Incredible HD if it will work on Verizon LTE network.

I'm planning on buying a tablet sometime in March or April. Since I will be using the tablet slightly differently from my phone, I'm open to which OS powers it.

I love that the Playbook will be a powerful tablet, very responsive and very fast. I really love the UI and that it will support the ENTIRE web.

My top 4 tablets I'm looking at are:
1. Blackberry Playbook (7")
2. LG Optimus Tablet (8.9")
3. Whatever HTC will release
4. The Motorola Stingray (10")

I prefer a tablet no larger than 9".

What's up with wanting the 3g/4g? How often are you going to want the web but not have wifi? can't this use your phone anyway? I DON'T want it to have 3g/4g. I don't want to pay AT&T more money.

If the PlayBook that is coming out will be able to tether with a BlackBerry phone through bluetooth and allow the user to only need one data plan, what advantage would there be in having a PlayBook with 3G in it that you would have to pay for?

The 3g/4g model's are mainly for non-blackberry users and those who may not be currently using 3g/4g blackberrys. It won't benefit those who are fine with tethering. Yet, RIM is trying to hit a broader market than just its installation base. I'm just glad to know they may have thought of us first.

This way, should I do decide to get one, I'll only have to invest in one version,...versus buying one when it's initially released, then selling it to upgrade.

If Apple ever allow Flash on the iPad,...I'd get an iPad instead without a doubt!

JMD
...Have Bold 9700 (...rock'n) OS6 Will Travel~

We have to continue to differentiate carefully when we talk abotu how the PlayBook connects to a BB handheld. We should get consistent and say "secure BT connection".

IMHO, it is wrong to say "tether" in this instance as to me tether implies the usage of a device as a modem for your handheld, which violates TOS for most carriers (regardless of if it is right or wrong for them to charge for that capability).

Secure BT is not tethering in my book. There will be no additional charge to amplify your BB....or, as I like to say, hook up this external monitor/input device to your BB.

BTW, I cannot remember.....will the PB have an SD card slot? If so, what we would be the reason to buy anything more than a base 8gb model?

People like to argue that Apple products are over priced. But if the lowest end version of the PlayBook is the same price as an iPad with it’s larger screen then that argument is no longer valid.

EXACTLY...I was hoping for more from RIM after all their talk. I was hoping for $399-$599 from lowest to highest model.

The ipad has far inferior internals to the proposed playbook

so price similarity should be expected, though I too would like to see it lower, It is known the margins are Apple products are higher, which is why retailers enjoy pushing the product, and people can give them away as promotional items as the actual dealer cost vs retail is a nicer margin, and Apple takes a nicer margin when selling it into distribution.

Wait, where are iPads selling for $350? Cheapest here is $549 for the 8GB one.

Anyways I'd buy a Playbook for under $500, I'm not touching Apple, and the Galaxy Tab is way too high ($650 here).

I'm just waiting for it to be released. I want one and want it soon, like Christmas. Is the release still first quarter 2011?

no one can compare this to any other tablet just by the fact that it tethers with blackberry phones.

that means bbm and sms on a big screen for one thing, and no extra charge for internet!