RIM offering PlayBooks to employees for $99

The BlackBerry PlayBook has endured a torrid 2011

The BlackBerry PlayBook is looking increasingly like going the way of the HP TouchPad, with RIM offering the tablet to employees at a huge discount.

RIM's latest desperate attempt to shift some of the crippling inventory currently launguishing in warehouses sees the company offer PlayBooks for just $99 to all employees - thats about £62.

Through a corporate portal workers can buy up to eight PlayBooks at the discounted rate, which also sees the 32GB device on sale for $149 and the 64GB model for just $199.

The deal could be the latest step towards offering those prices to the public in a fire sale reminiscent of HP's ill-fated WebOS tablet, which saw a surge in sales when reduced to under £100.

Huge hardware loss

The employee offer is likely to see RIM take a huge hardware loss on the device, while most of the devices will likely end up on sell-on sites like eBay or the Amazon Marketplace.

The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, which started off with an RRP of £399, has endured a disastrous year since it hit the shelves this spring.

Plagued by software problems, no native email client and the non-appearance of the promised Android app player, its potential is unlikely to ever be fulfilled.

RIM also has to contend with the cut-price Amazon Kindle Fire tablet in the US, which makes a public PlayBook fire sale all the more likely in the coming weeks.

Via: The Verge

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and TechRadar.com. He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.