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BlackBerry PlayBook Price Dropped To $299 By RIM

Blackberry Playbook

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 01/03/12 03:14 PM ET Updated: 01/04/12 09:19 AM ET

On Tuesday, BlackBerry-maker RIM posted a juicy offer that will be available only for a limited time.

According to the sale page, all BlackBerry PlayBook models in the U.S. have been slashed to $299 -- for any configuration. The discount adds up to a savings of $200 - $400, depending on which model you choose. The sale is set to end Februrary 4, CNET reports.

Selling all three sizes of the PlayBook (16GB, 32G and 64GB) with the same $299 price tag is a move that some question, since up-pricing larger models is a big moneymaker for hardware developers. According to CNET, Apple's 64GB iPhone 4S costs $43 more to manufacture than the 32GB model; however, the company prices the larger model $100 higher.

Making the most money possible on the PlayBook isn't necessarily part of RIM's plan these days, based on earlier moves made by the company. In November, the company put the 16GB version of the struggling tablet on sale for $199 with positive results. The devices quickly sold out of Best Buy stores, prompting some to wonder whether, like the HP TouchPad before it, the original high price was the main deterrent to purchase.

Unlike HP and RIM, Apple has never had to put current versions of its iPad on sale. Analysts expect Apple to make up 57 percent of the market share in 2012, according to Canaccord Genuity.

RIM has reportedly lost $485 million on unsold PlayBooks since the tablet's launch in April 2011.

Visit the BlackBerry Store to check out the sale for yourself. (The site appeared to be down on Tuesday afternoon.)

Interested in other tech fails? Check out our slideshow of 2011's biggest flops.

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If there is one lesson to be learned from The Great Qwikster Debacle of 2011 it is this: Don't take your perfectly good service and make it more expensive and then harder to use.

In July, Netflix unbundled their DVD rental and streaming plan, effectively forcing customers to pay $6 more for the combo plan they had grown accustomed to.

Then, in September, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced that DVD rentals and streaming would become two totally separate services. The streaming service would retain the name "Netflix," while the DVD branch would be called "Qwikster." Reactions were predictably negative, and on October 10, before Qwikster had even launched, Netflix ended the failed experiment.

But the company has paid dearly. In October, Netflix announced that it had lost 800,000 subscribers during the July - September quarter. In November, the AP reported that the company had lost 75 percent of its market value. Hastings, who is largely blamed for the blunders, will see his 2012 stock options awards cut in half.

Image via AP

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