RIM ‘PlayBook’ to sell for less than $500; 7-inch screen only 45% as large as Apple iPad’s

“Research In Motion Ltd., moving into the tablet-computer market for the first time, said it will begin selling its BlackBerry PlayBook for less than $500 [in early 2011], suggesting RIM may try to undercut Apple Inc.’s iPad,” Jun Yang and Hugo Miller report for Bloomberg.

MacDailyNews Take: Yeah, on screen size; that much is sure. “One naturally thinks that a 7-inch screen would offer 70% of the benefits of a 10-inch screen. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. The screen measurements are diagonal, so that a 7-inch screen is only 45% as large as iPad’s 10-inch screen. You heard me right: Just 45% as large.” – Apple CEO Steve Jobs, October 18, 2010

Yang and Miller report, “The iPad starts at $499 for a model with 32 gigabytes of storage and Wi-Fi wireless technology… Pricing the PlayBook below $500 makes sense, particularly given the initial version will only have Wi-Fi connectivity, said Matt Thornton, an analyst at Avian Securities LLC in Boston, who has a ‘neutral’ rating on RIM.”

MacDailyNews Take: We have a “Dead Company Walking” rating in RIM.

Yang and Miller report, “Apple, based in Cupertino, California, increased its market share in tablet computers to 95 percent in the third quarter, according to Strategy Analytics. Global tablet sales rose 26 percent from the previous period to 4.4 million units, with Apple selling 4.19 million iPads, the researcher said last week. The iPad’s dominance in the tablet-computer market will ‘change when we’re in the market,’ RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said today.”

MacDailyNews Take: We’ll have whatever Jim’s having – just use two shots instead of four, m’kay? Shessh.

Yang and Miller report, “The company is counting on the tablet to increase revenue as the BlackBerry loses ground. RIM’s share of the global smartphone market slid to 15 percent in the third quarter from 20 percent a year earlier, according to researcher IDC. Apple’s iPhone had 17 percent of the market in the third quarter.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Balsillie is whistling past the graveyard.


  1. By the time the PlayBook comes out (spring/summer 2011), the base WiFi iPad might already be significantly less than $500.

    I love the way they report RIM’s slow leakage of details of their prototype tablet like the damn thing is due for release next week.

  2. Stunning to me how all these tablet wannabes have very high price points. It seems like Apple has set the bar, and, rather than try compete on price, they are trying to play the high-end game. This will end very badly for everyone except Apple and their customers.

    Obviously, the tablet makers are realizing just how hard engineering a decent tablet and OS is. A beige box tablets are not!

  3. I think tablets are a lot more intimate; you hold it close and touch it directly and interact with it very personally. Apple are masters of making desirable products, and the iPad doesn’t disappoint. I still marvel at my 16GB Wi-Fi iPad, the sheer quality of the product stands head and shoulders above any other tablet I’ve ever used.

    If RIM think they can shoehorn a 7″ POS tablet onto a public who are used to the quality of the iPad, they are seriously delusional!

  4. It would he cool if the RIMM Tablet has the entire screen clickable like the storm. That would really rock and the real feel of pressing down the entire screen will make it feel so ultra modern. RIM sell that POS at buy one get eight free. Then brag about the huge shipping numbers! haha

  5. They will also be competing with Android and WebOS tablets (I won’t even count MS in this game anymore).  Yes, Apple will lose market share, they can only go down at this point.  However RIM is nuts to think they will be dominant, or even a major player. They will not just have to undercut Apple, but every other player who jumps in the pool next year.  Android tablets may suck but they will be on the market this year grabbing the Apple hater market first.          

  6. I kept wondering why normally quiet SJ “mouthed” off at the quarterly financial report session – so unlike him. I now see how he was baiting these poor fools. And sure enough, it worked. Stumbling all over themselves to develop a product that they can dump on the market and hopefully get 10% margin return. It has become a farce, not even a tragedy.

  7. if you are going to bring a product to market equivalent to the competition’s but with only 1/2 its viewable screen area, you need to price it at least 1/3 less to sell it to anyone outside your captive market. That means RIM’s PlayBook would have to go for $350.

    Samsung is about to prove this equation first with its DOA Galaxy tab. except for diehard fandroids and some real dopes, no one is going to buy it.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.