Best Buy: We're sold out of PlayBooks

The retailer saw heavy interest in the BlackBerry PlayBook after a $300 price cut timed for Black Friday. Best Buy says it plans to have more units in the near future.

Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
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  • SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.
Roger Cheng
2 min read

Apparently, all it takes to move the BlackBerry PlayBook is a $300 haircut on the price tag.


Best Buy confirmed to CNET that it has sold out of Research In Motion's tablet. It was among several retailers offering a Black Friday promotion, which reduced the price of a 16GB and 32GB PlayBook to $199.99 and $299.99, respectively. Best Buy said it plans to get additional units in the "near future," and that they could be purchased online.

That comes amid speculation and reports that Best Buy was dropping the PlayBook after canceling some orders and removing it from its site. (The only PlayBooks available on Best Buy's Web site are refurbished versions at a discounted price.)

Best Buy, however, said this wasn't the case, and will continue to stock the PlayBook.

That even the PlayBook was swept up in the Black Friday shopping frenzy speaks to the selling point of the $200 price tag of tablets. Amazon earlier today said that sales of its Kindle family quadrupled from a year ago, likely helped by the $200 Kindle Fire, which has remained atop the shopping site's best-selling product list since it was announced eight weeks ago.

The PlayBook is the first RIM device to run on the company's next-generation platform, which has now been renamed BBX. RIM has high hopes that its first wave of BBX-powered phones will drive its rebound.

But the PlayBook itself faltered out of the gate. It was the first BlackBerry device without its well-touted e-mail, calendar, and messenger service--another BlackBerry phone needed to be paired to it--which hurt its value as a standalone product. The company initially said it would provide a major update that would add the features this year, but ultimately pushed it back to February.

After nearly two quarters of disappointing sales, RIM said it would take steps to offer incentives and discounts on the product.

Discounts included higher rebates from retailers and a buy two, get one free promotion for business customers.

For Best Buy and RIM, the $300 discount seemed to have done the trick.