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RIM promo: Buy two Playbooks, get one free

It's the latest in a line of incentives and discounts designed to goose PlayBook sales. This one is directed at businesses looking to outfit their staff with tablets.

Nope, the PlayBook hasn't been selling well at all. But perhaps the latest round of promotions will do the trick.
James Martin/CNET

Maybe one PlayBook wasn't enough to get you interested in Research In Motion's tablet. But three? That's a whole different story.

At least, that's what RIM is banking on in its latest promotion. Business customers who purchase two PlayBooks through a designated reseller get a bonus one for free. In addition, they get their choice of accessories for each tablet.

It's the latest in a line of promotions offered by RIM and its retailer partners as it attempts to spruce up sales of its PlayBook tablet. After a bungled launch and a tepid response to the product, RIM is working aggressively to move the devices off the shelves.

The latest promotion, of course, isn't directed at consumers, but at the business customers that make up the most loyal part of its base. Companies can take advantage of this promotion to outfit their staff with PlayBooks, which are ideal for sales staff, field technicians, or any employee who works remotely. The offer represents a discount of a third off of any bulk order of PlayBooks.

Retailers have already begun offering discounts to consumers, bringing the price down to as low as $299 through a combination of in-store discounts and rebates.

RIM badly needs to see a wider adoption of its PlayBook tablet. It's the first product to use its next-generation platform, previously called QNX but recently re-dubbed BBX after adding in elements of the old BlackBerry operating system. The first smartphones to run on BBX are expected to hit the market next year.

The PlayBook has suffered through its share of struggles. Most recently, RIM said on Wednesday that the 2.0 upgrade for the PlayBook would be pushed back to February. The upgrade was expected to bring core services such as e-mail, calender and BlackBerry Messenger to the device, which previously needed to be linked to a BlackBerry to run. It was one of the major criticisms of the tablet when it first launched.