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RIM to cut prices on BlackBerry PlayBooks

RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis says incentives to businesses, plus rebates and loyalty programs, should fuel PlayBook demand for the holidays.

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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Roger Cheng
2 min read

After a disastrous first few months, Research In Motion's PlayBook tablet will get a price cut.

During the company's second-quarter earnings call today, RIM Co-Chief Executive Mike Lazaridis said the company would start up several programs to drive PlayBook sales, including an incentive program for businesses, as well as rebates and deals for existing BlackBerry customers. Lazaridis didn't spell out how much of a discount the company would be offering.

RIM is looking to drive demand for the tablets after an extremely weak start. The company reported shipping only 200,000 PlayBooks in the fiscal second quarter, less than half of the 490,000 tablets analysts had expected. That itself was a weak number.

RIM will also unveil its PlayBook 2.0 software at a developer conference in October. The software includes native e-mail, calendar and contacts--glaring missing features during the launch--as well as the Android app player and a video store with 10,000 videos. The software will be available to customers some time after the conference.

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While few tablets have fared well, the PlayBook seems to have done especially poorly.

Lazaridis acknowledged that the PlayBook was "well below where we would like to be," but remained upbeat. He said the software upgrade and incentive programs should drive sales in the third quarter and said the company would work with retailers to get rid of their inventory.

RIM today posted disappointing second-quarter results and warned that full-year profits will be at the low end of its previously stated range.