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RIM's PlayBook tablet supply dwindles in U.S.

The tablet is in short supply at several outlets. You can still get it, however, at Amazon, OfficeDepot, and RIM's own online store.

RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook.
RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook. Research In Motion

Research In Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook is playing hard to get at several retailers.

The tablet either doesn't appear or is listed as out of stock among several major vendors, including Best Buy, Staples, RadioShack, OfficeMax, and Wal-Mart.

Amazon and OfficeDepot still have stock.

RIM's own online store lists the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB editions as available. But the "Where to buy" drop-down list on its retail page steers you to some of the vendors who are out of stock. The current lineup also is in short supply at retailers in RIM's home base of Canada.

Depleted stock often means that a new model or refresh is on the way, which may be the case here.

In August, the company unveiled a new 4G LTE PlayBook tablet with a 7-inch display and 32GB of storage. The LTE variant is currently available through certain Canadian carriers, such as Rogers Wireless. But the new tablet is still listed as "coming soon" on RIM's U.S. Web site.

CNET contacted RIM for comment and will update the story if we receive any information.

Like other mobile device makers, RIM has seen its fortunes fall amidst competition from Apple and Android. The company's second-quarter sales fell by 30 percent amidst a loss of $235 million. Results were slightly better than analysts had anticipated, but hardly cause for celebration.

RIM is placing high hopes on its BlackBerry 10 OS to help it stage a comeback. But at least one analyst doesn't expect to see BlackBerry 10 phones until next March, which would be yet another delay from RIM's original goal of later this year.

(Via ComputerWorld)