The past several weeks have seen some interesting developments in the tablet space. Hewlett Packard's discontinuation of its TouchPad and subsequent $99 firesale continues to be the big story, but it's not the only one. It appears Amazon is getting ready to launch an affordable 7-inch tablet, and perhaps in anticipation, Best Buy just dropped the price of the BlackBerry PlayBook.
Best Buy slashed $50 from the 16GB and 32GB models, knocking the prices down to $450 and $550, respectively. Oddly enough, the electronics chain knocked a generous $150 off the 64GB model, which now sells for $550, the same price as the 32GB. That renders the 32GB an obvious bad buy, though some would argue that without native email and contacts, all versions are bad buys, even at the reduced prices.
Regardless of how anyone feels about the PlayBook, could this mark the beginning of a tablet price war? Probably not, as you're still being asked to fork over nearly $500 (after tax) for a 7-inch slate. That doesn't mean a price war isn't forthcoming. The rapid sellout of $99 (16GB) and $149 (32GB) TouchPads prove there's rabid demand for affordable tablets with high end hardware, even ones that have been abandoned by the manufacturer.
Getting back to the PlayBook, the sale price affects both in-store and online orders. No word on how long the sale will run.