Last weekend we noticed that RIM was experimenting with a $200 price cut in Canada, however, with the unveiling of the Amazon Fire the company has decided to not just move its discount across the border, but make it permanent. The 16GB entry level playbook now starts at only $299 for Wi-Fi only, and goes up by $100 increments when moving up to the 32GB, and 64GB configurations.
Few will argue that the price cuts weren’t necessary, but it makes us wonder, will it be enough? Without a rich content ecosystem its unlikely RIM will ever hit Amazon’s $199 price point, especially when you consider it is estimated that the build cost of the Fire which is very similar to the Playbook, costs about $210 to build. To add to the pain, since Research in Motion doesn’t sell direct to consumers, they need to charge slightly more so that the retailers get enough of a cut to make it worth stocking.
The only saving grace for the Playbook at this point is that the Kindle Fire, for now at least, is US only. That still gives RIM an opportunity to make a dent internationally with the Playbook and its QNX operating system, but will the price cut be enough? Let us know what you think in the comments below.