Remember all those grand plans Research In Motion (RIM) had for its BlackBerry PlayBook line of tablet PCs? Well, whatever remains of those plans will have to be carried out by the 32GB and 64GB models. Somewhat surprisingly, RIM has reportedly decided to discontinue its 16GB PlayBook, essentially conceding defeat to the likes of Amazon's Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet in the sub-$200 category.
News of the 16GB model's discontinuation comes from CNet, which claims to have heard it directly from RIM via email. In the same note, RIM said it remains "committed to the tablet space" in general, and that the 32GB and 64GB models will still be made available through the company's network of distributors and retailers. In other words, RIM isn't giving up on the PlayBook, it just isn't interested in pushing the relatively low cost 16GB version.
Whether or not this kicks off a feeding frenzy (probably not) remains to be seen. RIM still has 16GB PlayBooks in stock and will continue to sell them for $199 until its inventory runs out, and at the time of this writing, there are still units available. The 32GB model currently sells for $249 and the 64GB PlayBook commands $299.
Earlier this year, RIM released its long anticipated BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 OS update, which among other things introduced Android app support (Android apps have to go through an approval process before they're added to RIM's App World).