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PlayBook No Longer Available on Major Retailers' Websites

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 14 comments

Is RIM's PlayBook being phased out to make way for a new tablet?

RIM's PlayBook hasn't had the easiest life. Launched to lukewarm reviews in April of 2011, the device didn't fly off the shelves as fast as RIM hoped. This was evidenced by the hefty price cuts the tablet has seen around the world over the last few months. However, if you haven't yet snagged one, you might want to do it soon, as word on the street is that the PlayBook is getting pretty hard to find. At least online.

ComputerWorld reports that Wal-Mart, Best Buy, RadioShack and Staples no longer have the PlayBook listed on the online stores. Canada's Future Shop and Best Buy are both sold out of the 16GB and 64GB models (and are selling off the 32GB models at a discounted price). If you want, you can grab the 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB at a heavy discount from Amazon.

Whether or not this means there's a new PlayBook on the way remains to be seen. Computerworld cites Bob O'Donnell, program vice president for clients and displays at IDC, as saying he doesn't think RIM is ready to give up on the market just yet. However, the company just recently released a 4G version of the tablet in Canada and it seems shortsighted to update the current PlayBook for 4G networks if there's another PlayBook on the way.

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  • 0 Hide
    EDVINASM , October 10, 2012 4:14 PM
    Any PlayBook owners here? I am in Europe and it retails for ~ €150. Dirt cheap if you ask me. So does Archos 101 G9 Turbo that in my view is much better device. Anyone care to elaborate what is the future for this Blackberry device? Are they phasing out the OS and tablets or just tablets? Any future in OS? Basically is it worth any money or is Blackberry getting the hell out?
  • -2 Hide
    halcyon , October 10, 2012 4:52 PM
    I had a Playbook recently but took it back as it seemed so limited. The hardware is nice enough but the ecosystem is disturbingly week. Now, linking it with my BB was pretty awesome and typing on the larger glass keyboard was great but otherwise the device just didn't seem worth keeping...and that's really too bad.
  • -1 Hide
    EVILNOD , October 10, 2012 5:27 PM
    most of apps dont work even you sideload it to playbook. although it able to play divx video natively, it can't play newer video format due to lack of support.
    if you using your tablet more then just reading ebook and internet.. dont buy it.
  • Display all 14 comments.
  • -2 Hide
    jdwii , October 10, 2012 5:33 PM
    I didn't even know what it was.
  • -2 Hide
    EDVINASM , October 10, 2012 5:40 PM
    Thought so. My colleague was happy bunny today after finding a tablet so cheap but I was quick to point out that it is limited and might be discontinued. Now I am sure I didn't give wrong info :-) The device does seem nice though the OS is a flaw.. Even Windows 7 and 7.5 that you'd think would pick up fast enough was limited to apps, I can imagine how empty for the lack of better word Blackberry Tablet must be.
  • 5 Hide
    felix666 , October 10, 2012 6:14 PM
    Guys be specific about the limitations that you have found in this product, otherwise it just sounds like another session of BB bashing by Appple fans. It is not and it will never be an iPAD. If you want it to look and behave like an iPad, then pay the extra $400. and get the one with the logo that you'll be proud to show off to your peers.
    I see a tablet as a tool to get some specific work done. In that sense, the Playbook does it right. Yep it is another tool that you have to learn to use. For those who buy a tablet with the same criterias as they'd buy a Vuitton handbag, then be happy, don't fuss and go get the brandnamed one.
  • 2 Hide
    shqtth , October 10, 2012 7:25 PM
    They are starting to bundle it with the keyboard with case to be like a mini laptop. thats is why the 64GB model is disappearing.
  • 3 Hide
    shqtth , October 10, 2012 7:57 PM
    More then Happy with my Playbook. It shines where my iPhone sucks.
  • 2 Hide
    daglesj , October 10, 2012 8:25 PM
    Bought a 64GB Playbook a few weeks ago. It is excellent.

    Not found it limited at all. I guess some folks find it doesn't enable them to make their crappy pics even more crappier (instagram) and so throw a kiddie fit and hand it back.

    However, spend a bit more time with it and you find it's some serious hardware and system. It certainlt does everything I want and more. It's also far better made than a lot of cheap Android tablets such as the Nexus etc.

    Audio and video quality is very good too. In fact after seeing mine a few of my friends have bought one too and they love it.

    I would point out that we are all over the age of thirty so don't tend to petulantly rage quit over not having every hipster app of dubious value.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , October 11, 2012 1:07 AM
    I own the PlayBook LTE. Snappier than the original PlayBook and the cellular connectivity is very handy.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 11, 2012 1:56 AM
    Positive experience is not what I have with PlayBook, in fact it is downright negative. I bought off 2nd hand off a trading company on the other side of Toronto. look quite clean and spanking new at $130. Very inviting hardware. With above-average smooth experience and few current-running RIM promos like Unity-based games for free.

    That at-loss dirt-cheap is there for a reason, would've do much better going Nexus 7 or Galaxy Tab. Software for BlackBerry is pitiful compare to Android's offering (official Play market) everything there is $$$, those that were available for free has quite low quality to it.

    I saw Android 2.3 compatibility layer to it and rushed (thinking the APK must narrow its declaration to Gingerbread level) but SURPRISE, in addition to that this must be repackaged and distributed as pseudo-native BAR package and a * says it might be broken API not fully compatible, which means it is STILL useless. I agree to the + side the fans points to but the - points really outweighs the + that is why it is a fail, not a BB bashing thing, price, market rate, they all speaks out this tablet is a fail.

    My previous concern of non-RIM environment not withstanding, the software support side of this tablet is quite horrible. It is fit for narrow uses that the thing already have on its ROM, namely Web, YouTube, PIM, but not a lot beyond that.

    I do have finger-X'd for native Android mod apply to PlayBook.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 11, 2012 2:10 AM
    Dirt-cheap has its reasoning, in response to the first comment, I would say no, it has no future, I'm finger-X'd for native Android mod on my PB. That is the only possible "future" to it but if you are looking for all-purpose tablet this is not it. Telling me otherwise does sound only like fanboy pestering, this is a terrible tablet and the price reflect on it.

    Smooth hardware, nice first-on experience and I agree on the +. However horrible app software-support out weighs any nice thing this has. You are much better coughing up extra money for likes of Nexus 7 or Galaxy Tab 2. Plus the Android 2.3 compatibility layer is deceptive; it counted on me or you rushing out on this point but it calls for pseudo-native repackaging to BAR by the developers and * broken Gingerbread API.

  • 0 Hide
    MorkS , October 11, 2012 5:24 AM
    I bought one of these a few weeks ago. Screen and sound blow my older android tablet out of the water.

    Incredible value for the money. If you are looking for a tablet to do e-mail, browse the internet, watch video online etc...then this will kill it.

    The OS is actually really nice to work with once you learn the basics (takes 5 minutes).

    The only downside is that it doesn't have as big of a selection of apps as android or ios (as should be expected).
  • 0 Hide
    halcyon , October 11, 2012 9:34 AM
    If you use a blackberry then the Playbook is a nice accessory. However, it seems there are better choices for one's only tablet.