RIM slashes Playbook rates by over 50% in India

blackberry playbook size next to my tiny hand....

Image via Wikipedia

Research in Motion (RIM) the Canada based makers of Blackberry Playbook is offering the tablet at a highly discounted rate of over 50% in India. This was announced today as part of limited season offer.

The 16 GB model can be bought at Rs.13,490 ($254) in the Indian market instead of Rs.27,990 ($527) as it was originally priced. The 32 GB model is available for Rs.15,990 ($301), the 64 GB model is being offered for Rs.24,490 ($461) against their regular prices of Rs.32,990 ($401) and Rs.37,990 ($462) respectively.

This could be the much needed push towards gaining a part of the market share in emerging markets like India where Apple products like iPhones and iPads are just beginning to make their presence felt. RIM has just been able to sell 800,000 Playbooks globally during the first 9 months of its launch which is dismal when compared to Apple, which sold over 11 million iPads till September. With a growing middle class having a disposal income, gadget shopping is fast becoming the favourite pass time of Indians.

No doubt Asian markets like India are price sensitive and could provide RIM the much needed depth when global cues have increasingly added to its long list of woes.

The year 2011 has been particularly bad for RIM, when it saw being threatened to be banned by governments of India and Indonesia for not being able to follow local government data and privacy laws. Recently, RIM announced that it would be taking charges worth over half a billion dollars due to two major failures this year.  The over production of Playbook tablets had amounted to $485million as surplus inventory for the company. Earlier another major disaster struck RIM in the form of network outages in October which affected users in Europe, Middle East and Africa, further lowering consumer confidence in Blackberry.

RIM’s shares this year have plummeted to a multi-year low, the company has shed about $30 billion in value this year so far. The year is not yet over for Blackberry, which is also facing a trademark lawsuit from BBM Canada, a research measurement organisation over the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) trademark. In an earlier instance a US court had forced RIM to change the name of its operating system from BBX (now its called Blackberry 10).

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