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back to article 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook flushed away by RIM

Ailing Canadian device maker Research In Motion (RIM) is killing off its entry-level BlackBerry PlayBook. In a mailed statement to The Channel, RIM confirmed it is halting the production line for the 16GB version. "The 16 GB PlayBook will continue to be available for distributors and retailers while quantities last," said RIM's …

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Anonymous Coward

My 16gb PlayBook is pretty good. If you can get one of the last few 16gb at less than the £169 I payed, go for it.

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Anonymous Coward

If they bring the price down to £10 a unit I might buy them and use them as coasters.

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Hang on a sec

Whats the highest selling playbook by volume - who wants to bet its the 16gb one.

Another potential slow handclap for RIM.

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"jettisoning the low margin 16GB"

Unlike Apple the step up to 32GB or 64GB is not that big so I expect most people just bought bigger then 16 GB.

So it could just be a poor selling sku getting killed.

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Fact check

A search on Amazon for the Playbook reveals the price difference between the 16gb and 32gb Playbooks to be $85.69. On Apple.com the difference between the 16gb and 32gb iPads is $100. I'd suggest that the step up is therefore a very comparable size. Though you'd be an idiot to take it because the 64gb Playbook is then a mere $21.39 more than the 32gb (versus another $100 between the respective iPads), which I assume is the sort of difference you were referring to.

Those are all at the actual street prices, of course. The Playbook's RRPs appear exactly to mirror Apple's.

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Re: Fact check

In Canada (bestbuy or futureshop) it's an extra $50 for the 32GB and another $50 for the 64GB. IPad is $100 for each step.

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FAIL

What a load of...

"...the fact the tablet had to be tethered to a BlackBerry smartphone to use email..."

Gezus H... What a load of incomplete-to-the-point-of-being-perfectly-incorrect b... s... that is.

Any sensible email provider provides a web interface. These days, tying yourself to your ISP by using their email service ties you to their Internet access service - not smart. All major non-ISP email providers provide a web interface: perhaps you've heard of Gmail, Hotmail, etc.

Once you save the optimal shortcut then the webmail interface even allows access to attach files from almost anywhere in the PlayBook storage (something not even permitted by other OS choices). This so-called issue was a non-issue for many, thus proving that the statement as written is incorrect. We could "use email" just fine - even from Day 1.

And of course they eventually (these are the correct words...) provided a native email client app.

The initial omission affected some, but the statement implies a false impossibility.

Even today, I have never tethered to a BlackBerry phone since I don't have a BlackBerry phone. The webmail and the new email client app both work just fine through wifi (of course).

Please get your facts correct, and use the words that convey the correct facts.

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Re: What a load of...

While a webmail client may be a work-around of sorts, it is much more convenient to have a native email client, especially if you have lots of email accounts. The native email clients on the iPad and Android slabs will download emails in the background, tell you via the home screen how many unread emails you have, and let you check them much more quickly. The only time webmail gets used on my fondleslab is when someone else wants to check their email on it.

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Pint

Re: What a load of...

"...had to be tethered to a BlackBerry smartphone to use email..."

The quoted statement (above) is still perfectly wrong.

I'm not saying your points are not correct. Of course the native email client is an improvement. Of course RIM are idiots for taking more than a month to write it. Of course it should have been there from Day 1.

But I was "using email" since Day 1. And furthermore I've never tethered to a BB phone.

The quoted statement is wrong twice. And that's a FAIL.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a load of...

The native email client on the PlayBook slab will also download emails in the background, tell you via the home screen how many unread emails you have, and let you check them much more quickly.

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WTF?

Another CLUELESS "expert"...

..."Ranjit Atwal, Gartner research director, said the device "never took off" and the fact the tablet had to be tethered to a BlackBerry smartphone to use email worked against the range..."

Sorry to break it to you Ranjit baby...but the PB does not NEED to be tethered to a BB smartphone...I have been tethering mine to my 3g LG "stupid-phone" since day one via Bluetooth...and it works just fine.

RIM's biggest problem with the PB is the fact that ADVERTIZING for it has been non-existent. And the omission of a native e-mail client & calendar on the first iteration of it was simply stupid.

It's really too bad, because it really is a wonderful tablet...but I fear it is too late to the party now...just like RIM.

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FAIL

RIM fanboi lmao

Wow pedantic RIM fanbois still exist? I guess the layoffs haven't hit yet so the employees in denial are still around. And RIM still has the UK yoofs to buy their butt ugly phones.

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Windows

Re: RIM fanboi lmao

"And RIM still has the UK yoofs to buy their butt ugly phones."

Wifi + BBM = no cost messaging and social

Blackberry have an awesome social network, and the joke is they can't see it. Spin off BBM...

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Re: RIM fanboi lmao

I don't see how talking about the playbook in positive tones is playbook pedantry.

So far all posts on here are correcting statements / notions that somehow the playbook was crippled from the start.

It was not.

It has wifi - and a browser, so you would be able to use email; it has the ability from the start to use blackberry bridge (for me that was the killer app), and in my opinion having worked w the ipad and an android tablet - the form factor of the playbook was the winner.

Reviewers complained about the absence of an email client - well, there were good (security) reasons for that, as well.

The playbook suffered from ignorant reviews from the beginning. The concept of that blackberry bridge (using your phone's connection and dataplan without having to pay any tethering fees or special plans) was maybe too revolutionary for reviewers... (Note I'm being very gracious here; I could very well have questioned their faculties...)

Flash, html5, -useful- apps. It does it all. There are still os updates coming, too, unlike other tablets, who are left in the cold.

And complaining about yoofs and ugly phones? Come on, try a little harder.

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Re: RIM fanboi lmao

problem is, initially the PBs were close to tab prices. I'd much rather have a tab that has more apps, more development and less restrictions.

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Anonymous Coward

"We continue to remain committed to...."

Yesterday they were committed to the 16GB model, today they're not. Same thing could (will?) happen anytime to the other models. (Sinking ship icon)

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FAIL

RIM is toast. Managers are going to quit the sinking ship faster...

..some already quit, probably in a few months maybe next year RIM will officially go bankrupt and sell everything at discounted price to competitors.

Rumors of Facebook buying RIM would mean that all assets, expertise and R&D of the Company would go wasted. Facebook is a giant fraud like Youtube created by Wall Street rich people, the same that caused the economic crisis with bankers.

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legit questio

I'm looking to pick up one of the last PB's in my local shop's stock and would like to know:

1) Does it do skype video calls?

2) Seeing as it (I think) supports android apps is there any viable vid chat app that works?

Its only usage case is a grandma keeping touch with her grandchild from 3000mi away plus light browsing and picture slideshows.

I also saw HTC's formely extortionate flyer being flogged off on the cheap so I need solid facts prior to shelving the flyer over the PB.

(As an android fan, I find it comforting that last year's bleeding edge stuff is being finally sold at reasonable prices. I mean a 7in single core flyer at the price of my transformer? No way. Hell, most of last year's solid HC tablets are still usable today, if you can find them)

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Pint

Answers...

1) No. There are workarounds for Voice or Text chat via any of multiple services.

2) It has a native Video Chat app. Only works PB to PB* (similar to how Apple's Facetime is also an Apple-only service). It works very good. Only one to one, not conference calling. Uses wifi of course (just in case some loon claims that it "requires tethering").

* The usual solution is to scoop up multiple PlayBooks and distribute them for Xmas.

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Re: Answers...

Thanks for the answers mate :)

Snag is, even at the rock bottom prices 2 PB's are still more expensive than 1 Flyer and considering I'd want it to play nicely with the rest of the tabs in the family, I think I'll have to miss out on the PB's.

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Meh

Have been playing with a Playbook over the weekend

Got my hands on a 16Gb. The switching between apps kicks the crap out of my iPod touch (which is a comparator for Playbook as much as iPad) and the stupid home button. The bezel swipe took a little getting used to. Having a BB myself does help because Bridge also functions as a remote and a wireless keyboard. I'm going to be trying PB+Bridge+Presenter Mode+HDMI as an alternative to the skittish Dell Win7 tablet we use for PPT in our boardrooms. We might also use them for our office services folks who roam the office but don't really need a full BB since we have wifi and they don't need out of office mail.

My email/calendar/BBM displayed via Bridge is great plus it's secure from access if nicked as only reflected via Bluetooth. The autosuggest where it overlays 5 words to pick from is nifty. The stereo speakers are terrific. The App Store is much better at quickly downloading/installing than the POS "Reboot Now" in the BB6/7 world. It has an Overdrive client for ebooks. Websites displayed well (and I could play a Google+ game - slowly - in Flash). All in all there's a lot to like.

But no Skype, no Flipboard, no Kindle app (not hugely surprising given similarity to Fire), no native Twitter client (HTML5 one not good enough for me - i.e. not as good as the one RIM wrote for BB6/7) and oh dear that poorly designed power button.

I'd find it hard to recommend it heartily to iPhoners but if you have a BB (or don't want something 10") I'd say go for it. But RIM have got to start writing apps themselves if the companies won't.

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Stop

What's the odds...

Possible that RIM aren't actually manufacturing ANY models and just slowly disposing of warehouses full of devices?

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Meh

3/4 baked tablet

I've had a 16GB Playbook for a few months now that I picked up as part of the developer offer for porting an Android app.

In ways it's a really nice piece of kit. Bright clear display, UI beats IOS hands down IMHO (that should attract a few flames, but hey, as I said, it's my opinion :-) ). The native email app *does* support gmail accounts, and works fine, as does the calendar app (though the latter appears to only support a single calendar which is a pain). OS 2 from what I read seems to be a big step forward from OS 1.

My gripes with it are mostly software related. No Skype app - yes I know this technically is in the remit of Skype/MS, but I'm sure RIM could egg the pudding here if they wanted it (sorry, only being able to talk to other RIM device users doesn't cut it for me). My other main bugbear is the lack of a DLNA or at least a UPnP media client - the media player will only play local content. Other problems are that there's no native file browser, nor is there anything that'll access a share on a NAS (other than by the web browser). Wi-fi can be a bit flakey as well with random disconnects.

So overall, the PB is quite a nice piece of kit let down by software support, at least some of which should be there out of the box.

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