The 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook is no more. A rumor began circulating this morning stating that the low-end model was getting the ax and it was apparently true. In a statement released to Engadget RIM confirms and explains that 32GB and 64GB models offer a better value. This means that going forward the least expensive path to the PlayBook is through the $249 32GB model with the 64GB model running $50 more.
The PlayBook took too long to mature. In its current state, thanks to BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, the PlayBook is a fine tablet complete with a very capable set of tools. But it took RIM too long to build the product to this state. Rather than launching the tablet with a core set of features, RIM outed the tablet and proceed to update the product over the following months. It wasn’t until earlier this year, nearly 9 months after it launched, that the PlayBook finally became a viable product.
The current theory about the killing of the 16GB PlayBook involves margins. Per Engadget, the 16GB model, when sold at $199, has a lot smaller profit margin than the other models. By cutting this model, RIM likely hopes to move closer to the black. Besides, the few PlayBook buyers out there are likely either corporations or fanboys — $50 more to support their platform of choice isn’t that big of a deal.