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PlayBook discounts growing tablet’s market share in Canada

by David Needle

February 15 2012

Finally some good news for Research In Motion’s struggling PlayBook tablet. A new research report says recent price cuts have helped boost the tablet’s share in RIM’s home country of Canada to 15%, up from 5% just last fall.

RIM was forced to lop hundreds of dollars off the price of PlayBook to help its dealers clear inventory. The base 16GB model originally priced at $499 can now be found for as little as $199, while the higher end 64GB model has been cut from $699 down to $299. 

The bump to 15% market share is based on a survey of Canadian consumers by Toronto-based Solutions Research Group (SRG) as part of its Digital Life Canada Quarterly reports covered by Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper. 

The news comes at a time when RIM is banking heavily on its PlayBook 2.0 software update, due out later this month, to help revive interest in the BlackBerry-maker’s only tablet. 

The SRG report also shows that while Apple’s iPad still dominates tablet sales in Canada, it’s share of the market has dropped to 68%, from 86% in the previous quarter. 

SRG president Kaan Yigit said in the Globe and Mail article that the iPad is great at home but not “purse or jacket-pocket-friendly” like the 7-inch PlayBook. Yigit said Apple would be “completely misguided” to ignore the opportunity to make a smaller iPad model. 

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