Jan. 3, 2012 at 1:21 PM ET
It's not TouchPad cheap, but the price drops are significant: All BlackBerry PlayBooks are now going for $299, and Sony's S Tablet series is being offered for $400 for the 16 GB model (a drop of $100 from its previous price), and $500 for the 32 GB version, making Sony's tablets $100 less than the iPad.
PlayBooks have been attainable at cheaper prices by retailers during various sales in recent months, including $199 for the 16 GB version. The 7-inch tablet has had anemic sales since being released last year, and Amazon's Kindle Fire, at $199, which has the same size screen as the PlayBook, has been trouncing it and many other tablets.
The price drop, offered on Research In Motion's website, is RIM's first official acknowledgement that less might be more (sales for them). RIM says the prices are good through Feb. 4.
The original price of the 16 GB PlayBook was $499. It's $299, but so are the other models: The 32 GB version, was originally priced at $599, is $299; the 64 model was $699.
Sony is not saying whether its Tablet S, with a 9.4-inch screen, will be reduced in price permanently. That may depend on how many buyers flock to the tablet. It will need to gather more fans than it has, although having the Pope on its side counts for something.