A few retailers? Almost all major stores (WalMart/Staples/FutureShop/BestBuy/TSCC/Sears/Bell/Chapters/Visions/LondonDrugs etc.) sold the 16GB at $199.
This deal was first reported in RedFlagDeals, and Engadget had a post about it too.
The thread in RFD is up to 284 pages now.
Just got one at $199. The best deal. I was looking for a good e-reader, as more tech papers publish in pdf format. The Playbook gives much more. Nice GUI, real multitasking OS. QNX exists since over 20 years and they are in the low-latency multitasking business since the start. It shows. There is a Kobo app in here, so there's my reader. A seven-inch screen is about the width of a hardcover book.
None of these are as cheap the the $500>$100 HP TouchPad, but that is a dead platform... which has more market share than the PLAYBOOK! At least until this price adjustment of $200.
But yeah, the Playbook and Fire are very similar in size, weight and have the same CPU/GPU. Only difference: Playbook = Camera, 2x memory and GPS.
But IF Amazon is selling theirs at a $2 loss - then the Playbook may cost about $230~240 to make... then RIM is taking a hit.
Unlike Amazon, RIM doesn't have an eco-system... its running Android emulation for some games and appls. We'll know in a few months which one wins.
Now, if Samsung brings their tablets down to $250 / $300 (7" / 9") and it starts selling much better - then WE may see a dent in the iPad market share, which would FORCE Apple to reduce their pricing on iPads. But I wouldn't think Apple would sell the 16GB for less than $400.
PlayBook O.S. 2.0 is going to be solid, if promises are delivered. It will have integrated Exchange email, both through BES and OWA, from what i'm reading.
The fact that you actually wrote in this article that you cant see why the price of the PlayBook would go up again really surprises me. Especially since the Android app capabilities and added features with OS 2.0 in a couple of months will finally be here.
As an independent app developer, I can appreciate coding for the BBX platform. In a lot of ways, its actually easier than other platforms. (Gasp!). They working on some crucial things still, though, and many devs will agree with me that its a work in progress, with great progress made so far.
All in all. The article is nice to let people know because it's a great bargain, but Marcus, if you can't see a reason why the PlayBook would go up in value and price in the future, then I would seriously like to know your salary, as I will be coming to take your job as a part time hobby.