RIM literally giving PlayBook tablets away

Back in September it was revealed that RIM was struggling with sales of its PlayBook tablet, with just 200,000 shipped to shops in the previous quarter, and now the Canadian phone giant has taken action - by offering free PlayBooks in the US and Canada.

The buy two get one free deal has gone live over on the North American BlackBerry websites and will, of course, be aimed at businesses rather than people looking to build room made out of PlayBooks.

Over here in Blighty, there's no sign of the BTGOF deal yet - but you can nab a free PlayBook through the Carphone Warehouse. If you sign up for a £30 a month deal for a Blackberry Curve 8520 you'll get a free 16GB RIM Playbook, worth £239, along with 100 minutes, 1000 texts and 1GB of data for your new smartphone.

Not exactly desperate measures but when you consider the PlayBook was touted as an iPad killer, not exactly the kind of form that its makers would have hoped for.

Earlier this month Alec Saunders, VP of developer relations and ecosystem development at Research In Motion, told Pocket-lint: "The number one reason the PlayBook hasn't sold as well as we expected is the lack of a native email client, the number two reason is there aren't enough apps."

RIM promised to put the latter issue right with the Android player in PlayBook OS 2.0 which was due to launch in 2011. However, earlier this week the company stated that PlayBook customers waiting for its 2.0 OS update will have to wait a little longer, as it will now launch in February 2012.

Not only that but the much sought-after BBM service for the PlayBook tablet has now been deferred, "to a subsequent BlackBerry PlayBook OS release".

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