RIM officially axes 16 GB Playbook

The version of the Playbook that was such a flop RIM could barely even give them away for free, is no more.

The Canadian Blackberry maker has confirmed in a Cnet report that it will no longer be making the 16 GB version of its flagship tablet device.

The 32 GB and 64 GB models will continue to be manufactured and sold.

RIM’s big marketing push for the device had been that consumers can buy it for as low as $199, but with that cheapest model now gone, it will be interesting to see how it shifts its strategy.

Then again, the Playbook strategy has seemingly been wrong at every turn so nothing would surprise us at this point.

Although the Playbook was praised for its use of the QNX operating system, a brand new platform built from the ground up, it has been plagued with problems, not the least of which is the highly competitive nature of the tablet market which is not at all amenable to a non-Android, non-iPad offering.

Among the other problems is that when the Playbook was released, it was missing seemingly basic features like calendar and messaging apps.

In addition, the 7-inch format wasn’t exactly a good fit for enterprise users, who have largely gravitated to the more powerful 10-inch model used by the iPad.

RIM gained some credit for the Playbook 2.0 firmware update in which it addressed the issues like providing native calendar and contacts apps, but it has still been unable to generate any excitement for the device.

A 4G LTE version is reportedly in the works. We’ll see if that can save the Playbook brand.