Select U.S. retailers this week discounted Research in Motion Ltd.’s Blackberry Playbook by as much as $200 post HP Co.’s clearance of the TouchPad.

This week, Staples Inc. this week price cut the Blackberry Playbook to $299.99 after a $100 instant rebate and $100 mail-in rebate.

Meanwhile, Office Depot this week discounted all Playbook SKUs by $100.

RIM released the Blackberry Playbook in Apr. in a 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB SKUs starting at $499.99 to $699.99.

The Blackberry Playbook includes a 7-inch screen, 1Ghz Dual-Core CPU, Dual HD Video Cameras, and Wi-Fi support.

RIM in June said the Blackberry Playbook shipped 200,000 units in the fiscal second quarter, below company estimates.

The retail price cut of the device follows HP’s clearance of the TouchPad to under $100.

HP Aug. 19 price cut the TouchPad 16GB SKU to $99.99 from $499.99 and the 32GB SKU to $149.99 from $599.99.

The Palo Alto, CA-based company said it will manufacture a limited quantity of TouchPad tablets in the fiscal fourth quarter of 2011, which ends Oct. 31, to meet demand.

HP previously said it would end the manufacture of webOS devices in the fourth quarter.

HP is considering a spinoff of the Personal Systems Group, which has held as the No. 1 PC business against low net profits.

The discount prompted strong consumer demand at nationwide retailers, including Best Buy Co. Inc., Barnes & Noble Inc., and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., all of which have sold out of the device.

HP released the TouchPad tablet series in July in a Wi-Fi 16GB SKU and 32GB SKUs to compete against Apple Inc.’s iPad which has dominated the tablet market since launch in 2010.

Both include a 1.2Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon Dual-Core CPU, 1GB RAM, and the webOS operating system in a 1.6 lb. device.

Despite powerful specs, the TouchPad held tepid demand at launch. Inc. this week said it will release the Kindle Fire Tablet Nov. 15 at $199.99.

The Kindle Fire includes a full-color 7-inch multi-touch IPS display, Dual-Core CPU, 8GB Internal Memory, Wi-Fi functionality, and up to eight hours of battery life.

Applications include the Amazon Silk Browser, E-Mail, Amazon Instant Video, Amazon Appstore, and Amazon Cloud Drive with unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content.

Finally, each Kindle Fire will include a free month of Amazon Prime membership.

Current competitors in the tablet space include Acer Inc.’s Iconia and Transformer SKUs, Samsung Group’s Galaxy Tab, and Motorola Mobility Inc.’s XOOM.

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