July 15 - Microsoft cut prices on the entry level Surface tablet by 30 percent and the BlackBerry z10 is selling for $100 below is debut price as the two gadgets fail to live up to hype. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The scissors are coming out for two tech players- cutting prices on some super hyped products. First up: Microsoft's Surface RT. The entry level version of Microsoft's move into the tablet market is now $150 cheaper on the company's website. No more near $500 - its original price- now it's a bargain- at just $349. But that's still $20 more than the cheapest iPad mini -which has been a hot seller for Apple. A lower price is just one tactic Microsoft hopes will perk up lackluster demand. The other: get Surface more into the spotlight in a crowded field of tablets. Microsoft recently announced plans to use the store-within-a-store approach at Best Buy to get more attention. Remember - Surface was supposed show that Microsoft could play with the big boys in the tablet world. The other device with a shrinking price tag: The BlackBerry z10-that's the one without the physical keyboard. Best Buy is now selling the phone for under 50 bucks with a new two-year contract. The original debut price was around $150. This may be of little surprise to analysts. The smartphone only hit the market in March, but along with a late start for the keyboard friendly Q10, sales last quarter were so disappointing that investors knocked off more than one-quarter of market value from the company. So much for revitalizing a struggling brand.