Smells Like Desperation: RIM offering $100 to anyone who will buy the PlayBook

HP slitting the throat of its own hardware seems to have RIM sweating bullets.

After Canadian carriers dropped the prices of its brand-new BlackBerrys by $100, Research In Motion is now handing out $100 prepaid MasterCard gift visas to anyone who’ll buy the company’s wifi PlayBook tablet.

The deal is good throughout Canada (minus Quebec) but only to existing BlackBerry smartphone customers—a dying breed. Between that requirement and the fact that few want a PlayBook, the deal is filling a very narrow niche.

The offer expires September 22nd.