Well, this is quite a shocker. RIM announced today that the 16GB model of its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet has been cancelled, leaving the 32GB and 64GB varieties the only models still being produced.

RIM sent Engadget this statement regarding the cancellation:

“RIM will no longer be making the 16GB model of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The 16GB PlayBook will continue to be available for distributors and retailers while quantities last. We continue to remain committed to the tablet space and the 32GB and 64GB models of the BlackBerry PlayBook continue to be available from our distributors and retailers around the world. There is more value for our customers in the higher capacity models (32GB, 64GB), and as such we have decided to focus our efforts here.”

So, there you have it. There’s a possibility that you may still be able to pick one up from a third-party store, but once inventory runs out, you’ll have to purchase one of the two models still being produced or wait for the updated PlayBook that’s coming later this year.

Personally, I’m not sad to see the low-end PlayBook go. It might have been a decent 7-inch tablet, but 16GB isn’t a lot of storage – and given that the PlayBook’s 1024 x 600 screen is gorgeous, you’d probably want all the storage you could get so you could load it up with video.

Anyway, my recommendation is to wait until the already-confirmed next-gen PlayBook is available for purchase.

[Engadget]