RIM has already announced that the PlayBook will be made available in both WiFi and WiMAX varieties, but what if you're not on Sprint and want a taste of the 4G BlackBerry tablet fun? Today RIM's got an answer for you, as they've announced that there will be HSPA+ and LTE-compatible models of the PlayBook that will launch in the second half of 2011. While there was no word on whether T-Mobile, AT&T, or Verizon would actually be getting a 4G PlayBook, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie did say that "all of [their] carrier partners" want a piece of the tablet, so don't be surprised if the device arrives on your carrier of choice. Balsillie also said that he expects the PlayBook to be priced at under $500, although that's likely just for the WiFi-only model, with a launch coming in March or April. Check out the full presser below.
It's nice to see RIM taking a Galaxy Tab-like approach to launching the PlayBook by making versions that will be compatible with just about every major carrier under the sun, although the releases of the different flavors is a little too staggered for my liking. As for pricing, a sub-$500 PlayBook sounds pretty enticing to me, but we'll have to wait until this summer for the WiMAX model to arrive before we can really get a feel for what kind of success that the PlayBook will see. Until then, has the variety of 4G PlayBooks piqued your interest in RIM's tablet?
MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS, BARCELONA, SPAIN – Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today announced plans to launch two additional BlackBerry® 4G PlayBook tablets during the second half of 2011, featuring support for LTE and HSPA+ high speed wide area wireless networks.
"The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is already being widely recognized for its superior performance, rich web experience, enterprise readiness and deep support for web standards and open development tools. We are now building on the BlackBerry PlayBook's many advantages with support for additional 4G networks that will allow enhanced business opportunities for carriers and developers and unparalleled mobile experiences for users," said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion.
RIM's family of upcoming BlackBerry 4G PlayBook tablets will deliver professional-grade, consumer-friendly experiences that redefine the possibilities of mobile computing. These innovative tablets will each provide users with an ultra-portable design featuring industry leading performance with real-time multitasking and symmetrical multiprocessing, uncompromised high-fidelity web browsing including support for Adobe® Flash and stunning HD multimedia, as well as advanced security features and out-of-the-box enterprise support.
The combination of premium hardware features and design powered by the new and highly acclaimed BlackBerry® Tablet OS and open development tools, along with support for carriers' high speed 4G networks, will provide a high performance platform that enables a mobile services revolution.
RIM has now announced plans to offer four BlackBerry PlayBook tablets:
1. BlackBerry PlayBook with Wi-Fi
2. BlackBerry 4G PlayBook with Wi-Fi + WiMax
3. BlackBerry 4G PlayBook with Wi-Fi + LTE
4. BlackBerry 4G PlayBook with Wi-Fi + HSPA+
In addition to the Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity referenced above, each tablet can also support:
1. Bluetooth tethering
2. Mobile hotspots (ie. a MiFi, smartphone or other portable device equipped to act as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot)
3. BlackBerry Bridge
About Research In Motion
Research In Motion (RIM), a global leader in wireless innovation, revolutionized the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry® solution in 1999. Today, BlackBerry products and services are used by millions of customers around the world to stay connected to the people and content that matter most throughout their day. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. RIM is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ:RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:RIM). For more information, visit www.rim.com or www.blackberry.com.