RIM CEO to deliver imminent PlayBook refresh as stock dives

New RIM CEO Thorsten Heins will jump straight into finessing the reworked BlackBerry PlayBook for a launch early this year, ex-CEO Jim Balsillie has confirmed, though the prospect of a refreshed tablet hasn't helped the company's diving share price. Described as "a revamp of the poorly selling PlayBook tablet expected early this year" by the WSJ, the new PlayBook is believed to be the replacement 7-inch "3G+" model tipped in a leaked RIM roadmap earlier this month.

The new PlayBook won't pack LTE – like RIM's first BlackBerry 10 smartphones, there's said to be a chipset limitation that is preventing the company from including true 4G connectivity – which will instead be saved for another new PlayBook, this time a 10-inch model, expected toward the end of the year. Previous leaks have suggested RIM is preparing PlayBook OS 2.0, the updated software for the tablet that will arrive next month, with 1280 x 800 screen support, indicating one or both of the new slates will have a higher-resolution display.

Nonetheless, although investors had been calling out for new blood in the CEO position at Research In Motion, Heins' elevation to chief exec was seemingly not quite what they had in mind. The Canadian company ditched almost 9-percent in trading, believed to be a reaction to Heins' comments that little required changing at RIM.

"It's going to be continuity, but it's not going to be a standstill" Heins told the newspaper of his strategy for RIM, refusing to countenance a wholesale turnaround of the integrated ecosystem plans Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis had already put into place. The first BlackBerry 10 smartphone is expected to arrive near the end of the year.