RIM was set to release a WiMAX version of its BlackBerry PlayBook this fall, but those plans are now scrapped after Sprint announced that it no longer plans to carry the 4G version of the tablet. Despite this and the many hurdles that the PlayBook has struggled through, RIM remains optimistic and has responded saying that they will instead focus on other carriers.
This means that RIM is still hopeful about delivering a 4G LTE version of the BlackBerry PlayBook through either Verizon or AT&T. Both carriers are set to operate LTE networks in several markets by year-end with Verizon in 175 markets and AT&T in 15 markets. However, Verizon has snubbed the BlackBerry maker once before, when the carrier said that it was still undecided about the tablet.
The new 4G PlayBook is said to already be in testing with plans to get network certification this fall. This could mean that the LTE tablet won’t be available until winter. It is yet another setback for RIM, which had originally promised the 4G tablet for summer that then got delayed to fall. Below is the full statement from RIM:
RIM has decided to prioritize and focus its 4G development resources on LTE. We remain excited and committed to delivering innovative and powerful 4G tablets to the US market together with our carrier partners. Testing of BlackBerry 4G PlayBook models is already underway and we plan to enter labs for network certifications in the US and other international markets this fall.
[via Business Insider]