RIM unwraps 4G BlackBerry PlayBook
Canadians get first crack at make or break tablet
TechLife | 03 Aug 2012 :
A new 4G BlackBerry PlayBook will go on sale next week in Canada, a year after Research In Motion introduced its first tablet. The updated 7" PlayBook will include 4G connectivity (subject to availability), 32Gb of storage and will be available via carriers Bell, Rogers, and Telus.
Otherwise, there's very little changed hardware-wise between the original PlayBook and the 4G model. The tablet still has a 7" 1024x600 display, dual HD video cameras, HDMI capability, and stereo speakers. The processor is bumped up to 1.5GHz from 1GHz in the Wi-Fi-only model and there's still 1Gb of RAM on board.
The 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook tablet could be the make or break device for RIM. Due to key software omissions at launch, such as the lack of a native e-mail client, the PlayBook suffered from lackluster sales. In fact, RIM had to take a $485 million hit last year because it was sitting on a huge inventory of unsold tablets.
The arrival of much cheaper 7" tablets from the likes of Amazon did not help either, as they undercut the PlayBook by up to $300 (Amazon's Kindle Fire is $199 while the PlayBook launched at $500, and then began to be heavily discounted).
There's still hope for Research In Motion though. After several delays, the anticipated BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 will ship with the new tablet. All the features you would expect are now there, including e-mail, calendar, contacts and video chat. But given the lack of any substantial improvements (for example the $200 Google Nexus 7 has a higher resolution display), adding 4G connectivity to the PlayBook might still be too little, too late for RIM.
IDG News Service