No, there will be no 10-inch PlayBook, at least not anytime soon. Yet a recent PlayBook rumor will come to fruition, albeit more than a week late.
In that 10-inch PlayBook post we mentioned that the Canadian mobile blog Mobile Syrup had received word that RIM would release a 4G LTE PlayBook on July 31st. That came and went without an announcement, but yesterday they did announce that very device.
As I speculated in Monday’s post it is indeed targeted only to Canadian wireless carriers. It does appear that the big three Canadian carriers — Bell, Rogers, and Telus — will carry the 4G PlayBook.
There hasn’t been any pricing announced, but it will probably be somewhere in the $500 range. That could change, though, depending on whether these carriers offer the PlayBook on-contract or on a pay-as-you-go basis. It does seem that consumer prefer the pay-as-you-go model, even if it means a discounted tablet.
In the press release RIM does say that “the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet supporting various high speed cellular networks are expected to be available in the coming months from carriers in the US, Europe, South Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.” It’s difficult, at this point, to imagine RIM releasing the 4G PlayBook in the US. They just don’t seem to have gained the traction here. If Canada is their sweet spot, perhaps they should limit the stock and hope it sells well there.
The PlayBook did receive a processor update, as it is now rocking a 1.5GHz dual-core. That should help it keep up with the market. But, as many of us have noted for months, the apps just don’t compete with Android and Apple tablets.
We know RIM is working hard to court developers in advance of their BlackBerry 10 launch, but the environment just doesn’t seem to be there right now. The new PlayBook will go on sale August 9th.