Blackberry Playbook Will Be Available in LTE, HSPA+ Versions Later This Year

Research in Motion announced this morning at Mobile World Congress that the Blackberry Playbook, its new tablet already scheduled for arrival in March or April, will now be available in four different versions by the second half of 2011. Two had been previously announced: a WiFi-only flavor, and one offered on Sprint’s WiMax network. As of today, however, the Playbook will also come in LTE and HSPA+ as well.

We haven’t heard any other carriers officially picking up the tablet, but this definitely opens up the possibilities. Quite possibly we could see the Playbook showing up on Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile with these two new models, not to mention on a much more global scale. WiMax, after all, has very little global significance and reach compared to LTE and HSPA+.

So we’re happy to see we will have a lot of choices. Blackberry definitely needs as much exposure and reach as it can get.

Press Release Here:

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.

Note to Editors:

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

Author: Brad Molen

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