PlayBook Sequel Will Run on Sprint 4G
A noteworthy development in the evolution of Research in Motion’s tablet strategy. The company today told Reuters it will release a 4G version of the PlayBook with Sprint Nextel, which it says has the most “ubiquitous 4G network at this point.” The device will arrive at market sometime this summer after its Wi-Fi-only predecessor debuts in the first quarter of this year–wise choice of scheduling, since this allows RIM to launch ahead of carrier certification and the delays that often accompany it.
No details yet on price, though RIM Co-Ceo Jim Balsillie is on record saying that the first iteration of the device, which relies on Wi-Fi or BlackBerry tethering for a data connection, will be sold for “under $500.”
And as for the recent controversy over the PlayBook’s battery life, RIM says it’s overblown and claimed the device will last at least as long as other 7-inch tablets. One could view that as an admission that the PlayBook’s battery life won’t rival the 10 hours of the iPad–a 10-inch tablet. On the other hand, it’s also an assertion that it will match Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, which claims six hours of battery life. Evidently, that’s what RIM meant when it said back in December that the PlayBook would have “comparable battery life.”
UPDATE: As noted in the comments below, RIM is telling media at CES that its “target and … attainable goal” for PlayBook battery life is eight hours.