If you have been keeping up with the developments in carriers this year, 4G is becoming the new standard. The people at Research In Motion have not been blind to this, and have updated their impressive BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to include the HSPA+ and LTE networks. That is not all they have updated in the tablet. The software got a refresh as well. It still runs the QNX system, so there is no worrying that RIM changed their tablet completely.
The Blackberry Playbook has certainly seen some ups and downs in its lifetime. This time it is a definite "up". Blackberry lovers and fanboys have been waiting for the foretold update to 4G and now they almost have it. The FCC showed the tablet passing through their approval process last month. Now the news is that a certain poster over at Crackberry forums has the updated 4G model in his or her possession. They are not really saying how they got the tablet, but the included photos are real enough. The future "official" release date should be next month at the Blackberry World conference in Florida.
The big question is if RIM is going to make it economically before the enterprise public finds out about the accomplished tablet. They are currently losing more executives. The last quarter in 2011 for RIM was devastating. Apple is even selling more smartphones in Blackberry territory ( Canada ) than Blackberry themselves. The upcoming Blackberry World conference is going to be great for geeks and customers to see. It will probably feature this updated Playbook but will certainly feature the finished "Blackberry 10" smartphones. Some say that Blackberry 10 is a failure. Some are still rooting for them. The usual RIM customer is a business customer and the US government has said they are staying with Blackberry.
The new update to LTE and HSPA+ connectivity for the Blackberry Playbook is going to make downloading a breeze. It will make heavy, loaded web pages a faster event. The LTE feature is going to be the faster of the networks, compared to the HSPA+. Some of the other changes to this 4G version of the Playbook is in the software. The venerated Blackberry Messenger ( BBM ) is now included in the tablet. The same forum poster mentioned above included shots of the BBM program on the screen of the tablet. BBM is hugely popular with teens and business users alike, so this is an important detail for the tablet. It can do more than messaging. It can send large files including photos and video. It is also possible to have group chats, so the enterprise attraction is clearly apparent now that this tablet has BBM.
Look for the Blackberry Playbook 4G model to probably head over to Sprint. It was already listed on Sprint's web site last year when RIM was thinking about putting WiMaX into their tablet. That never materialized and WiMaX seems to be going the way of the dinosaurs. Here is hoping this tablet will not suffer the same consequences.