Frightened by the mere thought of picking up a partially-baked BlackBerry PlayBook? So is Verizon Wireless, it seems. Despite a March 22nd press release (embedded after the break for convenience) from Research in Motion suggesting that VZW would indeed be a "retail channel" for the QNX-based slate, the carrier's Brenda Raney is singing a different tune. According to her:
"We're still evaluating the BlackBerry Playbook and have not made a determination as to whether we're going to distribute it."
'Course, we wouldn't cry too hard if Big Red ends up passing -- Sprint's 4G version ought to satisfy anyone pining to pick one up with an integrated cell radio. Too bad Mike Lazaridis isn't around to opine on just how "unfair" such a statement is.
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RIM Announces Retail Channels for BlackBerry PlayBook

BlackBerry PlayBook to be available in over 20,000 Retail Outlets in the U.S. and Canada


Waterloo, ON - Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced plans to make the highly-anticipated BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet available in more than 20,000 retail outlets in the U.S. and Canada.

"The BlackBerry PlayBook is an amazing tablet that is already being widely praised as a multi-tasking powerhouse with an uncompromised web experience and an ultra-portable design," said Mike Lazaridis, President & Co-CEO, Research In Motion. "Given the high level of customer interest in the BlackBerry PlayBook, we are particularly pleased to be working with such an amazing lineup of retail partners."

The BlackBerry PlayBook delivers professional-grade, consumer-friendly experiences that redefine the possibilities of mobile computing. This ultra-portable tablet looks and feels great, measuring less than half an inch thick and weighing less than a pound. It features a vivid 7-inch high-resolution display that is highly-responsive with a fluid touch screen experience. It also offers industry leading performance, uncompromised web browsing with support for Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1, true multitasking, HD multimedia, advanced security features, out-of-the-box enterprise support and a robust development environment.

The BlackBerry PlayBook with Wi-Fi will be available in three models and will feature a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $499 in the United States and Canada. The lineup of retailers and wireless carriers currently expected to carry the BlackBerry PlayBook in the United States and Canada includes the following companies*:

United States

* AT&T
* Best Buy
* Cbeyond
* Cellular South
* Cincinnati Bell
* Office Depot
* RadioShack
* ShopBlackBerry.com
* Staples
* Sprint
* Verizon Wireless
* BlackBerry from Wireless Giant

Canada

* Bell
* Best Buy
* Chapters / Indigo
* Costco
* Future Shop
* Mobilicity
* MTS Allstream
* Rogers
* Sasktel
* Sears
* ShopBlackBerry.com
* Staples
* Telus
* Tbooth Wireless
* The Source
* Videotron
* Walmart
* WIND Mobile
* WIRELESS etc.
* WIRELESSWAVE

BlackBerry PlayBook Specifications

* 7" 1024x600 WSVGA capacitive LCD touch screen
* Ultra-portable at less than a pound and less than one-half inch thick: 0.9 lbs (425g) and 5.1" x 7.6" x 0.4" (130mm x 194mm x 10mm)
* 1 GHz dual-core processor
* BlackBerry® Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing
* MP3, AAC and WMA audio playback
* Support for high resolution video playback (H.264, MPEG4, WMV)
* 1080p HDMI output
* Dual 1080p HD cameras for video conferencing and video capture (3MP front and 5MP rear)
* 1 GB RAM memory
* Up to 64 GB internal storage (16, 32 and 64 GB models)
* GPS, Orientation Sensor (Accelerometer), 6-Axis Motion Sensor (Gyroscope), Digital Compass (Magnetometer)
* Stereo speakers and stereo microphones
* Wi-Fi® (802.11 a/b/g/n) connectivity
* Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR support

About Research In Motion
Research In Motion (RIM), a global leader in wireless innovation, revolutionized the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry® solution in 1999. Today, BlackBerry products and services are used by millions of customers around the world to stay connected to the people and content that matter most throughout their day. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. RIM is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ: RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RIM). For more information, visit www.rim.com or www.blackberry.com.