We finally have at least one carrier for RIM's new flagship tablet. The BlackBerry 4G PlayBook, as it's being called here, is heading to Sprint's 4G network (presumably WiMAX, which we guess isn't as big a buzzword) this summer. To be specific, according to the press release, it'll be "available exclusively from Sprint this summer," which leaves plenty of wiggle room for non-4G PlayBooks and other release windows. It also says it'll be the first PlayBook model to include 4G, so an LTE at least will be a little while longer (and a 3G one maybe earlier). Full presser after the break.
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BlackBerry 4G PlayBook Coming to the Sprint 4G Network
New 4G Tablet to Deliver Unmatched Power and Web Performance ‐
Available Exclusively from Sprint this Summer
January 6, 2011 – CES 2011, Las Vegas, NV – Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM;
TSX: RIM) and Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced plans to launch a new BlackBerry®
PlayBook™ tablet model featuring connectivity to the blazingly fast Sprint 4G network.
The BlackBerry 4G PlayBook™ will be the first BlackBerry PlayBook model to include
wide area wireless connectivity, featuring Sprint 4G to give customers download speeds
up to 10 times faster than 3G1. This new 4G model is expected to be available from
Sprint in the summer.
The BlackBerry 4G PlayBook is a professional‐grade tablet that's set to redefine the
possibilities of mobile computing, giving users an ultra‐portable design with industry
leading performance, uncompromised web browsing, true multitasking and HD
multimedia, as well as advanced security features and out‐of‐the‐box enterprise
support. Together, the BlackBerry 4G PlayBook and the Sprint 4G network will provide a
high performance platform that will enable a mobile services revolution for both
application developers and customers.
"RIM believes a significant portion of the tablet market will want a higher performing,
multitasking, professional‐grade tablet and that is why we chose to design the
BlackBerry PlayBook for premium performance with a powerful dual‐core processor and
multitasking OS. Together with Sprint, we are now building on that performance
advantage with 4G and providing an unparalleled mobile experience for users," said
Mike Lazaridis, President and Co‐CEO at Research In Motion.
"We are excited to bring this powerful new product to our business customers and
consumers who rely on Sprint for industry‐leading devices as well as one of the best
values in wireless," said Steve Elfman, president of network operations and wholesale
for Sprint. "This tablet is a great example of Sprint's strong partnership with RIM in
continuing to bring customers powerful devices to enhance their mobility. We are
confident the BlackBerry 4G Playbook from Sprint will be one of the most anticipated
tablets in 2011."
In addition to Wi‐Fi® support, the BlackBerry 4G PlayBook features a 1 GHz dual‐core
processor, 1 GB of RAM and the new BlackBerry® Tablet OS. The ultra portable, ultra
thin tablet will offer an uncompromised, high‐fidelity web experience with support for
Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1, Adobe® Mobile AIR® and HTML‐5 enabling customers to
enjoy all of the sites, games, media and richness of the full Internet, delivered at 4G
speeds. Additional details and pricing will be released closer to launch.
Sprint 4G is currently available in 71 markets2 across the country, including Atlanta, San
Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York City. Sprint first launched
4G in Baltimore in September 2008 and continues to build it's 4G service for consumers
and business users across the country. For more information, visit www.sprint.com/4G.
For more information about the BlackBerry 4G PlayBook, visit
www.blackberry.com/playbook or www.sprint.com/4Gplaybook.
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.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications
services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government
users. Sprint Nextel served more than 48.8 million customers at the end of the third
quarter of 2010 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying
innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in
the United States; offering industry‐leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands
including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, Common Cents Mobile and Assurance
Wireless; instant national and international push‐to‐talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1
Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, listing
it as one of the nation's greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications
company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or
www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
Forward‐looking statements in this news release are made pursuant to the "safe
harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and
applicable Canadian securities laws. When used herein, words such as "expect",
"anticipate", "estimate", "may", "will", "should", "intend," "believe", and similar
expressions, are intended to identify forward‐looking statements. Forward‐looking
statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by RIM in light of its
experience and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected
future developments, as well as other factors that RIM believes are appropriate in the
circumstances. Many factors could cause RIM's actual results, performance or
achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forwardlooking
statements, including those described in the "Risk Factors" section of RIM's
Annual Information Form, which is included in its Annual Report on Form 40‐F (copies of
which filings may be obtained at www.sedar.com or www.sec.gov). These factors
should be considered carefully, and readers should not place undue reliance on RIM's
forward‐looking statements. RIM has no intention and undertakes no obligation to
update or revise any forward‐looking statements, whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
The BlackBerry and RIM families of related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive
properties and trademarks of Research In Motion Limited. RIM, Research In Motion and
BlackBerry are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be
pending or registered in other countries. Wi‐Fi is a registered trademark of the Wi‐Fi
Alliance. All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service
marks are the properties of their respective owners. RIM assumes no obligations or
liability and makes no representation, warranty, endorsement or guarantee in relation
to any aspect of any third party products or services.
1 "Up to 10 times faster" based on download speed comparison of Sprint 3G avg. speeds (600 kbps-1.4 Mbps) vs.Sprint
4G avg. speeds (3-6 Mbps). Actual speeds may vary by plan or based on other factors.
2 Sprint 4G is now available in 71 markets: California – Los Angeles, Merced, Modesto, Sacramento, San Francisco,
Stockton, Visalia; Colorado – Denver; Connecticut – Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven; Delaware – Wilmington; District of
Columbia – Washington; Florida – Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Tampa; Georgia – Atlanta, Milledgeville;
Hawaii – Honolulu, Maui; Idaho – Boise; Illinois – Chicago; Maryland – Baltimore; Massachusetts – Boston; Michigan –
Grand Rapids; Minnesota – Minneapolis-St. Paul: Missouri – Kansas City, St. Louis; New Jersey – New Brunswick,
Trenton; New York – New York, Rochester, Syracuse; Nevada – Las Vegas; North Carolina – Charlotte, Greensboro
(includes High Point and Winston-Salem), Raleigh (includes Cary, Chapel Hill and Durham); Ohio – Cincinnati, Cleveland,
Columbus; Oregon – Eugene, Portland, Salem; Pennsylvania – Harrisburg, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading,
York; Rhode Island – Providence; Tennessee – Nashville; Texas – Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas/Fort
Worth, Houston, Killeen/Temple, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, San Antonio, Waco, Wichita Falls; Utah – Salt Lake City;
Virginia – Richmond; and Washington – Bellingham, Seattle, Tri-Cities, Yakima.