BlackBerry may have finally drawn a line under the embarrassment which is its PlayBook tablet, as the firm was unwilling to discuss plans it may have for the slate.
Roll forward 12 months to now and the picture isn’t as clear cut, with BlackBerry not revealing its BB 10 plans for the PlayBook – or even confirming if it’s still going ahead.
TechRadar spoke to Vivek Bhardwaj, Head of Software Portfolio at BlackBerry Live in Orlando about the possible update and he said: “I can’t provide any further information on that at this point.
“We are still assessing what we want to do with regards to tablet as a strategy as a whole.
“Our vision is still very much centred on mobile computing and we believe that the smartphone is the end point and you’ll want to connect it to other things.”
However there was a glimmer of hope for anyone still hoping to get BB10 on their PlayBook with Bhardwaj rounding off his comment by saying: “Stay tuned, there will be [news] updates I’m sure, but not at this point in time.”
Peripherals > tablets?
BlackBerry is keen to drive home the fact that it’s completely focussed on mobile, as today’s smartphones have all the power you need.
Bhardwaj explained: “For us other hardware are just other end points. If you look at what you’ve got on your smartphone the processing power and capabilities of them are pretty much on par with your laptop.
“The only thing really missing is a larger display and perhaps a larger keyboard, so it’s not completely out of the question to look at how we can take what we have on our smartphones and extend it to a wider environment.
“When Thorsten [Heins] talks about the smartphone being that one device to share across everything it’s genuinely because we’ve got to that point now where the smartphone has the power.
“You don’t need to have five or six other devices with the same spec all at different sizes, you just need peripherals.”
Although Bhardwaj wouldn’t be drawn on commenting on future products it could mean that BlackBerry is possibly looking at tablet and monitor docks to accompany its smartphone range, in a similar vein to the Asus Padfone and Motorola Atrix.
Posted on 30 January 2013.
And yes, they’re just BlackBerry now – don’t forget that Research in Motion is no more.
Wednesday’s BlackBerry 10 event served to officially introduce the new OS and BB’s new devices to the world, with simultaneous events going down in New York, Toronto, London, Johannesburg, New Delhi and Jakarta.
The BlackBerry PlayBook news was only one small part of a much bigger show, but no doubt there are some PlayBook users out there who are grateful they haven’t been forgotten.
BlackBerry 10 on PlayBook
BB10′s eventual arrival on PlayBooks is nothing new; Research in Motion (when it was still Research in Motion) confirmed as much last March, almost a year ago.
But it was great to hear on Wednesday that that plan had not changed.
PCMag’s Sascha Segan helped break the news on Twitter, and responses from other Twitter users ranged from the predictable “people still have/use those?” to outright begging (“Please PLEASE! Make the BB Browser Fast!”).
BlackBerry provided no time frame for the PlayBook’s BB10 upgrade, and so far has not responded to TechRadar’s request for more information.
They’re having a busy day, after all.
BlackBerry 10 launch event
Wednesday was a day of revelations for BlackBerry fans, and the PlayBook BB10 reminder was probably least among them.
The newly-renamed company also launched BlackBerry 10 officially worldwide, finally unveiled the first BB10 handset, the BlackBerry Z10 (even confirming its UK release date as Jan. 31), and discussed the QWERTY-equipped BlackBerry Q10.
No doubt 2013 will prove an exciting year for BlackBerry and BlackBerry fans alike.
Posted on 09 August 2012.
Canada welcomed a new device today as RIM’s 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet 2 finally launched there Thursday.
The tablet upgrades the original BlackBerry PlayBook, boasting a 7-inch display, front and rear facing HD video cameras, HDMI-out, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 32GB of memory.
It also runs on RIM’s OS 2 software, a system only found in the RIM’s latest products.
The tablet arrives right on time, available through Bell, TELUS, and Rogers for $550 Canadian without a contract. It is also available through the same carriers for $350 Canadian when bought with a three-year contract.
Rogers is also offering some more nuanced contract options with a one-year commitment for $500 and two years for $450.
The world is waiting
The only thing missing from the 4G LTE BlackBerry Playbook Tablet 2 launch is even the faintest hint of information on a release anywhere else in the world.
RIM has previously said that information on a release for the U.S., Europe and other international markets would be announced “as soon as this information is available in the coming months.”
With RIM’s shaky position as of late, it needs major releases like the Playbook Tablet 2 to carry it until the BlackBerry 10 OS is ready for prime time.
Posted on 02 August 2012.
RIM’s 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet 2 has a release date, though only for the U.S.’s neighbor to the north.
Canada will get the device on August 9, and it’s described as “ultra powerful, ultra portable and ultra fast” in a company press release. The rest of the world will have to wait for it “in the coming months.”
According to RIM, the PlayBook Tablet 2 will deliver “overall faster performance over the original BlackBerry PlayBook.” It’s touted to come with built-in cellular network support while maintaining a sleek, easy-to-take form.
Despite no definite release date for the U.S., Europe or most other parts of the world, RIM seems excited for the device’s potential to better accomodate both personal and business use.
One of its marque features is it’s capability to be managed with BlackBerry Mobile Fusion and BlackBerry Balance – keeping sensitive business information separate from personal details.
What else we can expect
The new tablet boasts a 7 inch display, front and rear facing HD video cameras, HDMI out and stereo speakers and 32GB of memory, plus runs on RIM’s OS 2 software, a system only found in the RIM’s latest products.
RIM says customers will have acces to the LTE and HSPA+ mobile network, delivering a high-fidelity, speedy web experience that supports more HTML 5 functionality than any other native tablet browser out there.
Always looking to mix business with pleasure, the PlayBook Tablet 2 will store work and personal emails and messages from Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn in the same place.
Built-in calendar and contacts apps will reportedly help users manage their schedules and prep for the boardroom more effectively.
No word yet from RIM on what the expected U.S. retail price will be.
Posted on 08 June 2012.
If you’re a manufacturer planning to ape Apple’s popular MacBook Air design, you might want to reconsider copying the notebook’s unique wedge shape.
That’s because a new U.S. patent, D661,296, was issued this week, which allows Apple to stake claim to the swanky design, and they’ve got detailed drawings to prove it.
Manufacturers making Intel-powered Ultrabooks have routinely “borrowed” from the playbook of Apple’s MacBook Air, and with good reason – since being overhauled in late 2010 and dropping in price, the teardrop-shaped computers have been flying off the shelves.
A wedge between competitors
Judging from Apple drawings revealed this week, competitors will have to stay on their toes to avoid raising the ire of the company’s patent lawyers.
Copycat Ultrabooks don’t only have the unique wedge shape to fear: Certain types of hinges, feet or even the shape of the back could still fall victim to the wide-ranging patent.
The real question is, will Apple use its newfound design patent as a club in the same way they’ve done with rival smartphone makers? Time will tell.
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