BlackBerry World 2012: 4G PlayBook due out this year

RIM is not ready to give up on tablets just yet, but have consumers and businesses?

Just when you think Research in Motion wouldn't possibly bring another BlackBerry PlayBook into this world (check out Larry Dignan's recap of RIM's woes), CEO Thorsten Heins confirmed a 4G version will be coming by the end of 2012 at BlackBerry World yesterday.

Early specs on the 4G PlayBook revealed at a pre-conference breakfast attended by the Canadian Reviewer suggest the new slate will be getting a 1.5Ghz dual-core processor and a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip built-in. It is expected to look similar to the first-generation PlayBook, though there is no word yet on whether it will be another 7-inch or 10-inch device as rumored. (A RIM rep confirmed to me last week at CES on the Hill that both a 7-inch and a 10-inch PlayBook will be coming to market this year, but did not specify which size is the 4G version.)

According to Engadget, Heins was careful not to specify the 4G technology that the new slate will have under its hood, but did preface his announcement by "saying that his company admittedly has a glaring lack of LTE devices." Hmm...

Of course, the bigger question is after the mess of the first-gen PlayBook (from the lack of native email at launch to the almost-firesale prices just to clear inventory late last year), will consumers and businesses be willing to give the new and improved PlayBooks another go?

[Source: Canadian Reviewer via Engadget]