RIM will launch a 7-inch 3G+ PlayBook in April, a 10-inch LTE version in December and a BlackBerry 10 smartphone in September, says a report on a leaked road map.
BlackBerry maker Research In
Motion reportedly has two new PlayBook tablets in the works for 2012, according
to a road map leak reported by N4BB.com
If the report holds true, in April, RIM fans should expect a 7-inch 3G+
PlayBook-an unclear distinction aside from confirming there's no 4G on board-and
a 10-inch LTE-equipped version in December.
The first BlackBerry 10
smartphone-which was pushed to mid-2012 due to a delay in its dual-core
Long-Term Evolution (LTE) chipset-is expected to arrive in September but be on
view, behind glass that is, at February's Mobile World Congress 2012 event
Rounding out the road map,
according to the report, will be the PlayBook Admin Service over the summer,
the release of Mobile Fusion in April and two new Curve handsets headed for
developing markets. While RIM is struggling for sales in the United States,
co-CEO Jim Balsillie has pointed out that the company is the No. 1 smartphone
vendor in Latin America, has broken sales records in South Africa, and is a top
contender in such markets as Mexico, Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia.
Sales of current PlayBook
models have been weak. During RIM's
fiscal 2012 third quarter
, it sold just 150,000 units, and retailers such
as Best Buy have slashed the prices of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models to $300, from
$500, $600 and $700, respectively. As ever, though, RIM executives have
expressed confidence that they have a sure-to-win plan in place.
"We're committed to the
BlackBerry PlayBook, and it's an important aspect of our longer-term smartphone
and mobile-computing strategy," RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said during the
Dec. 15 earnings call. "While we would have preferred the initial launch
to have been smoother, I firmly believe that the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet
remains the most secure and most advanced tablet platform on the market
Lazaridis highlighted the
PlayBook's real-time multitasking capabilities, Flash-enabled browsing, HTML5
and Flash video streaming, and open-standards-based platform, adding that
PlayBook 2.0 will "further enhance" the tablet's attributes.
at the Consumer Electronics Show
(CES) the week of Jan. 9, the 2.0 update was
shown to additionally feature a Video Store, where visitors can rent or
purchase updated document-editing capabilities, a new reading view for the Web
browser, and a tool for rich-text email composing and editing.
Details on the rumored
upcoming PlayBooks are murky, though one or both models are expected to receive
a pixel-enhanced 1,280-by-800-resolution display.
Mobile Fusion, introduced in
November 2011, is arguably RIM's concession that the enterprise is a place in
which it will have to play nicely with Apple and Android devices, if it's to
remain at all. The solution will enable CIOs and IT administrators to manage,
not only BlackBerry handsets, but also Android devices, iPhones and iPads via a
Amid RIM's stumbles-which
have included modest sales of significantly redesigned offerings, service
outages and a branding snafu in which the name BBX OS, after a fanfare-rich
introduction, was shown to infringe on a trademark and so was renamed to
BlackBerry 10-shareholders have called on Balsillie and Lazaridis to stop
sharing the CEO position.
In an acknowledgement of
shareholder discontent, the pair announced during the third-quarter earnings
call that, to "further demonstrate our passion, alignment and commitment
to RIM's long-term success," effective immediately, their annual salaries
have been reduced to $1.
The two were "leaving
no stone unturned" in considering how to deliver on all that BlackBerry's
stakeholders, and its $75 million subscribers, expect from the company,