Sprint cancels plans for WiMax version of Blackberry Playbook

The Blackberry Playbook tablet suffered another blow today as word got out that wireless carrier Sprint has decided not to sell a WiMax enabled version of the device. The Wall Street Journal reports that Paget Alves, the head of Sprint's business markets group, said the reason for the change of heart was that the tablet space had become too crowded. Alves added, "There are so many tablets in the market, it creates confusion for the average customer." Besides the Playbook, other tablets such as the Motorola Xoom, the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the HP TouchPad have launched in the last few months. Earlier this week, HP announced a permanent $100 price cut on its TouchPad which might signal a price war among other tablet makers.

Sprint had originally announced that it would offer a WiMax supported version of the Blackberry Playbook back in January. The Playbook was first released by RIM in WiFi only versions back in April. Since then, reviews of the seven-inch Playbook have been mixed and the makers of the tablet, Research in Motion, have announced back in July a cost-cutting plan that will result in 2,000 of its workers being laid off. RIM has yet to comment on Sprint's decision today. The story does add that AT&T still has plans to sell a version of the Playbook but would not commit to a specific release date. The nation's biggest wireless carrier, Verizon, has not yet decided whether or not it will sell a version of the Playbook.

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Another consideration is that Sprint will almost certainly convert over to LTE in the future (look at the recent announcement with Lightsquared). The Playbook, unlike the Evo, would probably end up in the hands of more serious clients such a businesses. You don't want to leave those customers hanging with an obsolete purchase. Consumers tend to change phones mor eoften and would have time to upgrade.

soyelmocano said,
The Playbook, unlike the Evo, would probably end up in the hands of more serious clients such a businesses.

I bet the name "Playbook" alone will generate a frenzy among corporate users.

soyelmocano said,
The Playbook, unlike the Evo, would probably end up in the hands of more serious clients such a businesses.

I bet the name "Playbook" alone will generate a frenzy among corporate users.

dont know why people are hating on rim so bad.. Just because their latest device was not a hit for consumers it doesnt mean it will not make alot of money in enterprise.. in canada they are thinking about putting these in police cars instead of having those 3000 dollar laptops .. there are countless opportunities for it out there for companies that make their own apps..

i know it sucks that 15 year old boys wont sell their liver to buy one but it is still a solid device and will be improved apon in the next few years.. I just wish it had a digitizer to take notes and to write on .. would totally make it more professional then the ipad

Lachlan said,
dont know why people are hating on rim so bad.. Just because their latest device was not a hit for consumers it doesnt mean it will not make alot of money in enterprise.. in canada they are thinking about putting these in police cars instead of having those 3000 dollar laptops .. there are countless opportunities for it out there for companies that make their own apps..

i know it sucks that 15 year old boys wont sell their liver to buy one but it is still a solid device and will be improved apon in the next few years.. I just wish it had a digitizer to take notes and to write on .. would totally make it more professional then the ipad

+1

Makes sense, why try to make a more expensive version of a device that's not selling at all? RIM is going to be the next Palm, only a matter of time.