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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