It looks like Sprint wasn’t content to let Verizon and T-Mobile hog the CES spotlight as today the carrier announced it will carry the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet on the Sprint 4G network.
Early reports indicated the PlayBook will be a Wi-Fi only device that features the ability to tether to a data network through a BlackBerry smartphone. That may still be the case, because RIM and Sprint are dubbing this the BlackBerry 4G PlayBook, suggesting it is a different model than the one revealed months prior. In fact, the press release announcing the news states, “The BlackBerry 4G PlayBook will be the first BlackBerry PlayBook model to include wide area wireless connectivity, featuring Sprint 4G to give customers download speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G1.”
The BlackBerry Playbook will feature a seven-inch screen, dual-core 1 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, and the new BlackBerry Tablet OS, developed by RIM with the recently-acquired QNX software. It will support Flash 10.1 and HTML 5. Sprint claims the BlackBerry 4G PlayBook will ship this summer. There is no word on pricing.
Rumors and leaks suggested the Wi-Fi BlackBerry will ship in March. However, other reports indicated delays caused by battery and OS issues.
BlackBerry is in Vegas at CES, where TabletPCReview hopes to get its mitts on the device to see firsthand how the BlackBerry PlayBook is shaping up in an increasingly crowded tablet field.