Back in January Sprint announced it had plans to launch a 4G BlackBerry PlayBook at some point during the summer, but according to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report today it appears those plans have come to a halt. Apparently the reason Sprint has chosen to cancel plans for a PlayBook model that comes embedded with 4G WiMAX radio is due to lack of demand for the tablet.
A spokesperson for Sprint did however make it clear to the WSJ that this cancellation will not weaken the relationship they have with RIM. It’s just an objective decision based on lower demand from business customers than they had hoped for. The spokesperson also stated that with so many tablet PCs on the market it tends to create a lot of confusion for customers. In other words, although demand for tablets continues to rise, a cluttered market can actually be a bad thing for some manufacturers.
The tailspin for Research In Motion continues and their stock prices have dropped 60% this year alone. This is not only due to lower than expected PlayBook sales, but also because of the smartphone market. While other competitors gain headway RIM is falling behind in the smartphone and tablet PC race.
Although RIM seems to be the center of not so pleasant attention lately, it’s not just them who are having a rough go at it as far as selling tablets is concerned. Most tablet computer device manufacturers have had very little success competing against the Apple iPad. Even the few rival tablets that have sold fairly well have barely put a dent in iPad sales.
I personally don’t believe this is the end for RIM, but the company has experienced a very rough year with a lot of unfortunate upsets. What happens from here is anyone’s guess really but one thing is for sure it doesn’t appear that there will be a 4G PlayBook, at least not in the near future. Other top carriers including AT&T and Verizon have not announced any plans to back a 4G model either.
So, if you are someone who had anticipated on investing in a 4G PlayBook you will unfortunately have to wait quite a bit longer. How much longer for sure, it’s too hard to even guess at this point.