RIM to launch LTE, HSPA+ PlayBook tablets by year-end

The two models will join a Wi-Fi version and one with Wi-Fi and WiMax that the company plans to begin selling next month

Research In Motion (RIM) announced plans for two new versions of its PlayBook tablet at the World Mobile Congress on Monday -- although it hasn't even begun selling the two models it has already announced. PlayBooks for LTE (Long-Term Evolution) and 3G HSPA+ networks and will go on sale by the end of year, joining the Wi-Fi and WiMax models that RIM plans to begin selling next month.

Both of the devices announced Monday will also support Bluetooth tethering, connection to mobile hotspots via smartphones or other portable devices acting as a Wi-Fi hotspots, and BlackBerry Bridge, which is software that allows use of features such as Messenger and E-mail from a BlackBerry Device on a PlayBook.

RIM didn't say which network operators will support the new models.

RIM still hasn't released two other PlayBooks models, one that supports Wi-Fi and another with Wi-Fi and WiMax. In December, the company said it was still working on optimizing battery life for the PlayBook, and during the company's Dec. 16 earnings call, RIM executives said the PlayBook would not go on sale until the end of next month.

In other announcements, RIM said it is expanding its BlackBerry App World to 27 new countries and areas. The store has applications for devices with a trackball, trackpad or touch screen using its 4.5 operating system or higher.

The countries and areas are Azerbaijan, Botswana Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, French Guyana, Greece, Guadeloupe, Hungary, Iceland, Kenya, La Réunion, Latvia, Macedonia, Malta, Martinique, Nigeria, Norway, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Tanzania.

RIM is also making plans for BlackBerry App World that will allow subscribers to buy airtime, applications and other services for another subscriber on their prepaid or post-paid accounts. The mobile gifting platform will use BlackBerry Messenger, which will be integrated into operator and App World billing systems, RIM said. The company didn't say when it will be available.

In other news, RIM said Telefónica will begin billing customers for applications from App World, directly on their mobile phone bill, saving users from needing to enter billing information via the App World portal. Telefónica owns brands such as O2 in the U.K. and has 280 million customers in 25 countries, making it a major presence in Europe and Latin America.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MWCresearch in motionconsumer electronicsHandhelds / PDAs

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?