RIM to launch LTE PlayBook Aug. 9

Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) will start selling the long-awaited LTE version of its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet Aug. 9 in Canada, and will sell it through unnamed U.S. carriers in the "coming months."

BlackBerry LTE PlayBook

LTE-capable BlackBerry PlayBook

RIM said the device will come with 32 GB of storage and will be available from Bell, Rogers and Telus. The BlackBerry maker did not provide a price for the new LTE PlayBook, but said it will also be coming to carriers in Europe, South Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The LTE PlayBook was first announced at Mobile World Congress in 2011, but has not been released to the public. In March, RIM sent PlayBook versions supporting HSPA+ and LTE networks through the FCC's device certification process. RIM said that the new tablet will be able to connect to HSPA+ networks when not using an LTE network.

RIM's PlayBook went on sale last year with only Wi-Fi connectivity and sales never took off, though RIM has said it remains committed to the tablet market. RIM shipped 260,000 PlayBook tablets in its most recent quarter, down from 500,000 in the previous quarter and year-ago period.

The exact specifications for the LTE version of the gadget were not disclosed by RIM, but rumors have suggested it will have a 7-inch display, 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, PlayBook OS 2.0, 1 GB of RAM, a 5-megapixel rear camera that shoots 1080p HD videos, a 3-megapixel front-facing camera and a 4800 mAh battery.

The PlayBook supports BlackBerry Mobile Fusion mobile device management software and includes BlackBerry Balance technology, which allows users to use the tablet for both work and personal purposes by keeping business information secure and separate from personal information.

For more:
- see this release
- see this The Verge article
- see this CNET article

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