Waaaay back at CES in January, Sprint and RIM announced that they were cooking up a version of the BlackBerry Playbook that played friendly with Sprint’s 4G network. And then… nothing. Months went by, with nary a mention from either of the companies involved.
Alas, it looks like the Sprint 4G Playbook will be buried before it’s even born. Blaming a “lack of demand from business customers” (read: everybody who wants a tablet right now probably already has an iPad or a Xoom), Sprint has killed off plans to launch the device.
It’s unclear whether or not RIM will go on to sell a Sprint-friendly version of the tablet themselves, though it seems rather unlikely. Selling CDMA phones without the carrier’s support is tough enough — but an ultra niche object like a half-baked enterprise-focused tablet? Blyeck.
As the Wall Street Journal points out, this.. isn’t good news for RIM. Sprint was the one major carrier who was willing to back the Playbook — neither AT&T or Verizon wanted to have anything to do with it. While Sprint still offers the WiFi only version of the tablet, it doesn’t seem like they’re planning to stick by the Playbook for much longer. Nail, meet coffin.
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving almost 49 million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2009; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone.