Research In Mot (RIM) ion on Thursday unveiled the newest version of its tablet, a 4G LTE equipped version of the BlackBerry PlayBook.
Although the newest BlackBerry PlayBook appears the same as the old version, it packs some upgraded features RIM boasts of.
Headlining these new features of the new BlackBerry PlayBook is its 4G capability. The struggling smartphones and tablets manufacturer says that its new tablet is equipped with LTE and HSPA+.
Other changes come in the form of a new dual-core CPU which ups the clock from the 1GHz of the previous BlackBerry PlayBook to 1.5GHz. The newly-refreshed tablet is also powered by the BlackBerry OS 2 mobile operating system.
RIM has confirmed earlier this year that the original BlackBerry PlayBook will be getting the BB10 OS update so this new version of the tablet will likely also get the BlackBerry 10 OS (BB10) update some time later.
“We’ve said publicly a number of times that our first BB10 handset will be available towards the end of 2012, and that’s still firmly the case,” RIM VP of Product Management Rob Orr told TechRadar back in March.
“At some point after the launch we’ll bring BB10 to our PlayBooks, yes,” he confirmed.
RIM EVP for Mobile Computing David J. Smith said in a statement that the company is “excited to bring customers the first BlackBerry PlayBook tablet with support for 4G LTE networks.”
“The new 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook offers a broad range of premium features, including a stunning 7 inch display, front and rear facing HD video cameras, HDMI out and stereo speakers, and it also offers premium performance on high speed cellular networks, helping customers to be more productive than ever and to make the most of their time on the go,” he added.
The company has a lot riding on its new devices as it recently posted its first net loss in eight years during the first quarter of the year.
This loss was despite revenue of $2.8 billion during the quarter. The company’s profit for the first quarter of 2011, by comparison, was $609 million.
Aside from a $518-million net loss, RIM also said in June that it was delaying the BB10 OS launch and will be cutting 5,000 jobs out of a roster of 16,500 employees.
“Our first-quarter results reflect the market challenges I have outlined since my appointment as CEO at the end of January. I am not satisfied with these results and continue to work aggressively with all areas of the organization,” RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said then.
However, the CEO has been adamant that the company is fine.
Just last month, Heins was quoted in an interview with the Metro Morning radio show of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp saying: “There’s nothing wrong with the company as it exists right now.”
“I’m not talking about the company as I, kind of, took it over six months ago. I’m talking about the company (in the) state it’s in right now,” he said then.
“This company is not ignoring the world out there, nor is it in a death spiral,” he said.
He explained that the company is just hitting a rough patch because of a transition. “Yes, it is very, very challenged at the moment — specifically in the U.S. market. The way I would describe it: we’re in the middle of a transition,” he said.
However, he remained upbeat about the company’s future. “I’m positive we will emerge successfully from that transition,” he said.
This is despite the losses of the company, which we’ve mentioned earlier, and the continuous exodus of its high-level management team.
Meanwhile, RIM says that the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will come with 32GB of memory storage and will be available from Bell, Rogers and TELUS in Canada on August 9, 2012.
The US, Europe, South Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean will also get the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook sometime later.