Update: 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook launching July 31st, will retail for $550

Ian Hardy

July 23, 2012 3:45 pm


Here it is! The much talked about launch of RIM’s 4G LTE-enabled BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is upon us. This tablet was originally announced back at Mobile World Congress in 2011, but subsequently delayed. Over the course of the past number of months there were hints that the tablet existed as leaked images surfaced online. We have been informed that the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook will be launching via Bell, and probably other Canadian carriers, on Tuesday, July 31st, 2012. According to the internal Bell document we received it shows the price will be $549.95 outright.

As for the specs, we have those too: 7-inch display with a resolution of 1024 x 600, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 4G LTE (and HSPA+), OS 2.0, 1GB RAM, 5MP rear camera that shoots 1080p HD videos, 3MP front-facing camera, 4800 mAh battery and will only come in a 32GB version. Overall dimensions are 130 x 193 x 9.7mm and weighs in at 425 grams.

Was it worth the wait?

Update: Not sure what’s happening here. Bell has removed the 4G LTE PlayBook from their internal system. Hopefully the date still sticks.

(Thanks tipster!)

  • Richard Singh

    Ouch! Too expensive! With developers apparently jumping ship I don’t think it will be competitive enough at this price point.

    • Ryan

      Developers aren’t jumping ship, but I do agree that it is too expensive. If the WiFi-only is $200, the LTE shouldn’t be more than $300 (for 16GB models).

    • Theywillbepissed

      It took them 2 years to put an lte radio in the playbook? Rim is so screwed…

    • LOL

      Ha!
      A Playbook for $550??
      Is that Pesos Rubles or coca-cola caps?

    • LOL

      Let’s recap:
      The current PB that DOESN”T Have BBM: DOESN”T sell at $150.

      So they put an LTE radio that sucks more battery and price it at $550??

      You can’t make s#$%t like that!!
      RIM at $6.86….

      1-Some people say that PB has BB10; if that was true why don’t they just release the BB10 phone next week??
      2-If the PB has BB10; then there is nothing to be impressed about
      3-Why do they keep releasing ANYTHING that is not BB10?

    • LOL

      The PB LTE will come out next week for:
      $550 MSRP (Most Stupid Retail Price!)

    • REAPER

      Jokes!!!

      RIM is sooooooooooooooooooo dead!

      COME!!!!!!!!

      Let us poop, drink, strip, munch sludge and dance on RIM-boy-layahs Graviola!!!

    • Dave

      This is a price error, supposed to be $55. LMAOTF

    • poppoo

      No bbm lol

    • Reginald

      waiting for the fire sale at $99 when they close shop and go bankrupt. Then I will buy one for $99 and use it as a coaster.

  • jva9

    400 extra dollars for LTE and a cool camera.

    • Sean

      The wifi version includes the same cameras

    • SAMB

      $550 FOR WHAT ???? 4G LTE? RIM IS STUPID, WHY WE DON’T BUY THE NEXUS 7?

  • Fish

    Guess they didn’t learn anything from the wifi version and it’s pricing scheme. Should be $400 or less for the 32GB.

  • LeavingBlackBerryforGood

    Why bother? lol

  • Brian

    $550 is just MSRP; let’s wait to see what the contract pricing is!

    • BB

      Considering the little picture up top doesn’t have a price I would assume that we can’t be 100% that the pricing Ian added to this article is entirely correct or he would have shown that as well. Relax everyone.

  • ReallyRIM?

    $550 when the Nexus 7 is $200? I really want RIM to succeed but this is a big fail.

    • Mike

      Apples and oranges.
      One is wifi only and the other has LTE.

    • briggs

      to be fair, the playbook probably won’t fall apart on you. You might hate the OS, but the device itself will be indestructible. The nexus 7, on the other hand…Well, I’ll wait for version 2.

    • Mika

      The Nexus is a 7in wifi tablet. RIM already has one last year. This is the LTE tablet. You need to pay attention sometime ;)

  • Mark

    Why are RIM still working on the Playbook???!!!

    Drop it already!! Concentrate on BB 10, not an almost 18 month old piece of hardware that NO ONE BOUGHT THE FIRST TIME!

    • BB Rocks!

      The PlayBook is BB10, you ignorant prick!

  • Mike

    Let’s see how long this $550 price will last.

  • Plazmic

    Unfortunately, it’s not going to be a “blockbuster” in regards to sales. I’m sure there are a few corporate account that will buy this though.

  • metoo

    This is a mistake. Why would anyone buy this for $550 when they can get a Nexus 7 beta tablet for $200? Seriously, who do they think will buy this? Apple fans won’t leave and Android users won’t spend, so that leaves the few remaining BB users to be their audience.

    RIM needs to have learned from the Playbook fiasco and the Android tablet implosion: rebuild your core, that is your phones. Everything else is an expensive experiment and a waste of shrinking resources.

    • SAMB

      HAY I WAS AN APPLE FAN BUT I LEFT THEM!!! 10 OTHER OF MY FRIENDS DID THE SAME NOW THEY ALL HAVE ANDROID SMARTPHONES AND TABLETS

    • metoo

      no they didn’t.

    • BB

      metoo by any chance are you an apple fan? you always say android users don’t spend, but how is android doing so well then? As well for everyone else knocking the playbook, if its such a crappy device why is apple and samsung creating 7 inch tablets all of a sudden???????

  • Danifunker

    LOL. Why even release it? They are like 18 months late to the tablet game, the Google tablet is $200, but lacks connectivity, overall is a much better device.

    RIM is at it doing it’s old tricks again. Repackaging their old technology with one new bling piece and selling it for mad $$$. Honestly, this is the end. I don’t think they will be able to sell any at that price.

    • russ

      “RIM is at it doing it’s old tricks again. Repackaging their old technology with one new bling piece and selling it for mad $$$.”

      Actually that’s classic Apple. How dated is the actual hardware on their phone now? No LTE, no NFC, woo hoo – add an 8 meg camera and a faster processor and “spin” it for all its worth.

      Just saying – you can’t objectively only hammer RIM for “repackaging old technology”.

  • everythingsablur

    Dear RIM, 2011 called and said you’re a year late on this one (when it could have meant something).

    Hugs and kisses,
    Former RIM Employee.

    PS: Did you accidentally layoff the guy who was supposed to send this PR out for July 31, 2011?

    • Georgemck

      Seems pretty fair for a product that actually has quality security and mobile Internet.

      Too bad Android developers are experiencing piracy and iOS developers are experiencing software theft, too.

      But I guess if you don’t think about your average app developer making a living, then it’s okay not to have a competitive technology like this in the marketplace.

  • RIM_RIP

    Orrrr we cant wait for 2-3 months and get this for 150$.

  • Andrew Goldenberg

    Dear RIM,

    Not sure if you noticed, but nobody cared about your tablet the first go around.

    Now you’re adding LTE and hoping to god that will sell all those extra boards you had laying around?

    Unfortunately your platform is crap, and nobody is building for it and without them, this tablet will be a massive flop as well.

    Good luck trying to keep your ship afloat for BB10.

    Seems to me like you’re dead in the water.

    Sincerely,

    Disappointed former RIM fan.

    • hoo dat

      Dear Andrew Goldenberg,

      Not too sure if you noticed by the PlayBook is the second best selling tablet on the market (20% heads and shoulders about the next 2 selling tablets at 5% & 6%) helping to eat away at Apple’s once seemingly insurmountable lead (a drop from ~85% to 52%). While I agree the pricing is heavy, we’ve only seen rumours coming out of Bell and not RIM making them virtually meaningless. Besides, with the proliferation of WiFi and phone connectivity, who really needs a connected tablet anyway?

  • Matt

    Was looking forward to picking up one of the 4G PlayBooks but $550 is way to expensive. If it was $200 less sure, but at that price I’ll stick with my Wi-fi only PlayBook for now.

  • Apple Sales Guy

    Oh dear…

  • DanoLostTheGame

    If the carriers are selling it, it’ll probably heavily subsidized; 0-99$ on contract

    • Andrew Goldenberg

      and people still won’t buy them

    • metoo

      Actually, that is a good point. Tablets just are not selling without a subsidy (iPad being the exception). The Nexus 7 is a perfect example. Make it cheap, even with trade offs (poor build quality in the Nexus, hypothetical contract with the carriers for the BB) and people will buy.

  • Big Ang

    Silly RIM, Silly Bell, but even sillier are the people that will buy this.

    This is just another case of the telco super-inflating the price of a device, just so they can brag about how much of a discount they will give you when you sign a 3 year contract.

    Of course, if you break the contract, you’ll be on the hook for the remaining subsidy that Bell claims to have given you.

    These 3 year contracts are horrible. Example – if you bought a Palm Pre on the VERY FIRST DAY that Bell started selling it, you would STILL BE UNDER CONTRACT!!! Look at what happened to Palm in that time period! Anyone think that the current-gen Playbook will be any less relevant 3 years from now than an original Palm Pre is today?

    Even the most hardcore Blackberry fan should avoid this. Seriously, your current generation Blackberry (or most any phone) should have the ability to act as a WiFi hotspot, so you shouldn’t need a separate data plan. Yeah, it’s more convenient with the cellular modem built in, but it’s not worth $350 upfront PLUS the additional monthly cellular bills.

    • meghead

      Exactly! I have a Galaxy Nexus in my pocket at all times. Using it as a hotspot I can “share” my data plan with any other wifi device. It basically becomes my Personal Area Network internet gateway.

      Why would I want to commit to a second data plan and give the Telco even more money for not using all the data I’m entitled to a second time? Multiple SIM cards/data plans makes absoutely no sense and anyone who does this is playing into the hands of greedy telcos.

      I managed to pick up a Nexus 7 on the weekend and so far I’m enjoying it and will probably end up keeping it. For $259 I get everything this new Playbook can do at half the price and no plan to commit to. I win :)

    • Jay

      Wow. Suprised at at that price but you have to realize bell has probably market it up by $200. I was going to buy an ipad but after doing some research I started to look at the Asus. Was not really happy with the quality of it.. I looked at pb I decided for $200 can’t loose. Wow really glad I went this way.. The play book is awesome. It does every thing I wanted and more.. The Web browser is fast and loads every Page.. The email works good as does the video chat. I really don’t know what every one is crying about no apps. There are tons of apps. And with the os 2.1 update the android apps run on there own. Really all said and done the 7 in screen is perfect I love the adaptive touch screen and bezel. Totally worth the purchase..

  • Ron Mexico

    What is this RIM company Mobilesyrup keeps reporting on? Are they like that Palm company?

  • haxor99

    Hope they didn’t make too many…lol

  • Kevin Sutton

    All LTE tablets are unusually expensive. The HTC Flyer and the Samsung Galaxy Tab you can get through the mobile carriers are similarly expensive. If you want mobile connectivity on your tablet, be prepared to pay mobile phone prices.

    • Kevin Sutton

      In fact, on Rogers’ website right now, the HTC Flyer and Galaxy Tab go for 800 and 650 off contract. This item would be far CHEAPER than the other mobile tablets, not more expensive.

    • Tminus

      And… The htc flyer wifi is 180$ on amazon.com used like new condition. Picked one up before the nexus 7 announcement. Pretty sweet tablet for a single core. Unfortunately its cursed with Htc’s terrible software support. Thank god for xda

  • andy c

    seriously rim? was it too expensive to re price the existing documention for this thing?

    for the same price you can get a wifi only playbook and a NEW galaxy nexus to tether the playbook too.

    a mifi is still cheaper.

  • lisztomania

    RIM is not listening to consumers. With this price I could buy an iPad or a 2 Nexus 7s. The success of the Nexus 7 already tells you that consumers are willing to forego a camera and a mobile connection for a reduced price. Add the fact that playbook has no decent apps, the tablet is nothing but an e-reader on steroids. This tablet will just not fly. DON’T DO IT RIM. I’ts just gonna end up on sale and loss. I honest don’t know who will buy this.

  • bob

    an other RIM, an other fail.

  • Mischa Price

    YAY THIS IS GREAT!!!!

    now this can speed up their inevitabale demise

  • RICKYB

    Nexus 7 – 209.95
    Kindle Fire – 199.95
    Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 – 249.95

    These are 3 tablets off hand that are comparable spec wise and cost significantly less. I am aware however that none of these above have LTE but is that really worth over twice the amount? Maybe RIM fans will jump all over this but I would not be able to rationalize this purchase when better tablets exist, with a more “complete” OS.

  • russ

    There’s no way I’ll compare this to the Nexus 7 or its price point. However, that said, its overpriced. Its an EXTREMELY limited market who will buy this at that price point. Corporate only really – and even those will likely rethink it given they probably already have a BB to tethering to. Sigh – it makes me sad. Time will tell, but I myself see this as another bad move by RIM. Hell with LTE capability, they should move over to the cloud model – why pay for internal storage when you’ve got connectivity built in. They should have done a 8GB model for $250 and a 64 GB model for $550. Nothing in between.

    Dome on RIM – I want to see BB10 come to fruition. Keep it together until then – please.

    Think about it

  • Apple Sales Guy

    It is sad and strange to see this much negativity when a product launch/release is announced.

    With apple product announcements we see nothing but happiness and positivity.

    One day we hope other brands can see and feel that kind of consumer excitement created by their own products.
    But I guess if we keep making the best stuff, they won’t get that chance….

    Oh well, hehe ;)

  • Vengefulspirit99

    Not sure how that having lte makes a difference on a tablet. People who have a tablet normally have phones that can tether

  • LC

    In the end the Off Contract price won’t be the price that people pay. The promo contract price is what is important.

    Rogers has 2 tablets on their roster, the Samsung Tab 8.9 for $649.99(16 GB) and the HTC Jet for $799.99 (32GB). Those are the off contract prices.

    Ipad 3 with LTE and 32 GB is $749.99 outright (no promo price)

    The Playbook with 32 GB at $550 is actually a good price when compared to these. which would probably put the on contract price to 100ish I’m guessing.

    • ukrainian fob

      did you ever own PLaybook? I have one at home that is collecting dust, because it’s junk.

      New and improved front facing camera – WOW, for what that I can talk to no one (no skype), or wait I can take pistures of my face. Yep I need that :-). junk junk junk!

    • RICKYB

      You are comparing a 7 inch tablet to much larger ones. It doesn’t really work that way. Also, you chose the most expensive android tablets on the market to make a very skewed point. In the 7 inch tablet market, this is way overpriced and will not be competitive to consumers. (Maybe corporate???)

    • R.Dot

      This. The subsidized price will be a lot lower. My guess is $50 on a 3-year. Nothing to act surprised about or get butthurt over people.

  • rei

    Can’t wait for these to fill the landfills.

  • ukrainian fob

    Funny funny RIM. They valued it’s briadge software at $300+ per unit. Good job! The stock is just going to triple tomorrow. NOT!

  • jansen

    i paid 560 for 15gb wifi i will not fall in RIMs trap again. ipad mini.

    no upgrade in specs just a lte card slow that u have to pay for.

  • Jarvis

    @RICKYB

    You realize that it costs more to pack equal or similar power into a smaller package, right?

  • nutcracker

    Wow.
    Everyone seems to know a thing about making successful tabs here.
    How come only Apple seem to be making money off them?

    • Abdalfatah

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  • Markus Bell

    So many ignorant comments on this thread – it’s actually embarrassing. Comparing this product to a 7″ android wifi tablet? Is that a joke? Bashing the MSRP? Yeah, because we all know how often these items are sold at MSRP. Get serious. The playbook was an extraordinarily well-made device. The o/s is exceptional. This 32GB model with LTE fills an important niche. When compared to the ipad, playbook has not sold well, but compared to all other tablets, it has done relatively well (though it cost RIM far too much money, which is a different issue entirely vs. the technology itself). Where’s all the Samsung bashing for how poorly their tablets have sold? This product will likely use EXISTING playbook inventory – which is a very smart way to get rid of the playbook 32GB inventory. Every bit helps.

  • Bill

    Man some of you are i****s. That’s the price without any contract. Just like a cellphone without a 2 yr agreement is sky high. All you rimm bashers are either i****s or on drugs.

  • Vengefulspirit99

    All these people defending rim need to open their eyes. If their s**t was so good, they wouldn’t be in the s**t hole right now

  • Sean

    I have a 32 GB Playbook and it’s great for watching movies on, when I travel, but the OS sucks balls. I’ve had it for 5 months because I couldn’t afford an iPad at the time and wanted to stop carrying my laptop on business trips. Bad mistake.

    Yesterday I picked up an iPad 2,4 for $369 (new) at a store here in Hawaii. I’ll be selling the POS Playbook when I get home. RIM has signed their death warrant with this pricing. For those saying it comes with BB10….the screenshot above, clearly show it comes with OS 2.0

  • PosterAnonymous

    Good luck with that there, Chief…

  • Informer

    Garbage. $200 overpriced, 1 year too late.

  • DenDen

    I used my buddies playbook for a week and was pleasantly surprised. I have a tab 10.1 and thought the playbook outperformed it. I don’t know about now, since I have CM9 on it, but stock for stock definitely beat out my tablet.

    The 7″ size was also perfect, it could fit in my pocket which was great! Way to pioneer the size RIMM. Good call. The feel of the tablet felt very sturdy and we’ll built. The gestures are also very intuitive.

    I bet when apple comes out with a 7″ tablet in 2 years from now they will claim THEY were the first.

    I hope the tablet does well, if mine craps out, I just might grab an unsubsidized playbook and share it with my phone’s data plan.

  • Cell Hell

    Underwhelming specs. Especially the screen resolution and the price.

    I’d like to see Blackberry doing well but for that to happen they have to be ahead of the curve not well behind it.

  • Daniel

    It seems that people forget that how expensive those products are to make. This products are for those who want them and are willing to pay. If you are not willing to pay stop all this negative comments, no body is interested in that. The sad thing is all those with negative comments have nothing to offer.

  • Darren

    Of all the things RIM needed to do after their recent crucifixion in and by the media, releasing a 4G PlayBook should have been last on the list. I own a wi-fi Playbook, and based on that experience alone, won’t be buying anything else from RIM unless BB10 delivers in spades.

  • Alx886

    Why do they even bother where do they find the geniuses that come up with these prices, the tablet isn’t selling too bad @ 200 why would you jack up the price, RIM deserves everything they get. They are just stupid.

  • Krom

    $550 ? Are they crazy ?

  • MaXiM

    I cannot understand why people who never used or touched a Blackberry (except maybe a low cost Curve or those slimy dummy phones at the mall kiosks) are bashing them like crazy. I owned one of the lest succesful of their phone (Storm I) and, even now, I miss it. The quality of the materials and workmanship helped that phone to work for 4 years in the row, with the battery still holding for 2 whole days. Never had an issue with messaging, posting pics on facebook or finding my way around on their FREE, built in software, with periodic updates. Right now I own a oh-so-hyped SIII and I cannot say but I wait for the new BB10 phone to be out. BBOS 5.0 was WAY more stable, usable and mostly SECURE than Android will ever be. Their advertising is true – if you need a tool, get a Blackberry Bold. If you need a toy – you have so much to choose from.
    The only explanation for the lack of support for Blackberry on this kind of forums is one – the adults are busy working and making money while kids are lingering online complaining how uncool is to mow the lawn or to do their homeworks. And, yeah, how uncool the Blackberry is.

    • Manny

      Sorry to break it to you but that may be your experience. I manage over 400 of these things and over the year I’ve had to RMA over 20% of them because of poor workmanship, last year we rolled out the 9780, about 300 of them, at this point i’m deathly afraid that units are going to go out of warranty for this issue. If you’re wondering what the issue is, they white screen because the ribbon wraps around the motherboard and hooks on the back and over time with usage, it becomes worn and stops working.

      I used to be a huge Blackberry supporter but they can only let you down so many times, I’ve had a playbook and quite frankly I don’t think they’re too bad, well built, probably the best web browsing experience on a mobile device, but @ 200 not at $550.00, as for carrier subsidies, that doesn’t even make sense, why would you pay for a seperate data plan for this thing when most people can tether for no additional cost. It’s a good way to get rid of old stock but they should have waited and used the same stock to make a BB10 tablet instead of giving this another go, bad move, I hope someone who matters at RIM is reading all these comments.

  • Dustin

    Would have like to have seen them utilize it’s massive over-sized bezel. An 8″ display could have been used without increasing the dimensions.

    $550 is ludicrous since the size, weight, display, battery, RAM and camera are all the same aka recycled from a tablet that didn’t sell well the first go around. The only upgrade’s in 2 years are 4G and a bigger chip, and of course a trippling of the price. NOT WORTH IT.

  • Bell

    you can get a nexus for 200. An lte that drains battery a lot more with no bbm. or how about the samsung lte devices. no thanks. never will buy another blackberry product again

  • ARYANA

    I can’t wait to get a hold of one soon :D

  • Biwa

    Where is the fail? it’s LTE version. Majority sales will do with carrier subvention with data plan offer. i think lot offer appear for this device at 99$ plus data plan… trust me :)

  • $ 99 Fire sale for the older PB’s

    Waiting fr the $ 99 fire sae on the older PB’s when this comes out. Won’t buy the new one but will pick up the older ones if they go for 99 epecially the 16 Gb one.

  • Inca

    @hoo dat – the only reason playbooks still sell is because they’re priced ridiculously cheap. Almost anything will sell sub $200. The only reason they started selling is because of the massive discounts and they’re still not selling anywhere near quick enough. Now with Asus and soon Acer, and a little later Apple entering the 7″ segment expect a very swift extinction of playbook sales unless RIM drop the price to sub $150 and take a hefty loss. I’m talking Wifi only right now.

    RIMs problem sadly is that it will not be able to retain tablet customers due to a non-existent app store. Ill conceived android marketplace integration, no BBM and pretty much nothing that makes this appealing even to corporate BB users.

    @RIM – good luck with that. I know you’re under pressure to launch something this year but personally you would have gained more share writing off losses on the wifi playbook @ $100 than launching an LTE tablet and expecting it to sell well.

  • arcsvibe

    I really want RIM to succeed but feel that this tablet is overpriced. And to the person who commented about the original PB’s market share? I am pretty sure it was due to the enormous price drop, not when they first came out.

    Come on RIM!

  • IveGivenUp

    k, lol.. read the last line you can read in the picture “O.S 2.0″… are you kidding me right now?? you wasted 2 years to be able to add LTE to the tablet and boosted the processor a little and market it like a new product… RIP RIM… RIFP!

  • KNLHD

    Hopefully we can get this 4G LTE PlayBook for $300-$350 after a few weeks of the release! There shouldn’t be a big price difference between the wifi version (only $200) and this new 4G LTE version!

    • Antonio

      Your honesty is like a beoacn

  • Grant

    As it is, when given the option most customers buy the wifi-only versions of the current tablets on the market. Out of the small minority who actually do want a tablet that does both, does RIM seriously think that they can sell them a Playbook at $500? Not only is RIM trying to enter a niche market, but they are completely failing to compete in it, bringing in an inferior product at a premium price.

  • sickpuppy

    I say $399 it’d have a chance …….maybe

  • Skibaron

    All the RIM bashers always out, you must all be getting paid by apple.

    First there is no 16GB model anymore, so doubting they will have one here.
    Also the playbook has BBM, for whoever said that BS.

    The playbook on the market now at the current price of $299 for a 64GB is the best deal out there for a tablet.
    I may buy one more before they are gone.

    The playbook is a great tablet. Fast and the battery lasts forever. The OS 2 upgrade fixed all the stuff people were complaining about. Plus it is far sturdier and easier to use than an iPad.

    The other difference here I believe is the new playbook has a 1.5GB processor instead of 1GB on the current PB.
    There is thousands of apps because android apps are available now.

    If this is true LTE, then along with the horsepower the price is not that bad. Assuming an OS upgrade over today, it should be a nice unit.

    Mobile hotspots and tethering are fine but they are slow and inconsistent. Many carriers block or charge for this functionality anyway.
    In a mobile situation, specifically in a vehicle, having an LTE playbook would give you a much better experience.

    Hopefully, you can do it the other way around and use the playbook as a hotspot and give those in your car free wifi.
    Think out of the box.

    I want one.

  • Tim

    As long as they don’t make too many of them, they can hold off on the discounting. Should be able to pick one up for $100 + data plan, depending on the plan.
    Last time they had too many in stock and had to dump them. This time they are only producing one instead of 3 different types.
    I think if you are looking forward to the new ecosystem, you can buy the Playbook now and have it upgraded in the first part of next year. May as well get the use out of the hardware now.

  • Daniel AJ

    The 31st of July has come and gone – no LTE PlayBook at Bell. :-(