updated 06:20 pm EDT, Thu September 30, 2010
Verizon roadmap details Moto tablet, axes Storm3
A more detailed Verizon roadmap has surfaced today that not only provides more color for its tablet and smartphone plans but suggests trouble for RIM. The Motorola Stingray tablet was supposedly verified as real by the Engadget source and should be a 10-inch, Android 3.0 flagship device running on a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 and 16GB of storage. Unusually, it would only ship with 3G but would be "hardware upgradeable to LTE" for 4G, presumably through a card or a USB modem.
As mentioned by Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha, the tablet wouldn't ship until early 2011.
In spite of recent leaks, though, the third version of Verizon's one-time halo phone, the BlackBerry Storm3 is also listed as having been cancelled. No reasons have been given as to why it was axed, but the update would have been extremely conservative and primarily added BlackBerry 6 and a five-megapixel camera. The original Storm was conceived as a deliberate iPhone rival but had its sales quickly peter out after complaints about the click-down screen and aging OS. Verizon turned its attention to Android in 2009 and is suspected of intentionally snubbing RIM. It unveiled the Droid at the same time as the Storm2 but gave Motorola's phone much more publicity.
Other devices on the roadmap are more known quantities and include the just-revealed Samsung Continuum, a dual-screen Android phone that will now ship in late October. Also coming are the Motorola Venus, a BlackBerry-like Android phone with CDMA and GSM due the same month; the Droid Pro or Droid 2 World Edition, which may have a 1.3GHz processor and ship in late October or early November; the HTC Merge, a 1GHz Android QWERTY slider with a similar shipping timeframe; and the LG enV Pro, the first Android-based enV phone and a 1GHz upgrade to the enV Touch that should be ready in November.
Data-only devices will start with the ZTE-made FiveSpot 3G pocket router in October. LTE-based 4G will get an aggressive launch with USB modems from LG, Pantech and Novatel in November and a Novatel MiFi router with 4G sometime later.
The launches virtually confirm Verizon's short-term commitment to Android in spite of CDMA iPhone plans and also hint that the 4G launch should be ready in or near November. Verizon is so far being cautious around tablets and has only the Samsung Galaxy Tab as its first official slate.