updated 03:50 pm EDT, Tue June 28, 2011
RIM rumored dropping 10in PlayBook to
RIM's rumored 10-inch BlackBerry PlayBook may have already been scrapped to refocus more of RIM's efforts on the company's long-mentioned "superphone" using the same QNX-based OS as the seven-inch tablet. A rumor Tuesday alleges that all work has stopped and that most of the remaining PlayBook focus is on LTE-based 4G PlayBooks, which should ship in October. The N4BB insider didn't know for certain when the phone would ship, but RIM's CEOs have usually put it in early 2012.
The phone in question may be a disappointment if specifications are correct. It would supposedly still use the same single-core, 1.2GHz processor as the Bold 9900 since the dual-core TI OMAP 4430 form the PlayBook might be too battery hungry with RIM's design. Most of the attention would be devoted to the display, which at 4.3 inches across would have a "900+" resolution.
RIM is commonly thought to have diverted engineers to the seven-inch PlayBook in a rush to get an iPad competitor into the market. Critics as a wave of analysts have argued that the move delayed the development of much needed BlackBerry 6 and later 7 phones, leading it to release devices like the Torch and Style using two-year-old processors that were quickly lapped by the iPhone 4 and most Android phones.
The lack of a 10-inch tablet could be a risk for RIM. Even as a seven-inch tablet gives it a distinct feature, the size means developers can't port apps from the iPad or Android 3 without having to reduce the size and possibly strip out features. With the exception of the original Samsung Galaxy Tab, seven-inch tablets also haven't sold well and have been criticized by Apple's CEO as being too close to smartphones with all the interface elements they lose.