PlayBook 4G left without any major carrier in the US
The third largest mobile provider in the US, Sprint Nextel has said that it has scrapped plans to offer the BlackBerry 4G PlayBook.
Sprint said that the company has cancelled its earlier plans to offer Research In Motion’s (RIM’s) PlayBook for its LTE hi-speed 4G service, citing low demand.
"We apologize for any inconvenience but the BlackBerry 4G PlayBook tablet that was announced in January for summer availability will no longer be coming to the Sprint network," the company said.
The move will leave RIM’s PlayBook without any carrier in the US, as other carriers Verizon and AT&T have not evinced any interest in the product. But one can connect the device to the Internet through Wi-Fi or by tethering the tablet over BlackBerry Bridge.
RIM is struggling to compete against the number one player in the smartphone market Apple. RIM has slid to the fourth position behind Apple, Samsung and Nokia.
RIM has struggled in recent years to compete with Apple and Android mobile devices. Although shipmments have grown, the company has failed to meet its own targets and is not performing as well as rivals in the booming smartphone space.
Its PlayBook tablet – designed as a rival to Apple’s iPad – has met with generally negative reviews and slow sales. The company had to recall about 1,000 PlayBook tablet computersin May because of a glitch in the operating system.
RIM had earlier said that moving to the tablet market was a defining moment for the company.
In Jaunary, RIM and Sprint had said that they planned to launch a new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet model featuring connectivity to the Sprint 4G network.
The BlackBerry 4G PlayBook will be the first BlackBerry PlayBook model to include wide area wireless connectivity, featuring Sprint 4G to give customers download speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G.
RIM president and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis had said earlier that the company believes a significant portion of the tablet market would want a higher performing, multitasking, professional-grade tablet and that is why they chose to design the BlackBerry PlayBook for premium performance with a dual-core processor and multitasking OS.
"Together with Sprint, we are now building on that performance advantage with 4G and providing an unparalleled mobile experience for users," Lazaridis had said.