RIM outlines next chapter for PlayBook tablet

Research in Motion is adding a pair of new tablets to its PlayBook portfolio – and is rumoured to be working on supporting Android apps.

RIM outlines next chapter for PlayBook tablet

Announced at Mobile World Congress, the two new tablet versions will offer connectivity over LTE and HSPA+. The pair join a fleet that already included Wi-Fi and Wimax only connectivity.

LTE and HSPA+ are far more widely used technologies in the wireless mobile market than Wimax. Although LTE won’t arrive in the UK until next year at the very earliest, HSPDA+ is already making progress as a stepping stone towards 4G services here.


Hands on with the RIM PlayBook

“We are now building on the BlackBerry PlayBook with support for additional 4G networks that will allow enhanced business opportunities for carriers and developers and unparalleled mobile experiences for users,” said Mike Lazaridis, RIM president and co-CEO.

The two new versions are expected to be available in the second half of the year, although pricing has not been announced.

Andoid support

The news follows reports that RIM is likely to offer consumers access to a far wider range of apps by making the QNX-based tablet compatible with Google’s Android platform.

According to Bloomberg, which cited unnamed sources close to the developments, RIM will include software on the device to provide access to Android’s 130,000 apps, which far outnumber the 20,000 tools and toys in RIM’s App World.

The sources claimed that RIM was developing its own software to bridge the platforms rather than use Google’s Dalvik virtual machine – the Java software used for Android apps – fearing the potential fall-out from the patent dispute between Oracle and Google.

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