4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook launching July 31st for $550?

BlackBerry PlayBook 4G LTE
By Bla1ze on 23 Jul 2012 03:47 pm EDT

It's looking like the wait for the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook may soon be over. Yes, we've been saying that for a while but this time around, there is a little more than normal weight to it. The folks over at Mobile Syrup have come up with a document purportedly showing that launch date as July 31st on Bell and presumably, other carriers as well. In addition to the launch date, specs make an appearance although, not surprising as they've been leaked out before.

  • 1.5GHz dual-core processor
  • 4G LTE with HSPA+
  • 5MP rear camera
  • 3MP front camera
  • 4800 mAh battery
  • 1GB RAM

Oddly, the document makes no mention of NFC but that's appeared numerous times already. At this point, it is noted that it will retail for $550 in a 32GB version but we'll wait and see how concrete that is simply because pre-release documentation has a tendency to change. If it does end up retailing for that, is the 4G LTE something that would be worth the additional costs?

Source: Mobile Syrup

Reader comments

4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook launching July 31st for $550?


$550 is too much. They have to sell at $400 to stay more competitive than everyone else.

also, no mention of sizing?

Remember that $550 is WITHOUT contract. If you buy a contract, factor in maybe $10/month for the "device fee" buried within the contract over 3 years = $360. So theoretically they could offer the $550 Playbook 32gb WITH CONTRACT for $199 or even less.

I got my TORCH 9810 for $0 on a 3-year contract with Rogers. But if I want to buy it WITHOUT CONTRACT it would also cost me around $550... see:


So anticipate perhaps *** FREE *** Blackberry Playbook on a DATA plan, but you may have to pay $60/month for the plan like I do for the phone plan!!!

doesn't help. There are Nexus Tablets on the US market for 200/250 and you can even get an ipad for this price. (Not that I'm a fan of Apple products but if you are objective about the pro's and con's, it have to be mentioned ;) )

I am still happy with my BB. With my mobile hotspot devices (Huawei) I can wait a while longer.

Still $550 is too much when a customer can buy an iPad for few bucks more. I am saying iPad is better, but the general consumers are drawn towards the iPad and the ONLY time I have seen they go for non-iPad if it is for a cheaper price.

This is the reality of the current market at least in Canada as far as I know.

Not true... a new 32gb iPad with 4G is a good amount more:

Apple 32GB iPad 3rd Generation With Wi-Fi & Cellular - Black
Model #: MD367C/A Web Code: 10178793 Release Date:03/16/2012

Our Price:$749.99

However, we are comparing Apples to Blackberries. And we do not have any mention of carrier contract-signing discounts and so on. Really difficult to compare them.... You really need to either WANT an iPad or NOT want an iPad and want to be in a Blackberry universe.

Meanwhile, let Apple and Samsung slay each other while Blackberry ducks under the fight and hopefully rises to the top again.

$550! Holy Balls! That's expensive. I was looking forward to picking one of these up but at that price I'll stick with my Wi-fi only PlayBook.

550?? I really hope that's not true. Plus why would they go with a 550 and not 499 or 399 or something 99-ending. Yeaa I call bs on this report.

Only physical money will have to be rounded up or down to the nearest nickel, non-physical transactions will still go down to the cent.

I got my Playbook for $199 and while a 4G (or any connection other than WiFi) is great, a $350 increase is definitely NOT worth it, especially when the bridge browser, etc. works just fine.

Betting it will be about $399.00 Then I'm in for my 3rd Playbook ffs.

Livin Large on the friendly East Coast.

Exactly. The playbook is hardly moving at 199-299 compared to the compition. And they expect to sell this for 550. I hope this is not the end price. If it is RIM execs are a bunch of morons and can just write of its inventory before it even lunches. With the nexus7 and rumored ipad mini coming out in a few months starting at 200 for wifi and 375 for lte. Rim has no chance in hell selling this at 550, other then to hardcore Rim users.

You could get 3 of them for that price LOL

I picked up the Nexus 7 and gave my kids the Playbook. The Nexus 7 is an awesome tablet.

The Nexus 7 isn't an LTE tablet. If you don't need LTE then the normal PB is cheaper than the Nexus 7. So from a cost perspective (what this article is about) that doesn't make much sense.

If you prefer Android that's fine, everyone is allowed to own whatever they want, but then why are you here?

LTE wouldn't bother me, ill use my phone when out and about. The nexus 7 is worth it, only bad thing is no rear facing camera. I didn't really like android but recently I've grown to like it and 4.1 made me love it! Blackberry just isn't for me anymore.

Gee, I didn't know that the Nexus 7 was LTE? Enjoy the dual camera, oh wait, it doesn't have them. Enjoy being tied to the internet, cause 8GB isn't much space to store anything.

Can't store much with the top of the line 16 GB Nexus 7 either -- few apps, video, music. No wonder RIM discontinued their 16 GB PlayBook. The Nexus only as a lame 1.2 MP front cam. It also costs more than the PlayBook. Folks can pick what they like, but I see more value in the PlayBook.

If I had a 4g blackberry I might seriously think about getting it. I would have just swapped the sim card in and out.

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

Yeah. I expect this to be aimed at carriers to push and not so much outright buys. On contract it will definitely drop a lot.
That is not a lot off contract.
I just thinking would it have cost a lot to bump up the RAM or cram a quad core processor? Then almost a year later it would be a significant tab refresh. I wonder how much difference a 50% processor clock speed increase makes though.

I strongly suspect that with QNX dual 1.5GHz is going to be faster than current quad core. Remember there is only one memory bank in a tablet, so there is no point in having 4 cpus all competing for it. Increasing the clock speed, on the other hand, increases the memory bandwidth.

The whole thing reminds me of when Apple were constantly pushing Mac upgrades which were very expensive but added only a few percent to the performance. There were a few people for whom it was worth it (graphics professionals who did overnight rendering, for instance) but for the majority it was just about boasting, like having the Porsche that can do completely insane speeds rather than the one that can only do insane speeds, even though in reality it will practically never get into three figures.

Although I see your point; the Samsung Tab, HTC Jet, Ipad (and many others) all have one thing in common with them that helps justify the price; a true application ecosystem.

The Playbook does not.

With no offense to RIM, but there is absolutely no way I would recommend dropping $500 on a Playbook without any quality applications for it. There are exceptions to this statement of course, but the mainstream apps that consumers want are non-existent. And it is because of this that I would never recommend spending $500 on the Playbook, i.e., spend a little bit more and get a tablet in which the applications you want are, or will be, available.

Of course, if all you want is a tablet to surf the internet on LTE, then you might be happy. :)

What quality apps are you looking for? More fart apps?? I am happy with quality apps for the Playbook. I am not lacking for what I need.

Bingo hit it right on the money on the lack of ecosystem. Rim has none and they are a solid 18-24 month timeline to even have one let alone a decent one.

Good point.

The Playbook gives you choices and great price points.

WiFi only is cheaper and/or better than equivalent tablets.

Many already are rushing (on this site!) to declare it dead before they even see the full specs.

I'm happy to hear this and I'll be looking for it.


I can't buy a week's supply of groceries for that amount! I wouldn't expect to pay that little for any tablet!

Come on people, get a grip!

If this wasn't so sad, I might have had a good laugh. All the Crackberry addicts, you better get your pre-orders in, because at this pricing it's hard to imagine they'll have any stock left at launch. Way to hit it out of the park Thornsten! On second thought, maybe this is just a publicity tactic to allow Prem Watsa to average down the cost of his share acquisitions. Now that I've got that out of my system, I think I'll have a good cry.

As noted above - I'm certain this is the off contract price. Kevin will get us some quick clarification on this.

If its not, well, then ....

Hmmm...let's see...Currently over 80% of Sprint's subscribers have NO 4G coverage at all...maybe not until next year. $550.00 for a tablet that does not have Netflix, Skype or any really fun apps. I can see in my Crystal Ball, two months after this is released, it will be slashed to $250.00, then three months later $199.00. Tell me, is there still Bestbuys that can sell you a Playbook for $120.00? I just hope RIM dosn't make the huge mistake of releasing BBOS10 for $249.99 during it's 1st 3 months.

"for a tablet that does not have Netflix, Skype or any really fun apps."

Netflix and Skype, okay, granted.

but Any real fun apps? Really? You either don't have a PlayBook or you're a VERY DIFFICULT PERSON TO KEEP ENTERTAINED!!! (which is why I went all caps with you, incase I lost you mid-sentence)

LTE is not worth the extra $350, not even close. Fortunately tethering is at no additional cost in Canada which I can take full advantage of along with my 6GB data. Thanks anyways RIM!

Grow up, that is the off contract price!!!!!! Are all the readers on here today that damn stupid?????? Oye!!!!!!!!!!

550 is way too much for a tablet that most folks outside of BB fans know about. I was thinking of getting the wife a BB playbook but after she saw how long the device took to boot up and the selection of apps she said get me a nexus 7 tablet. RIM my household has gone from 5 BB down to 2 the prices have to be way cheaper if you want folks to buy this.

I'm a BlackBerry supporter but this is too much. $550 is just too much. If the 32GB Wifi model is $250 then this one should be $350. I has a 0.5GHz increase and LTE, $100 is justified.

Still no mention of BBM, if it had BBM then okay, $400, but $350 tops.

Completely agree. This thing will collect dust on the shelves at that price. Not that I would buy one anyways as I can tether for free and I already own 3 PlayBooks anyways!

If RIM would say "it comes with BBM" all hell would break loose and I can see people buying at $500. Please RIM schock us all!

If RIM would say "it comes with BBM" all hell would break loose and I can see people buying at $500. Please RIM schock us all!

Clearly when we're dealing with a product which has 4G / a radio connection, the only people responsible for pricing the unit, and I mean THE ONLY PEOPLE that can decide, are in fact those at RIM. Pff, I mean, who else could have the authority to decide on this? No one! Duhh!!


IF RIM knows whats good for them ! they sell the PB2 @ $199 and possibly make record sales that $500 is laughable at this point.

Yep I'm waiting the fire sale. Those must be the corporate prices or the wrong prices someone tell rim that the 7inch tablet game has been taken over by he two hundred to three hundred price range

On a completely unrelated note Bell Mobility is exactly like Pedobear, except they don't restrict their victims to only children. Oh, also, they're not cute and cuddly like a plush bear, but revolting like someone who swears that feces is the only way to protect themselves against the harmful rays of the sun. Also, they can't count and don't understand logic.

Bell FTW!

What, other than the 4G network, is there to look forward to on this new Playbook? Is it going to release with the current playbook os? I'm still kinda clueless about what to expect from the OS as BB10 is due out in Jan. What is RIM up to???

The processor is faster and it will have NFC. Besides its only a leak and we don't have all the details anyway. Chill

For all those people criticising the price of $550, they are completely missing the point, this playbook is clearly intended to be sold by carriers on a contract and not as a standalone price and in those cases the headline price is hidden within the overall contract as always.

In the US, Verizon just got rid of subsidized pricing for tablets. All are now sold at retail and the other carriers will follow soon.

Under the new plans - tablets will be able to be added to the Data buckets at $10, at least on AT&T and I think on Verizon as well. As such there won't be any incentive for the carriers to subsidize tablets as they don't make any real money on them over the course of a year, and that's probably why Verizon made that change. In addition, AT&T will allow free tethering with the data buckets. You will be able to use your phone for free as a hot spot then, again further taking away the incentive to own a tablet that has it's own access. It will be hard to justify the premium over the WiFi for individuals, I don't know about possible benefits Enterprise might find.

I think the playbook is poised to do well in the enterprise. But they need to get this version out asap before companies get to their contract renewal dates..

Lots of companies are getting cloud services and the playbook is the best tablet out there in terms of enterprise security and remote management aka fusion server. And the fusion server makes administration of the devices a breeze and the network admin employees of these companies like that. So when it comes time to suggest a cloud strategy to upper management, they will recommend staying with blackberry for mobile devices.

I think the 4G playbook may surprise because of its head start in the enterprise.

Maybe Enterprise will be surprised that RIM is still making the PlayBook??

Not sure what you meant... I doubt that all those corporate customers that have been using the iPad for a couple of years now will even notice. Security and manageability aside, they aren't going to ditch the devices that they are already using and that they have built customized apps for to meet their needs.

You are mostly right. RIM devices have better security and network administrators might recommend RIM. That being the case it is obvious by now that upper management - who make the decision - does not care in most cases about the IT recommendations. I personally believe if the new playbook comes with its own BBM PIN it would greatly increase the chances of succeeding at selling well. At $550 I just do no see it going anywhere.

When I bought an LTE enabled phone - I had to get a new SIM - which AT&T replaced for free. Since BlackBerry does not currently have any LTE enabled phones, at least on AT&T you would have to stop at the store to get an LTE SIM. If you are not going to use LTE, your SIM should work on the HSPA so called fauxG networks.

Its unfortunate that RIM has to be making up so much. I think for 4G its well worth the 550! Especially when compared to the rest. Thats really quality hardware, it just needs the software to complement it. If they got BBM to work, even better. If there was ever a time for skype and netflix to be available, it would be with the launch of this. But seriously i dont wish for the company to face another slew of negative media, so i hope they have something good up their sleeve.

I hope that this is a mis print and it doesn't come out until July 31st 2013 with BB10 already installed, or this is a disaster about to happen.

Reading these comments... I can't help but gawk When I purchased my 64GB Playbook at launch it cost me around 700 dollars with tax. That amount of money was totally worth it. I felt like a kid opening up presents on Christmas morning. The UI on the Playbook is still bar none the most futuristic of all competing platforms(GESTURES).

Go get a 4G Playbook if you require access to internet and functionality you can't get on your phone device.

Interesting that no one has even really mentioned the 50% speed increase.

It'll be interesting to see how much of a proportional relationship the operating characteristic of the new PB has to the old one. It'll give a much better picture of just how powerful and efficient the OS can be.

Not necessarily. CPU speed isn't constant; it goes up and down depending on load. If the CPU is 50% faster than the old model than, on compute intensive tasks that need full speed, it will only be working for 2/3 as long and the total power consumption will be the same.
More important is the idle power. At least one of the 4 core designs is actually 5 core, so the 4 main cores shut off during idle. A two-core design can simply shut off one core and slow down in idle.

Ikr QNX on steroids. Its gonna be very interesting to see the comparisons. Browser speeds, app launch, multitasking. If i had 550 id definitely throw it at the upgrade. I like the playbook, love the OS but i feel its no where near its potential with the current 1ghz processor or it needs more optimizing and CASCADES!!

"more optimizing", I think you hit it on the head with that one. The reason why I say it is because I doubt that the .5 or 50% boost in the processor will result in a 90 second boot time, nor it launching apps much quicker than what it does now (if the sofware is the same). What it will do is play demanding games with less jitter.

Do you think paying the premium is worth it for the 1.5 ghz dual core upgrade even if I only plan to use wi-fi?

Said another way, how much processing power will the incremental ghz add from a performance stand point?

I was hoping to see a $300 level - maybe it will be on a 2 year.

Exciting to see a release date!!!

Maybe RIM should have a trade in, which we are able to trade in and upgrade. Please...If you are listening RIM. Take the older PlayBooks and donate them to schools.

Does it say what os its running? I'm starting to think this is gonna launch with 2.1 at the same time. It's a pretty "Bold" move to price it for 550. Could there be something in 2.1 that would cause enough excitement for the 550 dollar price tag?

Skype? BBM? BlackBerry maps- Tomtom Qnx build?
All three plus more?

Who knows but I'm betting on something good.

The OS will be the same as the one for the older Playbooks. If it is upgraded, so will the OS for the Playbook 1.

Some people made a good point. The fact that it's a cellular product that means the carrier. Will cover most of the cost in order for you to sign a contract so in other words you could just end up paying 199$ for a 4G PB on a 3 year contract

How much Is data were you live im on tmobile USA. 10gigs a month cost is 30 a month times two years 720 plus tax just for data now my carrier might let the playbook go for 299/399 unless there is something that the new playbook will do when it's released I'd rather stay briged also how long do we all think it will be before we all need to upgrade or playbooks I'm honking that bb10 might not run so sweet on or current playbooks if so why did they bump up the new ones rims always got a trick up there sleeve I'm just watching and waiting.

This is coming out next week, and there's zero marketing going on? Doesn't fit with the new CMO's stated intentions to do it differently

As mentioned above, the price must be a joke. A really bad joke. Even people with remnants of sanity MUST know that such price would make PlayBook in the highly competitive tablet market (Nexus, Huawei…) almost unsellable.

Makes me wonder what kind of price is gonna get thrown on the BB10 phones when they come out.....RIM's gonna HAVE to be priced competitively with their new products if they wanna rise from the ashes...this includes the new PlayBooks!

If the pricing holds true, I think RIMM has missed the mark in terms of pricing. Many companies have tried to match Apple in pricing only to see their stock languish on the shelves and ultimately marked down shortly after launch. Throw in the fact that there are dozens of Android based tablets (including the Nexus 7) that are sub $300 w/ similar specs.

I’ve noticed that a few crackberry users poo poo any suggestion that a smart device (phone/tablet) have games or anything that isn’t productivity related; I believe that’s a limited view to take and the playbook, ipad or any other device should be able to be productive and pleasurable (entertainment). The ipad has ton of productivity tools and as we all know a ton of games as well. Lacking Apple/Google’s ecosystem, RIMM has to price their tablet lower just to compete.... $550 is a non starter – I hope the pricing does slide before launch.

From mobile syrup :

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

Any chance this will have a bridge that supports multiple connections? Like free hotspot, up to 5, etc? I could justify dishing out the stated price if I can bridge 5 WiFi Playbooks simultaneously to it. It'll keep the kids (wife/navigator, too) occupied on their Playbooks while I'm driving. If it's just one connection at a time, though, I'd be hard pressed to justify getting it at the price point... may have to wait on the new phones instead. Oh, to spend now or later... Looks like I'll have to know more about it's capabilities before I make a decision.

Will this have native BB messenger?
So far I know, RIMM is still struggling to make it work on PB OS

In this case, I don't think RIMM will release it by the end of this month. It's not Thorsten's style to release half-bake product.

Who, but the woefully uninformed, would buy this at that price when everyone knows they will have to fire-sale the inventory in about a month? Just when you think the final nail has been driven in the coffin, RIM finds another. You will look bak on this one as the reason BB10 on a phone was never released. That is unforgivable.

550!!??? It took me 5 clicks to have the login url redirect me to the Page, the 2 min of delayed tying and correcting, for which I can't select previous text in this text area to correct my grammar mistakes. What a POS browser. Hopefully they correct it in the next version..... But really does it really matter at this point? Where is the hardware upgrade!?

2 things....

1: If you go to the link and look at the Mobile Syrup report, it says right on there that it will be $549.99 outright, meaning off contract, no subsidies. I'm sure it'll be WAY cheaper with a contract. A high outright price is a marketing trick to get people to sign the contract. Very few people do the math. If we were to actually think about this evenly across all platforms, do you think a brand new GS3 should cost $800 outright?

2: If you actually look at the slidem, there's no mention of price. I'm not trying to knock the credibility of Mobile Syrup, but without seeing it, it's just a report and hearsay.

I'm sure that if people would start looking at things more objectively, we'd have a lot less of these "RIM is dying" or "RIM will be king again" kind of pissing matches

$550? Who in the hell will Purchase It for That Price! .. Well I will .. but seriously .. Playbook has yet been able to prove it's name to the general market .. so other thatn the commited Blackberry Users .. I don't see this device selling well at all when priced so Highly! If I was RIM, I would sell it at $449 and drop all the previous plabooks by half price permanently !

You don't think they are going to give the things away forever, do you? They now have a very good OS and with the NFC chip and the LTE feature, it will be a complete tablet.
Plus, they will be upgraded to the new OS when it comes out.

Jokes! I Sold my playbook just in time to pre order the nexus 7. It's crazy how people will still pay 550 for this piece of crap. The playbook will go down as the worse piece of tech I have Spent my money on... If my family didn't rely on BBM for communication, the whole blackberry saga would be behind me. I hope BB10 will change my mind.

Ok TMI. Tho you cant have spent your money on too many tech. I suppose the saying 'One man's trash is another man's treasure' applies here. I think the Nexus 7 gets enough marketing already... Nobody cares what u are gonna buy. Tell it to ur family.

No. You are getting ready for the worse piece of tech you have spent money on. The Nexus 7..

Does it had LTE? No.
What the base unit have for memory? 8GB.. Really.
Dual facing camera? Nope
3MP camera? Nope, less than that.
Don't kid yourself.

I don't think RIM is planning on selling too many of these...

Seriously. I doubt they are going to produce very many of them and aim to sell this to Corporate and diehard Crackberry fans.

Not worth it at all. It is just another way for carriers to nickel and dime us with a data share option that you have to pay for. Tethered all the way.

Another tablet fiasco and this time for $550. I wonder how many fanatics and cranks will fall for this trick of buying it on release day all over again. I will wait 4 months and get it new for $200 or barely used for $130... "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me" fitting quote.

They keep announcing tablets instead of phones... super clever.

Man, do you people have anything else to do other than bitch all the time. Get a grip. A 4G tablet with good UI, upgraded hardware/processer for 550 dollars (no contract). Are you really arguing that it is not cost competitive with Samsung and Apple that charges 750 dollars. What is the color of the sky in your world? Geez.

Oh right but they have Skype and Netflix. Two things I used once and never did again. Wow, that's the reason I should slap down another 200 dollars! Or better yet, I could get a Nexus 7 complete with cheap feel, glitchy software, cheezy hardware, Wi-Fi only interface and crappy UI. Boy, your right, I'm going for that one.

"Or better yet, I could get a Nexus 7 complete with cheap feel, glitchy software, cheezy hardware, Wi-Fi only interface and crappy UI. Boy, your right, I'm going for that one."

I can tell you've never used one. Frankly, you've described the Playbook.

Are those the same crappy Nexus 7's that Google cannot restock fast enough? Its very possible they sold more this month than RIM has sold of PlayBook all year. Its a sad commentary in the end that if BlackBerry who was here first, had built a better tablet, what could have been. Nexus 7 shows there was a market for a killer 7" tablet priced right with quality apps.

Actually google most likley sold more nexus7s this month then RIM has sold its playbook all togther. Not to meantion they will sell more this month then Rims combined sales of their first gen playbook and what this lte will sell in future. But yeah nexus7 must be a crappy tablet dosnt have decent camaras but yet somehow is flying off shelves. Good one.

RIM needs to find out how many fanboys are at this website, divide that number by 2 because half the fanboys here have not gotten over the failure of PB1 and will not buy another one. Take that number and divide it by 2 because half of those who would buy it are happy with bridge and do not need 4G LTE. That would put the number at about 500. They may also want to give away a couple hundred to developers so that would put that number to about 750. And so as not to make it a total manufacturing waste they could make a total of 1000. Then again at $550 a pop, I dunno but it seems like a total failure again.

wait a sec.... RIM's going from a 5300mAh powered 1GHz wifi Playbook (current) to 4800mAh using 1.5Ghz processor with LTE!??

What's with RIM and their tiny batteries all of a sudden???

Better start buying chargers for every room you're in!

I would believe that TI made this new processor better at power management. If its a TI omap 4460 soc. Also RIM must have learn, lets stop babying them and see how this really plays out.

Way to much money if they ever want to sale alot of playbook 550 is not going to do it 350 400 yes but almost 600 dollars is a Lil much

I was expecting better screen resolution this time (1280x720), so reading in portrait mode is more pleasant. I read a lot on my PB.


Rogers will be getting a call the day it's official. I've got an internet stick SIM just waiting to be reassigned to this new PB.

To use the PB on LTE speeds?..oh hell ya!!

That with my 9900, mwuahahahahaha

Guess it's time to upgrade my shared data plan!

500 bucks and NO SKYPE and you will probably have to wait for another year for BB10. I paid £399 for the original Playbook, never again....

Echo that. Dual core and 1GB RAM doesn't make me feel ahead of the competition.

phones are heading quad core, the least i expect from a 2012 tablet is cutting edge spec rather than lagging behind the competition everytime

I think everyone needs to chill - its a rumor.

That said, if there is any truth to the rumor, I wonder what RIM's strategy is here? I understand the need for cash flow, but the bigger need is market penetration - for the sake of the brand and for the sake of developers seeing the product in consumer's hands on a LARGE scale.

I'm not saying this product needs to necessarily be a loss leader, but pricing with slim margins will gaurentee the product proliferates.

RIM needs to reach escape velocity and unfortunately is going to have to price very competitively to get there given its current market perception.

Do you guys really believe that Rim is going to release a new Playbook without any prerelease announcement? I mean, a week away and nothing from RIM! I find it hard to believe!

Before they can release this tablet, they def need to have skype or netflix or some major app to draw people away from ipads and stuff

Where is the Marketing? Don't they have a new VP of marketing? Hello I think this is some hoax (photoshop magic) or Rim is completely gone nuts.

Your right! It doesn't make sense, unless it's geared towards enterprise. I have 2 playbooks, and probably wouldn't bother unless a 10in was released with better specs. That's my two cents worth.

$550 for off-contract PB is not that bad compared to the iPad. However, I don't know how many people will pick one up considering most people that buy the iPad buy Wi-Fi only and many that get the 4G one don't even get a plan. If the carriers subsidized the price to around $299, I'll probably pick one up. I use pay-as-you-go phone, so I can't tether my PB to my phone for internet access.

Reality check. The price is irrelevant. $550 or $350, this thing would not sell at any price. The PB couldn't hit mass market appeal at $149. At $350 + contract, people will just laugh as they leave with an iPad 2 for $399. This whole project is insanity.

It will probably be something like $199.00 on a 2 year plan.
Why not just bridge it?
I do ....;-D

I'm probably in the minority but I'd like to be use the LTE speeds rather than my 9900's H+. Bridging is fine, or wifi hotspot is equally good, but LTE speeds are just good to let pass by.

I am on my 9900 so much while using the PB that having them seperate would be perfect. I totally see the business community jumping on this.

Having the freedom of a stand alone TAB with its own airtime and not being bogged down by the mighty throughput of the 9900 or 9810, or being stuck to a wifi hotspot is just to much for me to pass up and I feel there's enough of us out there to warrant RIM's move to this market.

nice capacity of battery.but where is the GSM capability????
it is very complicated to bring a blackberry bold and a playbook...please revise it RIM.

I got a 64G playbook, not looking to spend that kind of money for the new one. Am saving for BB 10. Whatever strategy RIM is using, I am not their target customer. The only way I would consider if the out right price is knock down majorly. I bought my bold 9900 out right too. Not gonna tie up in contract with anyone.

Why would anyone expect this tablet to be cheaper than a bold 9900 without a contract? Should RIM just give them away for free? This price is in line with every other 4g tablet. And on contract it is very affordable.

the 64GB wifi edition dropped from $700 to about $300, how do you think all those who paid $700 feel about that.

the kindle fire came in @ $199 and sells like crazy (granted the specs and capabilities are not the same) but with the various tablets on the market offering users pretty much everything they want and need, an overpriced blackberry tablet is dead before it even hits the market

That's the price you pay for buying something hot off the presses! That happens with everything electronic, so don't rush out and buy it just wait 6 months to a year. :)

not sure why people are up in arms at this price. maybe if its was a bit cheaper just so there's a competitive edge but if people thought they would get the 4g at roughly the same price as the discounted wifi playbook. you'll be dreaming. ipads and samsung tabs with 3g/4g connectivity are roughly a bit more than this too.

anyways, its a giant phone if you think about it and the latest blackberry phones are about this much if not more.

anyone comparing it to a kindle or a nexus is also dont realise the limitation of those devices too.

having said all that, its a competitive market and with these reactions, they'll need to bring in a lower spec 4g tablet or at least one with differiation or you'll get customers crying foul when the discounts on this tablet roll in.

$550 - about the same price when I bought my PB last Nov. 2011, here in the Philippines. I'll save up for the BB10 instead.

1.5+ GHz processor
8MP rear cam
1280 x ____ resolution
Quadcore processor

If these were the specs, myself and I believe many others would see this as a price well justified or worth getting. No one really wants to sign contracts for tablets since we already do that for stupid phones.

I bought my 64GB playbook from Best Buy for $199 refurbished and I've noticed that with a few apps installed, I only have about 360MB of free RAM left. The playbook needs at least 2GB!!

Must be something wrong with your Playbook then. :)

I have 15+ apps, a couple of movies, and some pictures on my 64GB and more MB available. It averages out to 483MB.

Quite frankly, the only things that came to mind:

1.). A whole new group of beta testers for BB10
2.). Give it 6 months and it will sell or half the price
3.). Give it a year and it will be 1/3 the price
4.) Finally, how bad is this going to impact RIM prior to the release of BB10

I'm sounding pretty negative this morning. Guess it's just the repressed memory of last years Playbook and BB9900 issues coming back up.

$550 is too much for a 32GB, RIM is shooting themselves in the foot again and not being competitive with the rest of the market place. If they keep this up they will have to scale the company back to a 10 man team after the next quarterly reports come out or risk the shareholders dropping their stocks on the market.

After reading the comments on the site that posted the article, we are likely going to see RIM's stock fall again on the release the Playbook 4G LTE if the retail price doesn't show that RIM has an competitive edge with everyone else.

Why the Playbook 4G LTE when you can get a Nexus 7 with the same features for half the price? That's what everyone is saying...and they are right, why should we pay more RIM?

Can you please show us a 32GB LTE tablet that is being sold for less that 550$?

You cannot purchase a Nexus 7 with the same features for half the price since the Nexus 7 doesn't have LTE, dual cameras, a camera with 3MP, 32GB, etc..

Another person who doesn't understand about what they speak.

As a bb fanboy and purchaser of the first PB rim better have a trick up its sleeve. I love my pb but $550 to add 4G and a little speed seems a bit much. I can buy a 4G mifi hotspot for under $100 if not free. On top of that a mifi shares the 4G with a bunch of devices. Now if the PB 4G offered hotspot sharing that could change things. But with a smaller battery how long would that last under use?

I like the sounds of a trade in program but don't see that happening. Would love to see BB10 released for 4G playbook at launch. That would make me buy it but again not very likely to happen.

Even with crazy marketing $$ behind it I don't see a 4G pb at this stage in the game being successful. The ecosystem is getting better but to the buying public and tech media it means nothing.
Major apps that the lemmings need are not present.
Good luck RIM even on a fanboy site we don't have much faith in this decision.

I must ask why RIM sat on the 4G PlayBook this long! Others have caught up offering similarly equipped devices in the meanwhile. Sure the Google Nexus 7 isn't 4G/3G but it offers a quad-core processor. Performance isn't that much better but it sounds cooler. The Galaxy tabs in their various configurations have been selling well and making a name for themselves -- why has RIM waited so long to push out the 4G PlayBook???

$550 as the base price of the 32 GB 4G PlayBook is probably okay. Apple's iPad 3 32 GB 4G retails for $750 -- a $200 price difference. Of course, Apple is still selling the older 32 GB iPad 2 with 3G for $600. With carrier discounts, the 4G PlayBook will likely sell for less than $200 with a 2 year plan.

At that price the PB 4G will flop. Hopefully they will be @ $299 once all the carrier deals are in. If not people will flock to the iPad Mini.

RIM has one chance to get the PB 4G pricing right. Over $299 is too much for a 7 inch tablet.

Hopefully Thor is listening...

Too high of a price point for a product that many question and have doubts about.

To reliant on the press giving it a good review. I'm not counting on this, nor should RIM.

Word of mouth is needed. Folks posting good reviews on forums and in blogs.
Good solid marketing to the right folks.
Good performance and acceptance by the carriers.

Luke warm results might be the result, if not down right cold, but a lower price point would allow
for better unit sales and improvements in word of mouth reviews.

A price point of $499.00 with a $100.00 rebate would be good.

Helps cash flow and present a perceived value to the customer.

On contract a $299.00 with $100.00 rebate would be a great kick off price point. A 30 day
Playbook LTE intense campagn. This would also be more liked by the carriers.

Your not just selling the "Playbook" your trying to sell a "Blackberry". The later is much more important as RIM has nothing else to rollout for what will seem like forever.

Don't loose money on each unit but do not price an "Underdog" at "Superman" prices.

I suspect that price point will drop from what we see now. If not. RIM is still living in the land of Oz.


PS, take note. No real stock bounce on this news of this products release date and price point.
Right now it is a "non-factor" on the tablet worlds horizon. I'm not the only one sleeping through this release.

$550 seems like a weird number... unless you subtract $250 from it and it becomes $300...

HMMM.... SAVE $250 when you get a contract with Bell??? Im pretty sure thats why they did it. the carrier can say they are giving it to you for almost half price this way.

Its all part of the plan.

Rim doesn't learn it's lessons.

I have a Torch and a playbook, but they lost their ass the first time they tried their hand at the tablet market, so instead of learning from this, they decide to stay in the game with not only the playbook, but think a ten inch tablet is an even better idea. I don't get it.

I don't understand your concerns. They don't get what??? The price point is probably $200 or $250 with a 2 year plan. That is pretty good for an 4G/LTE tablet.

A 10-inch tablet won't be a good sell right now as it would put them head-to-head with Apple's iPad. RIM must price their tablets less than Apple, and they there isn't a lot of margins to play with anymore.

Compared to the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the PlayBook has better cameras (3MP/5MP versus 2MP/3MP) and the PlayBook does full 1080p video not just 720p. The PlayBook also comes with more RAM (32GB versus 16GB on the Samsung).

Honestly as much as I like Rim to stick around. I think they should drop tablets all togther and focus on phones. Why? Apple has the tablet market cornered with consumers enterprise and education. When ipad mini comes out game over. Android finally coming out with kiler tablet the nexus7. Also dont forget win8 tablets, they are going to sell real well as you will have pc experance on tablet. So Rim pritty much has a slim chance of making any impact in the tablet market other then with hardcore BB users. Another money loosing venture.

Should Google & Samsung & Amazon give up on their tablets too or is it just RIM? I just bought a Playbook a few weeks ago & I love it. It works for me & I like the fact it plays Adobe Flash while the iPad still can't for some reason. There's no shame in being a a hardcore Blackberry fan & I enjoy being able to bridge my BB & my Playbook. RIM won't dominate the tablet market. They don't have to. Just keep putting out a product its fans like & market it properly it will be successful.


I am not saying Rim should stop making tablets mainly do to compition. I am just saying they neglacted their phone business which they are suffering for it. The playbook was nothing more then flushing money down the tolit for Rim. The lte model will be more flushing of said money. How much more money can Rim honestly flush before its bankrupt. Samsung asus acer and all the others have tablets cause they have money to burn and they sell them cheeper then apple. RIM does not have money to burn and they are pricing the lte playbook like an ipad which it is far from one.

I concur. Starting with Storm, they screwed the pooch by abandoning what they were good at (enterprise grade messaging devices with fantastic hardware keyboards) and falling for the Apple marketing in wanting to have an iThingy on their own. As a result - they are playing catch up in the market that is way ahead of them and have not maintained their legacy (BBM is tapering out - for every BBM contact I have, I have 5 WhatsApp contacts now, half of users at my enterprise are using non-BlackBerry device, and they aren't even releasing a hardware keyboard phone first when BB10 comes out). I do have the Playbook, but honestly, I don't see why I would need anything more than the $199 16Gb model that I can tether to my phone.

$550, are your serious?
I think people will only consider it if it is less than $300.
Did RIM have any marketing research department? If so, they should all get fired NOW.

I did just buy a Playbook about a month ago & I love it. I just wish I knew they were releasing a new one this soon or I would've held off & bought this one. If they drop the price relatively close to what the current Playbooks cost, I may have to bite the bullet & cop it. If not, I'll wait til Christmas.

RIM is showing consistent inability to learn from their own mistakes. As an incumbent in the market, you need to price yourself well below the competition, if you want to make it. Playbook is a great piece of hardware, a wonderful, niche form factor with some solid software behind it... but the way they're pricing it - nobody will get a chance to experience that to tell their friends. They will end up selling 100K of these at $550 instead of selling 1 million at $299.

I don't think you will see much of a marketing blitz, and the price point discussions are fine for the consumer market, but I don't think relevant.

My thinking is this was prompted by the corporate customers, they want the 4g for mobility of workforce in many applications. If they are BlackBerry standardized, it makes sense for them to roll Playbooks. The 802.11 is fine in the network, but outside the 4 walls, no good. The 4G part is just future proofing so they don't have to refresh as the technology catches up.
It might sound like I am in this business, I am.

$550 is still competitive and probably appealing for many people. At the end of the next fiscal year after the launch of this new device we'll see if they were right.

If RIM makes profit with it: haters lose.

But this new device might come with the release of OS 2.1 and THAT will be amazing! Many many bugs fixes, new features and optimizations will come for the non-developers. Hopefully not so many new bugs will appear. Bring it on RIM!


If, when it launches in the U.S. that RIM partners with a carrier like AT&T or Verizon to offer a promotional unlimited data plan I'd gladly pay $550!

What would people think if you could get it for $199 with a three year contract? Would people be OK with that?

I think that most people are missing the point that without a data plan, why would you buy one at $550. And with a data plan, you are not going to play $550, I suspect that with a three year plan, you will be able to pick up one for about $199.

so it is "4G LTE with HSPA+", so you mean it is not 3.9G but 3.5G?

(LTE-A or something like that would be "4G" ;) )

I have to correct me (and cb ;) )

In the screenshot we can see they write : LTE and HSPA+, not with ;)

LTE tablets are useless...

another money loser for RIM and probably will reduce the variance in inventory shift to the next quarter again... how pitiful.

I bet 1 day of ipad mini sales will beat total playbook sales since launch (of course including the LTE playbook)

so sad... a company we once looked up too that made us canadians proud.....

hey back on topic. Its 15:40 on 31 July 2012 here in South Africa, and not a single scrap of info yet about the release of the 4G playbook. Does anyone have any info on this yet, maybe someone that lives in Canada?