Press Release: BlackBerry 4G PlayBook Coming to the Sprint 4G Network this summer!

BlackBerry PlayBook Sprint 4G
By Kevin Michaluk on 6 Jan 2011 12:01 am EST

It's looking like CES 2011 is definitely all about the BlackBerry PlayBook. Following up on our BlackBerry PlayBook review coverage, Sprint and RIM have officially announced that the BlackBerry 4G PlayBook will be available from Sprint this summer. I'm sure a lot of BlackBerry fans on Sprint will be excited for this one. The press release is below for full details.

Press Release

BlackBerry 4G PlayBook Coming to the Sprint 4G Network 

New 4G Tablet to Deliver Unmatched Power and Web Performance - Available Exclusively from Sprint this Summer

January 6, 2011 - CES 2011, Las Vegas, NV - Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) and Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced plans to launch a new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet model featuring connectivity to the blazingly fast 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 3G1. This new 4G model is expected to be available from Sprint in the summer.

The BlackBerry 4G PlayBook is a professional-grade tablet that's set to redefine the possibilities of mobile computing, giving users an ultra-portable design with industry leading performance, uncompromised web browsing, true multitasking and HD multimedia, as well as advanced security features and out-of-the-box enterprise support. Together, the BlackBerry 4G PlayBook and the Sprint 4G network will provide a high performance platform that will enable a mobile services revolution for both application developers and customers.

"RIM believes a significant portion of the tablet market will want a higher performing, multitasking, professional-grade tablet and that is why we chose to design the BlackBerry PlayBook for premium performance with a powerful 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," said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion.

"We are excited to bring this powerful new product to our business customers and consumers who rely on Sprint for industry-leading devices as well as one of the best values in wireless," said Steve Elfman, president of network operations and wholesale for Sprint. "This tablet is a great example of Sprint's strong partnership with RIM in continuing to bring customers powerful devices to enhance their mobility. We are confident the BlackBerry 4G Playbook from Sprint will be one of the most anticipated tablets in 2011."

In addition to Wi-Fi® support, the BlackBerry 4G PlayBook features a 1 GHz dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM and the new BlackBerry® Tablet OS. The ultra portable, ultra thin tablet will offer an uncompromised, high-fidelity web experience with support for Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1, Adobe® Mobile AIR® and HTML-5 enabling customers to enjoy all of the sites, games, media and richness of the full Internet, delivered at 4G speeds. Additional details and pricing will be released closer to launch.

Sprint 4G is currently available in 71 markets2 across the country, including Atlanta, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York City. Sprint first launched 4G in Baltimore in September 2008 and continues to build it's 4G service for consumers and business users across the country. For more information, visit

For more information about the BlackBerry 4G PlayBook, visit or

Reader comments

Press Release: BlackBerry 4G PlayBook Coming to the Sprint 4G Network this summer!


Will you people please stop being so damn dumb?!?!?!

Q1 (Probably March) - WiFi only version with Bluetooth tethering will be released with NO contract for NO carriers

Summer 2011 - Sprint 4G version will be released which will also support WiFi and Tethering over Bluetooth.

Do you guys understand that now? This 4G version is NOT the only version being released. It is a compliment to the version you already knew about and were very happy about.

Wow.! You people...

Here I am reading and reading about this Playbook, only to see "Exclusively from Sprint"

BOOM, Killed it.

My question is why would i buy from sprint and pay a data plan when I can buy the wifi version and tether it with my current BB plan/device

Except if you like this phone (tourch) you gotta have at&t or if you like that phone (storm) you gotta have verizon (US of course) or if you want 4G Playbook you gotta have Sprint. Yes choices but not freedom. You can't always have the phone you want with the carrier you want. Until that day comes when we can choose phone and carrier are choices are limited.

Or you can take 30 minutes and educate yourself about unlocking devices instead of complaining. Lots of carrier options around the world that you can unlock and use on any other carrier. Or maybe that's too hard...and you can just keep being blinded by your tears.

This sucks!! I have t-mobile!! I was hopin at least a 4G version for T-mobile would come out. Plus if its delayed til summer they are gonna lose out on so much money! I was waiting for it to come in February #fail !!!!! Not so thrilled......but i do wanna get my hands on one ASAP! :)

I was also hoping for a Tmo 4G enabled one.. But ill just get the Wifi I can use it at home and at school. That's good enough for me! Sprint isn't getting any money from me!

Summer? So much for RIM keeping new projects under wraps for longer leading to a quicker release - this has got to be the longest lead in time for any RIM device ever. Does this mean that the earliest we can expect a new handset is Autumn/Fall? Surely not...

So now I understand why Sprint passed on the iPhone 4G opportunity... a better 4G device was on the making by RIM. Excellent decision. Now, does it mean that we could be seeing a 4G QNX phone from Sprint by Q4? By the looks of this agreement it seems to me that they will be first to get it. That is a strong partnership that will haul Sprint back into the real game, specially if they get that combo...

PERFECT! Can't wait for this to come to Canada which we will have in 2012! FAIL!!!! It's disappointing that for us here in Canada has to be the last ones to enjoy the new techs/gadgets. ARGH! Oh well...will wait patiently.

The wifi version will be out long before that (March this year)
I'll be tethering to my 9780 when out of wifi range.
Freakin awesome!

This summer? Sprint? What a failure. I will have an ipad2 by then. By summer the hype will be reduced to a fizzle due to the ipad2 and who wants another bs 4g plan anyway? Just give me an unbranded wifi playbook that I can tether to my bb. Save the 4g hype. And give it to me sooner than next fall. Because we all know summer means fall. People have working playbooks in hand and we're told to wait another freaking 7-8 months? Comeonson

WiFI: March.
4G: Summer.

I'm sort of surprised to see Sprint get the first on this, and while I'm happy it's not an AT&T exclusive, I must admit that now I'm an AT&T customer, I wouldn't really care if it was. :)

First the Torch, now this! I'm with Verizon and from the looks of it, we aren't going to be getting anything new! Hey RIM, what about us? I'll be getting a new phone in June and haven't really been thinking about anything but a Blackberry in hopes Verizon would have the Playbook. Now I'm considering an Android. Hope we see or hear of Verizon getting something new from Blackberry soon or it could be ADIOS BB!

Thats cause Verizon is all about Android, not Blackberry, Windows, Apple, or Palm/HP phones. You can keep "the network".

So like all blackberry devices out there , I wonder will you be able to unlock your sprint blackberry playbook and use it as you please . (there i said it!!! , so do i win a free unlock code now :) lol )

Thats what i was told by Blackberry Rep !
I will b one the pre Order list so I will have
a PlayBook...

So, are we sure that a WIFI is going to come out separately, I almost S**t my pants when I saw it was going to be offered by sprint, I want one with out the montly service charge. I have been holding off on the ipad, in anticiapation of the PB. They better come through............

I'm sure you've already found that answer, but just to make sure, yes. There will be a wifi PlayBook coming out Q1 that can be linked via bluetooth to a BlackBerry phone and piggyback off its 3G service. I think the better investment is to get the wifi PlayBook and wait for 4G BlackBerry phones to roll out later. :)

Thanks, did figure that one out, and I agree, wifi with no fee and wait for the 4g....can't wait to get my hands on this thing. I have had the Credit card out at least 3 times for the Ipad, patience is a virtue i suppose.

What kind of 4G is it?
Is it WiMAX or LTE?
Over here in Germany LTE is more common since the government started a program to auction the frequencies for LTE (since they're not longer neccessary because of digital broadcasting) ...

If they would have relaesed it to VZN, the PB would been lost within the clouter of Android tablets & iPad. AT&T is crap & T-Mo is a 4gery. Now release the new handheld QNX for Sprint & u got yourself a winning combo.

The reason that Verizon isnt getting any Blackberry love is they are so far up Androids A** they cant see the light of day. Every month Verizon releases ANOTHER 200 dollar droid. It is good to see Sprint get back in the game. They are significantly cheaper and have just as good of service as Verizon. Way to go Sprint

I don't know about your area but around here sprint still has a lot of huge gaps that Verizon has no problem reaching. It really sucks because the Sprint quality is a lot better here. Too bad you only have service half of the time.

EPIC failure. Why don't they just launch it with MetroPCS LTE? Same coverage!

Ok not really but still. WiMAX? Are you kidding me? Spotty a$$ WiMAX?

They should have launched it with HSPA+ and LTE radios. Leave WiMAX in the clouds where it belongs.

So I have to set up a Sprint account just to have a Tablet? Well, that knocks me out of it. How about a WIFI only version I can use with my phone hotspot?

I could really not care any less about a carrier/3G version as I would not want to have another data plan to pay for.

Summer... Who knows what else will be out by then.

And exclusively on Sprint!? Isn't their 4G more like 3.5G? And why such a small carrier ... I'm a bit surprised RIM didnt go to vzw or at&t (though with the selection of BBs on vzw right now maybe RIM really is done with them :( ...).

Well, this answered my question of should I wait until they release the 3G/4G version or get the Wifi version & link to my 9700. Since it's looking like the Playbook is exclusively a Sprint item, Wifi here I come. Now, maybe this is JUST the 4G version is just for Spring but that's holding out a lot of hope & I'm kind of tired of reading articles about how 4G isn't really 4G & yada yada yada, because I really don't care, I have a buddy on Sprint & we can be sitting in the same place & he doesn't have service & I do (I have AT&T) so someone please tell me how that 4G stacks up, I mean in "perfect conditions" you can balance an elephant on a toothpick too but who cares! Anyway, I, like most Blackberry users, can't wait for the Playbook to actually come out and can't wait for more information to come out too, so hopefully we can all make a good decision for us, individually, so we can all enjoy our Playbooks!

i have to say, i'm disappointed in RIM. exclusive to one carrier, really!! you guys really want to be stomped by apple and android, don't you. just release the darn thing with wifi and tether capabilities not locked to a certain carrier and you will sell so many more. what are you guys thinking?

I think I'm gonna go with the WiFi only version. I don't have Sprint and don't really wanna pay another $30 a month ($360/year).

Yo TMO is having their press event. Live blog over @ Android Central. They are talking about Tabs right now. How sweet would it be if they also got the PB. Crossing my fingers LOL.

Some people think Sprint sucks, but recently they've upgraded their network pretty good. I'll go back top Sprint for a playbook, but will probably try the tethered playbook first in March.

Good for Sprint!! Although I can't see adding another line just for the PB I am excited as to what this might mean as far as Sprint getting a QNX OS Phone sooner!! Go RIM!!

i was bummed until i realized that RIM moves at snail speeds and their badass tab will no longer be badass. let's show a product six months about how advanced it is compared to other tabs currently sold...then release it a year later.

I wonder if this will be available on subsidized pricing with a contract, or if it's full price AND a new line of service.

If it's gonna be subsidized (enough), I can see a 4th line in my future...

Thats why I like sprint, but ill just rather buy the wifi only one sine I already have sprint/blackberry