updated 06:10 pm EDT, Fri May 6, 2011
10-inch BlackBerry PlayBook spotted
First mention of a 10-inch BlackBerry PlayBook just this week has been quickly followed up by a sighting mentioned Friday. A reportedly credible traveller on a flight from Dallas to Toronto saw a device he said looked virtually identical to the seven-inch version but with a visibly better display. It was described to CrackBerry as unmistakable since it was using the same BlackBerry Tablet OS and was running Need For Speed, one of the bundled PlayBook games.
The rumor is unconfirmed but would line up with historical sightings. RIM employees have frequently been seen carrying pre-release devices on flights as engineers and executives fly back to Toronto and Waterloo from meetings with partners. For RIM, tablets are relatively new, but the launch of the PlayBook could mean staff are now comfortable carrying unreleased models.
A launch for the 10-inch PlayBook is rumored for the fall and would be a quick response to concerns that the current version is too small. RIM has claimed that the PlayBook can be an advantage for its pocketable size, but the it may be concerned that Steve Jobs was accurate about the problems associated with a seven-inch tablet. Its approach would follow that taken by Samsung, which tried out a seven-inch tablet at first but scaled up to larger sizes to hedge against customers preferring larger screens.