updated 12:15 pm EST, Tue January 24, 2012
RIM may fight back with major hardware updates
RIM's hopes for 2012 might be brighter after a potential roadmap leak. According to a BGR tip, the BlackBerry PlayBook would get an update a year into its life with a 1.5GHz (presumably TI OMAP) processor, 42Mbps HSPA+ 3G, and NFC for tags and payments. It would reportedly ship in May or June.
The new PlayBook is expected to at least partly avoid the disastrous launch of its ancestor by including a finished OS and learning from the mistake of pricing a smaller tablet at the same price as an iPad.
Despite rumors of device cancellations, at least two BlackBerry 10 devices would arrive in 2012. The London's delayed second-half 2012 release would be narrowed down to September. One more phone, implied as having a fixed QWERTY keyboard and replicating the Bold, would arrive in December.
In the early part of 2013, the Milan slider would represent RIM's third BB10 device. The wwo very low cost BlackBerry Curve designs, rumored earlier were identified as the 9230 with EDGE 2G data and 9320 with HSPA 3G.
For RIM, the strategy would show a continued commitment to its tablets and future smartphone platform. Although the roadmap might not be complete, the conspicuous absence of a large number of other models shows RIM trying to avoid the oversaturation common to many smartphone makers and putting more of its confidence in its new platform. RIM's new CEO Thorsten Heins has been promising a stronger focus on home users and better execution, which could include consolidating devices.