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BlackBerry 4G PlayBook prototype slips out

updated 07:55 am EDT, Fri April 6, 2012

BlackBerry 4G PlayBook spied in detail

Removing doubts around earlier rumors of a BlackBerry 4G PlayBook, a CrackBerry forum poster revealed overnight that he had access to at least three of them. Showing both the SIM tray and the presence of a "mobile network" settings pane, user fakedeadmau5 proved that the design was fundamentally the same as the seven-inch original save for cellular hardware. He also showed a rudimentary BlackBerry Messenger app, suggesting that RIM had at least been trying to get BBM working on cellular PlayBooks after failing to get it working on Wi-Fi only.

Still unknown is whether the devices are using a faster processor or otherwise toting any quiet upgrades beyond the free-roaming Internet access. Earlier hints had RIM bumping speeds from 1GHz to 1.5GHz to keep the PlayBook competitive. An LTE model is thought in the works, although 4G may be a loose interpretation and involve HSPA+ instead.

The finding itself has raised questions. As all the PlayBooks were evaluation units obtained from a "skip rat" in the UK, their very existence outside of RIM hands likely makes owning them illegal. RIM isn't yet known to have asked for a return, although it's possible that it may resolve the situation amicably rather than pressing charges.

by MacNN Staff



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