I was expecting this later this year but according to this news article, the 4G LTE Playbook is here next week.
"Over the course of the past number of months there were hints that the tablet existed as leaked images surfaced online. We have been informed that the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook will be launching via Bell, and probably other Canadian carriers, on Tuesday, July 31st, 2012. According to the internal Bell document we received it shows the price will be $549.95 outright."
The price is a bit higher then I expected, but I guess if you add a contract subsidy with Bell on a Data only plan, then you can probably get it a lot cheaper.
Here's the link:
Also it was a smart move to launch in Canada where they sport a 20% tablet market share that has been growing each Quarter here in Canada. Should be interesting to see how much this boosts RIM's Tablet market share here.
The article did not mention US release which I suspect would be concurrent or not to far after. This was a leaked "Bell Canada" Internal memo, so I am curious to see how many carriers will be offering the PB 4G LTE.
Let's see what the actual price is w/ a contract. Obviously nobody is going to pay MSRP. The commenters on that thread are morons (comparing a Playbook LTE 32GB to android wifi 7").
If the price is "ok", I can see it doing well enough. For many users of the playbook tablet, having LTE capability is very important. It'll fill a niche. A small niche, but a niche nonetheless.
My main concern is that this product release doesn't hurt RIM's cashflow. I think it may actually improve cashflow because I believe they are using existing Playbook inventory (the 32GB boards) and adding the LTE radio? That's why there will be no 16GB model of the LTE - the 16GB PBs were all dumped. If that is the case, then it'll cost them very little to get these out, and it'll be a net positive to cashflow. Hmmm....might actually be a smart move by RIM mgmt given the PB disaster. Shall I faint now? :)