RIM announces 4G LTE PlayBook and offers to license BlackBerry 10 to other manufacturers

Blackberry Playbook

The BlackBerry PlayBook has been around for well over a year, but it’s still ticking. Earlier this year, the PlayBook OS 2.0 update was released and now RIM has unveiled a 4G LTE version of the device. (Check out our PlayBook review  to learn all about it.) RIM has promised that its new BlackBerry 10 platform will come to the PlayBook in the future, but for now, it looks like 4G LTE support is all that’s in the cards, but it’s certainly a welcome addition. Available on Bell, Rogers, and TELUS in Canada on August 9, the new 4G LTE PlayBook will come with 32GB of storage but there’s no word on the price just yet.

Thorsten Heins, the RIM CEO, spoke to UK newspaper The Telegraph this week and revealed that the new BlackBerry 10 platform might be licensed to other manufacturers.

“We don’t have the economy of scale to compete against the guys who crank out 60 handsets a year,” said Heins. “We have to differentiate and have a focused platform. To deliver BB10 we may need to look at licensing it to someone who can do this at a way better cost proposition than I can do it.”

Whether manufacturers like HTC or Samsung would be interested in licensing BB10 is another matter. He went on to say “We’re investigating this and it’s way too early to get into any details.”