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BlackBerry PlayBook WiMAX release canceled for Sprint (update: LTE PlayBook still coming)

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After announcing it for a summer release early this year, Sprint has now shelved the WiMAX version of RIM's BlackBerry Playbook, saying that "it’s an interesting concept, it just hasn’t caught on with business customers as much as [RIM] would like." Indeed, PlayBook sales haven't been overwhelming by any measure -- and without a clear show of consumer support, it doesn't seem like a wise business decision for carriers to be devoting resources to launching additional versions of the same slow-selling device. Sprint isn't the first carrier to go lukewarm on the PlayBook; O2 UK notably wrote off the "end to end customer experience" back in June.

For what it's worth, if you're a Sprint customer dying to get your hands on it, the carrier's stores are still stocking the 16GB Wi-Fi version for $499.99 -- you just won't be getting any 4G alongside.

Source: WSJ

Update: RIM's just sent out a statement saying that they're focusing on LTE -- a kind way of saying "peace out, WiMAX," I suspect -- and that LTE versions of the PlayBook are on track to enter carrier labs for certification this fall. See the full statement after the break.

"RIM has decided to prioritize and focus its 4G development resources on LTE. We remain excited and committed to delivering innovative and powerful 4G tablets to the US market together with our carrier partners. Testing of BlackBerry 4G PlayBook models is already underway and we plan to enter labs for network certifications in the US and other international markets this fall."