By Greg Kumparak
Waaaay back at CES in January, Sprint (S) and RIM (RIMM) announced that they were cooking up a version of the BlackBerry Playbook that played friendly with Sprint’s 4G network. And then… nothing. Months went by, with nary a mention from either of the companies involved.
Alas, it looks like the Sprint 4G Playbook will be buried before it’s even born. Blaming a “lack of demand from business customers” (read: everybody who wants a tablet right now probably already has an iPad or a Xoom), Sprint has killed off plans to launch the device.
It’s unclear whether or not RIM will go on to sell a Sprint-friendly version of the tablet themselves, though it seems rather unlikely. Selling CDMA phones without the carrier’s support is tough enough — but an ultra niche object like a half-baked enterprise-focused tablet? Blyeck.
As the Wall Street Journal points out, this isn’t good news for RIM. Sprint was the one major carrier who was willing to back the Playbook — neither AT&T (T) or Verizon (VZ) wanted to have anything to do with it. While Sprint still offers the WiFi only version of the tablet, it doesn’t seem like they’re planning to stick by the Playbook for much longer. Nail, meet coffin.