That’s all folks. BlackBerry has confirmed that it won’t be releasing a BlackBerry 10 software update for its 7 inch tablet.
Despite the fact that the BlackBerry PlayBook already runs software that looks a lot like BB10, CEO Thorstein Heins says the company has’t been satisfied with the way the new operating system performs on the tablet.
It’s possible that we could eventually see new tablets from BlackBerry that will run the latest software. But at this point, the PlayBook is stuck in the past.
When the BlackBerry PlayBook launched in 2011, the company tried to charge an iPad-like $499 for the device. These days you can often pick one up for as little as $100.
That’s not to say the tablet is useless. There are tens of thousands of apps available for the PlayBook, including many Android apps that have been repackaged and submitted to the BlackBerry World store.
And the built-in apps aren’t half bad. The PlayBook comes with a pretty decent mobile web browser and video player, and the multitasking system is pretty slick, letting you view live previews of any app while it’s running — you can even watch a video in a tiny thumbnail from the multitasking screen.
But if the falling prices of PlayBooks and the company’s decision not to release a new model are anything to go by, the company’s first tablet wasn’t exactly a success story for BlackBerry. So it’s not shocking to see that the company hasn’t bothered to optimize the new BB10 software to run on it.
That means that apps which developers write for new phones like the BlackBerry Z10 or Q10 won’t necessarily work on the PlayBook.
It’s still sad news for existing PlayBook owners who had been hoping for an update. Maybe BlackBerry should soften its stance on jailbreaking and make it easier for users to install unmodified Android apps again. It’s been a while since we could do that with a PlayBook tablet, but somehow I doubt we’ll see official support for that kind of activity anytime soon.