BlackBerry recently confirmed that it had cancelled plans to bring the BlackBerry 10 operating system to its first 7 inch tablet. Now vice president Alec Saunders has confirmed that the BlackBerry PlayBook won’t be receiving any significant updates.
That means you won’t even see a new web browser, keyboard, or other BB10 features or support for Android apps designed for newer versions of Android.
We might still see minor security updates or other changes in the future, but it looks like the company is effectively treating the PlayBook as an end-of-life device and shifting its focus to new handsets designed to run BB10. There are currently no plans to launch a new tablet.
The news isn’t all that surprising. After all, the PlayBook has been on the market for over 2 years at this point, and mobile hardware has come a long way since it was released. Most BlackBerry 10 phones have more RAM and faster processors than the PlayBook.
CEO Thorsten Heins says that short of taking back the hardware and doubling the RAM (which would be practically impossible), there’s no way to get BB10 to run well on the PlayBook hardware.
Still, it’s disappointing news for folks who bought the BlackBerry’s first tablet back when the company was promising it’d eventually run the same BB10 software as its newest phones.
As Liliputing’s Lee Mathews points out, the PlayBook is still a decent device if you already have one — or if you’re in the market for a cheap tablet. You can pick one up for well under $150 these days, which is less than a third of the original list price.
What you get is a tablet with a decent web browser, support for a relatively small, but decent selection of apps, and support for Adobe Flash — something most competing devices don’t offer.