This is kind of a no-brainer, but it looks like the next version of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will have a speedier processor than the current model. The folks at BGR got a look a Research in Motion’s 2012 roadmap, and it looks like the new PlayBook will have a 1.5 GHz processor.

BlackBerry PlayBook

Right now RIM is selling a PlayBook with a 1 GHz TI OMAP 4 dual core processor, so the spec bump should improve performance a bit. BGR reports the new model is also expected to have HSPA+ mobile broadband support and an NFC (Near Field Communication) chip for secure transactions.

RIM’s new CEO had already confirmed that a new PlayBook is in the works, and earlier this month we’d heard that the new model could have mobile broadband support.

The new model will likely have a 7 inch display and run BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0. It could hit the streets in May or June.

It’s not clear if the new processor, operating system, or 3G/4G support will be enough to improve PlayBook sales. In recent months RIM has taken a different approach toward boosting sales: price cuts.

You can pick up a 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB TouchPad from the BlackBerry Store for $299. Or you can pick up a refurbished 16GB model from Best Buy for just $170.


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10 replies on “Next-gen BlackBerry PlayBook to feature faster CPU”

  1. its a shame RIM being a so called premier executive device supplier once, didnt see fit to actually use a real quad core Arm SOC inside, it was a no brainer for even the first playbook, you cant charge a prime price if it doesn’t have a prime quad core SOC inside after all

    1. Untrue, quad cores didn’t start becoming available until after the Playbook was released and even now most ARM devices coming out are still dual core.

      Besides, it’s total package that determines a system price and not just the SoC.

      1. actually the freescale imx6 quad ARM was announced long before the original playbook went into production and soon after the freescale announcement, nvidia  too started up their tegra3 quad core production run’s, both companies could have made a special limited run for RIM if they where asked to at that time or any time since.

         but we are talking about NOW, and the  Next-gen BlackBerry PlayBook2 spec’s, apple will have their quad ARM out sooner or later this year and yet RIM still don’t apparently have even a prototype/developer quad  ARM core device ready for production and that’s a shame, we need more top line quad ARM devices ASAP, preferably with Pixel Qi sunlight readable displays.

        “Besides, it’s total package that determines a system price and not just the SoC.”
        actually No, the market (and greed) for the device determines a system price, the actual BOM ( build Of Materials) is far lower than the RRP

        back in jan 2011 the imx6 dual ARM SOC was estimated to be $20 and the freescale imx6 quad (with SATA, PCi-E etc on board, another Freescale first) as little as $25 in 1000 lots or some such low amount

        1. First, announcements for Freescale happen up to a year, or even two, before they actually start producing a chip series! 

          Freescale didn’t even provide samples of the i.MX6 until their keynote in June 21, 2011!

          Really, name a single i.MX6 product that’s out now?

          Second, ARM architecture is evolving and Freescale is still using older Cortex A8 and A9 based designs.

          TI OMAP 4 series is already a Cortex A9 and they’re moving to Cortex A15 with OMAP 5.

          Freescale also optimizes for lower cost and are not known for offering top end performance.  So just because they offer a quad core doesn’t mean it’s better than another company’s dual core.

          TI is still releasing dual core chips this year that will be clocked higher and could still possibly out perform even the Tegra 3, which is still a 40nm Cortex A9 design and is still waiting for a update to 28nm manufacturing.

          Third, one of the reasons TI OMAP is seeing wider adaption is because it was one of the first to offer higher levels of security, which is one of the reasons why they were the first to get certification for the Netflix HD app.

          Remember, RIM provides devices that are both reliable and secure for primarily business and government customers.

          While again the total package counts, as the TI OMAP doesn’t cost a lot more than the Freescale. 

          So have to factor the hardware as RIM provided stereo front spacing speakers, iPad only has a rear mono speaker.  The Playbook has bezel swip control, long before anyone else.  The Playbook still handles Flash and multi-tasking better than most ARM tablets.  Along with a high level of build quality.

          Parts cost of just the 16GB model runs about $273, which you then add cost for R&D and company profit and it shows they weren’t pricing it any higher than anyone else was pricing theirs!

          Besides, even the sale’s price at a obvious loss for $200 didn’t get many sold.

          So it was just how RIM marketed the Playbook and the lack of properly developed app ecosystem that prevented it from being a success.

          Finally, we don’t know what configuration RIM will go with for their next tablet version(s), but again it’s the OS and app market they really have to be work on.

          Btw, Pixel Qi screens are still more expensive than other screen options and are behind the curve for higher resolution.  While RIM is no longer in position to splurg on unnecessary unique features.

  2. amazon has it used for $270 for the 64. I’ve been debating for at least a month now on getting it just to have a new toy to mess with. Is it worth it Brad or should I save my money and wait longer for it to get cheaper? I’ve already got a touchpad with CM9 thx for the guide.

  3. I think they should stick with the same design–it’s by far the easiest tablet to hold and the speakers facing forward work very well, and it wold be great if they stick with TI OMAP and maybe get the OMAP 5 first, but I’m doubtful of that.

    Regardless of what they do they really need to get developers writing good native apps.

    1. Since they originally announced the 2.0 update they’ve been actively trying to get development accelerated for apps and to some extent they are starting to succeed as there are about twice as many apps as there were a few months ago.

      However, they still need a lot more and it remains to be seen how good the 2.0 update will be in final release form.

      I agree they have a good design, and just need to get their apps and OS side of things straightened out.

      1. Yeah, I watched DevCon and they seem to be doing a lot of good things to get developers creating apps for BB10, but they are very far behind–they should have been working on that OS in the background several years ago.

        1. Yes, like HP, RIM apparently underestimated how much time and effort is needed to get a OS and app market ready for official release.

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