4G LTE tablet plans: Can BlackBerry Playbook take on Apple and Samsung?

Telecom Lead America: Media
reports suggest that the BlackBerry smartphone maker RIM is planning to hit the
LTE 4G tablet market.

The critical launch will be a big boost for regaining
confidence among developers and enterprise users who got a bad news when RIM
said the launch of new smartphones and BlackBerry 10 OS will be delayed.

To curb losses from the business of BlackBerry, RIM will slash 5,000 jobs across its global
operations before the end of the year.

RIM is stepping its presence to gain more market share in
the enterprise smartphone market. BlackBerry is forecast to
lead the enterprise smartphone market with shipments of 12.08 million in 2012.
In 2012, the second largest player in enterprise smartphone shipments based on
OS will be Google Android with 7 million units. According to Ovum, Apple iOS
will be shipping 6.4 million in 2012. Microsoft Windows Phone is expected to
touch 3.2 million.

The proposed 4G LTE tablet will also assist RIM to increase
downloads at Blackberry’s App store that had surpassed 3 billion of BlackBerry app downloads recently.

The company’s app store is accelerating at 35 percent year
over year growth with 177 million app download per month. To redefine and
strengthen its app store, the company has also started supporting HTML 5

As reported by Mobile Syrup, an internal document from Canadian mobile
service Bell indicates that the 4G LTE-enabled tablet will launch on July 31
for $549.95. There’s no word yet as to whether the new model will be released
in the U.S.

The new model will be similar hardware-wise to the original
PlayBook, with the addition of a 4G LTE antenna. According to Mobile Syrup, the
device will run OS 2.0 and boast a 7-inch display with a resolution of 1024 by
600, a 1.5-GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 4800 mAh battery, and will only
come in a 32GB version. It’ll also have a 5-megapixel rear camera that shoots
1080p HD videos, as well as a 3-megapixel front-facing camera.

PlayBook hit the market in April 2011, but in December RIM
announced it would take a $485 million hit related to lackluster sales of the
tablet. The company last month nixed the 16GB version and said it shipped
260,000 PlayBook tablets during the second quarter, down from more than 500,000
the previous quarter.

Why 4G tablets are important for smartphone players? Nokia
is yet to plan tablet strategies and it suffered due to Apple and Samsung.

Asia Pacific will lead the 4G LTE market by 2016. Large
gains will be in South Korea and Japan. The Asia & Pacific region will
overtake North America in number of 4G/LTE subscribers. Asia & Pacific will
have more than 53 percent of 4G/LTE subscribers. Globally, the total number of
subscribers will be over 560 million by 2016.

Fifteen carriers in Asia & Pacific now have live LTE
services, with affordable pricing models that prompt robust subscriber growth
in this region. 4G/LTE subscribership will increase from 9 million in 2011 to
over 560 million in 2016. In 2016, 4G/LTE subscribers will account for 8.8
percent of worldwide mobile subscriptions, according to Parks Associates.

Baburajan K