One of our sources says the current “fire sale” for the BlackBerry PlayBook is to clear stock for a ‘relaunch’ of the product in 2012. The new PlayBook will come with OS 2.0 out-of-the-box (as expected). Our source also says there will be new box art and even more advertisements to better market the revamped tablet and focus on the new features of OS 2.0.
In case you were wondering if the price would stay the same, our source wasn’t too clear on the answer. Although, it was mentioned the new pricing would be competitive with Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet. Currently, developers have been able to test a beta version of the PlayBook OS 2.0, but consumers aren’t said to have access to OS 2.0 until its official release on February 17th, 2012. It still isn’t clear if current PlayBook owners will get to upgrade to OS 2.0 for free, but if not it would be a poor move on RIM’s part.
Our source did hear that there might be a slight hardware change to accompany the new PlayBook ‘relaunch’. Although, our source could not confirm this to be true. The hardware change could be 4G radio support, as a WiMax PlayBook was supposed to release on Sprint this past summer. Much of the media had deemed the PlayBook to be a dead program, but as RIM has said before, they are very much committed. It will be interesting to see how RIM re-brands the PlayBook in 2012 and if retailers are receptive to a second chance.