Though Research In Motion had stated in the past that its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet would be made available on Verizon’s 4G network, Verizon officials have said they are still evaluating whether to distribute the device, according to Reuters.
If Verizon does decide not to sell the PlayBook, it could defer current BlackBerry mobile phone users on Verizon’s network (the largest wireless carrier in the US) from buying the tablet, since loyal RIM customers are thought to be one of the largest target consumer bases.
However, it’s still too early to tell whether a PlayBook with 3G/4G support would attract more buyers than the WiFi-only version, which recently made its debut in retail stores across the US and Canada starting at $499.
If mobile wireless support is a factor for current BlackBerry owners, it could push them into the arms of a competitor’s device, and thus introduce them to a new operating system. That would also eliminate a key selling point of the PlayBook, which can sync data seamlessly the tablet device and BlackBerry mobile phones via RIM’s Bridge technology.
Mobile wireless versions of the PlayBook should be available to consumers in June or July 2011.