An LTE BlackBerry has reportedly been in the works for about the last two years, which is roughly the length of RIM’s development cycle, but a variety of factors have apparently slowed progress to a standstill. Rumour has it that costs for LTE chips are too high for RIM, that 4G is too much of a leech on battery life for their liking, and that the initial LTE coverage won’t be enough to make it worth RIM’s while. The same source of this rumour says that the upcoming Monaco (a.k.a. Storm 3) and Onyx 2 won’t have it.
RIM’s co-CEO Mike Lazaridis has made it perfectly clear that they’re more interested in making BlackBerry useful around the world, rather than small, elite markets, but it’s a given that they’ll come out with an LTE BlackBerry – it’s just a matter of when. The source says that once costs are down and coverage improves, RIM should be able to pump out a 4G BlackBerry in late 2011. Such a delay would give the competition a significant head start, especially considering how many 4G doodads we’ll be seeing at CES.
In any case, these rumours are little more than unsubstantiated whispers at this point, so take it all with a grain of salt.