From the snow-covered labs at RIM we learn that engineers have been looking at the development of a new LTE BlackBerry offering to keep up with the Joneses, but the project has not apparently gone much beyond the early developmental stage.
The project does not yet have an official codename and release schedule and RIM apparently does not believe that an LTE BlackBerry offering is cost effective at this time. Whispers we hear suggest that the chip to add LTE support is expensive, on top of the fact that it is not yet that battery efficient. Also, the penetration of LTE isn’t great enough yet.
While our sources tell us that Monaco and Onyx II are still coming, neither of them will offer LTE support. Still, our sources suggest that we should expect that the developments in LTE chips could allow RIM to leverage their early development efforts for the release of a potential LTE offering pegged for very late this year. Expect RIM to spread the word of an LTE offering during the summer provided that the LTE footprint continues to grow and subscribers start to embrace it.