BlackBerry Playbook and smartphones to support Android apps?

Research In Motion is still working on its next big product, the BlackBerry PlayBook. One of the more impressive tablets shown off at CES2011 this year, was the PlayBook.

When Neowin got a hands-on look at the BlackBerry PlayBook, we were skeptical if the tablet would have a vibrant app store. From personal experience with the BlackBerry App World, it's a slowly fading scene, as developers look elsewhere for customers to make a quick buck. RIM has even opened its development center to the world, offering users a chance to win a free PlayBook if they submit before the PlayBook launches.

BGR is reporting that RIM is still looking for a Java VM to run on the PlayBook. According to sources, RIM may adopt the Dalvik virtual machine to support Java applications. What is important about this decision, is this is the same VM that Google uses on Android.

Now this may be a long shot, but it does totally make sense for RIM to adopt another app store, in order to give the PlayBook a fighting chance. If RIM and Google come to some sort of an agreement and certify the PlayBook to run Android apps on its QNX-based OS, it may be a strong competitor in the market.

BlackBerry also plans on replacing BlackBerry OS 6 with a QNX-based OS, dubbed BlackBerry OS 7. With a QNX-based OS, RIM could easily port Android apps over to its line of smartphones, allowing for BlackBerry's to run Android Apps, if ever approved.

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11 Comments

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Wouldn't that be the same as having Windows apps on Mac OS X and visa versa? Apps that rely on ported technologies usually don't have the same level of quality as native ones. For example poor integration with the OS, interface that looks out of place etc.

This just sounds to me like RIM is looking for a free ride off of androids developers since it seems like the BBOS developer scene has gotten pretty quiet IMO.

Personally I think it would be a good partnership. The playbook is a tablet tailored more toward business' whilst android is to consumers. So it would be win, win - I think a partnership like this would be extremely beneficial between the two companies... BBM on android anyone? ;P

I doubt that Google would just give the PlayBook devices direct access to the Android Marketplace, it would kill Android tablet sales. Why would anyone buy an Android tablet if the PlayBook could run all Android apps plus it's own?

Third party market places could be fair game though if the VM option turns out to be true.

It might use the same tech, but since Android Market is closed source I don't see how this is all possible.

Also, one wonders how Oracle's suit could factor into all this...

Doesn't mean it has to support the Android Market - there are competing app markets for Android and I'm sure the carriers wouldn't be so opposed to the idea. And of course you could load your own apks.

Silverskull said,
Doesn't mean it has to support the Android Market - there are competing app markets for Android

Competing markets will never be as widespread as the official market, and for that reason they wont be nearly as useful for RIM.

Silverskull said,
Doesn't mean it has to support the Android Market - there are competing app markets for Android and I'm sure the carriers wouldn't be so opposed to the idea. And of course you could load your own apks.

ya they could open their own android app store sort of like amazon

SteelToast said,
+1, RIM could get try getting approval from Google, Google need customers for market...

Don't think google "need" more customers but "need" more developers and developers will definitely be attracted if by creating one app it runs on blackberry was well as droid.

I honestly think a lot of developers think to themselves that the apple fans have more disposable income that they are willing to part with and hence continuing to develop heavily on apple but not port to android.

Personally I love my droid just think the apps suck...