BlackBerry PlayBook and future smartphones may be able to run Android apps?Alex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
RIM's PlayBook has plenty of drool-worthy specs, like a 1GHz dual-core CPU and the QNX operating system, but a new rumor has appeared that could really raise interest in the tablet: the ability to run Android apps. It may sound crazy, but that's exactly what the folks at BGR are reporting. According to "multiple trusted sources," RIM has been working on figuring out how to implement a Java environment on its QNX devices for older apps, and there's a strong chance that they'll use a Dalvik virtual machine. Of course, Android also uses Dalvik, meaning that the PlayBook and future BlackBerrys could theoretically run just about any app built for Android. It's not clear if RIM would involve Google and get their support or not, but it would certainly be huge if the Big G did give their blessing.
I'm sure that RIM is working hard to ensure that there will be plenty of PlayBook-ready apps available when the tablet launches in the next couple of months, but the ability to run any Android app would make the software possibilites increase exponentially. Plus, interest in RIM's tablet would spike as Android fans that normally wouldn't give the PlayBook a passing glance strongly consider purchasing it. Is the thought of a BlackBerry device running Android apps crazy? Definitely. We've seen stranger things happen in the past, though, and with the rate that RIM's market share is shrinking and Android's is growing, the BlackBerry manufacturer may just be crazy enough to try it.