RIM’s new QNX software for BlackBerry which is expected in early 2012 will be Android App compatible and RIM has not publicly announced this feature for its mobile devices, it has announced that the QNX-powered PlayBook tablet will be able to run Android apps. BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will get the long-awaited native email and PIM functionality in September with its own Android app player coming by the end of the year and compatibility with Android apps would plug a gaping hole in RIM’s BlackBerry ecosystem, as the current selection of apps in the BlackBerry App World is pretty abysmal……………
Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), seeking to boost the appeal of its BlackBerrys and revive slowing sales, plans to enable models expected next year to run applications built for Google’s Android operating system and BlackBerrys that run on RIM’s new QNX software will be Android-compatible. RIM has said it plans to introduce QNX phones in early 2012 and RIM is rebuilding its range of devices around QNX and is looking to add features that appeal to customers who had grown weary of the aging BlackBerry portfolio and its narrower selection of apps. There are more than 250,000 apps available from Google’s Android Market or about six times as many as in RIM’s App World, a factor in helping Android become the world’s top smartphone platform. “Being able to run Android apps, that’s a big plus,” said Steven Li, a Raymond James Ltd. analyst in Toronto with an “outperform” rating on the stock. “If you get the tonnage of Android apps and the top 50 apps through BlackBerry’s App World, that addresses many of the concerns people have about RIM’s ecosystem.” A handful of models that RIM introduced this month were its first new phones in a year, a gap that caused the BlackBerry to lose ground. Its share of the global smartphone market fell to 12 percent in the second quarter from 19 percent a year earlier.
While RIM has said that its QNX-powered PlayBook tablet will be equipped with technology that allows it to run Android apps, it hasn’t disclosed whether QNX phones will have the same capability. The Android app player in the new BlackBerrys is the same one that has been built for the PlayBook and it is being tweaked to fit the different screen size and resolution of various BlackBerry models. RIM plans to have the Android player installed on the QNX phones when they go on sale and not in an upgrade to avoid criticisms that software upgrades were too slow to come. The PlayBook was criticized on its debut in mid-April for its lack of a built-in e-mail system and a dearth of apps compared with Apple’s more popular iPad. RIM plans to issue a PlayBook software upgrade in September that adds a dedicated e-mail program and BlackBerry Messenger instant-messaging applications. A PlayBook upgrade for the Android player may come later on in the year. In June, RIM co-Chief Executive Officer Mike Lazaridis told analysts PlayBook e-mail and BBM will be introduced soon with the PlayBook Android player to come later in the summer.