RIM running Android apps? A nutty yet brilliant idea

Summary:Research in Motion is reportedly pondering a scheme where BlackBerry and PlayBook devices would run Android apps. Is this brilliant or desperation?

Research in Motion is reportedly pondering a scheme where BlackBerry and PlayBook devices would run Android apps. The Boy Genius report notes:

We have been told RIM is very much considering the Dalvik virtual machine, and we ultimately expect the company to choose Dalvik. If that sounds familiar to you, it’s because it’s the same VM that the Android OS uses, and it would allow RIM’s PlayBook and other QNX devices to run just about any application built for the Android platform.

In a nutshell, RIM would leverage the Android app market and developer ecosystem. For RIM, that Android solution beats building your own app ecosystem.

Also: Android apps on BlackBerry? Brilliant idea or white flag?

RIM's PlayBook: Is it an Android FrankenBerry?

It's a bit unclear how all this Android-RIM scheming will play out. Will Google certify apps in partnership with RIM? Will RIM use this Android app move as a prelude to use the open source operating system? Would all of this virtual machine mumbo jumbo be too complicated to deliver great performance?

And the biggest question: Is this Android app thing and RIM a smart move or sign of desperation?

One thing is clear: Let's give RIM props for pondering bold moves. Maybe RIM isn't an afterthought after all.


Topics: Hardware, Banking, BlackBerry, Open Source, Virtualization


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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