When we got our hands on RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook at CES last month, we were all very impressed. The one issue we did have though was whether or not there would be enough apps produced to keep consumers happy, especially those used to the myriad apps available on iOS and Android devices.
It seems as if RIM could have been thinking the exact same thing. Three different anonymous sources have today told Bloomberg that the PlayBook will be able to run Android apps which would instantly give users access to more than 100,000 apps currently available in the Android Market. The sources quoted by Bloomberg didn’t want to be identified as the project is not yet public. They added that RIM is planning on making this function on the PlayBook available in the second half of 2011.
Despite rumours previously that RIM could be using Google’s Dalvik, the Java software used in running Android apps, to bring this functionality to the PlayBook, the Canadian company has decided against it for several reasons. One of these is an ongoing patent dispute between Oracle and Google over the software, two sources said. RIM has instead opted to keep the project in-house which would have helped secrecy – though that seems not to have worked all too well.
With the PlayBook ready to be launched this quarter in the United States with every where else to follow, it will face stiff competition from the Motorola Xoom, the iPad 2 and the plethora of Android tablets about to flood the market. On the back of this news, RIM shares rose 5.2 percent to $66.88 which was its biggest gain in three months. RIM’s App World currently only has about 20,000 apps available for users and a move to instantly boost that to almost 150,000 would seem like a no-brainer to us.