RIM PlayBook could be getting access to Android Market

Tens of thousands of Android apps may become available for PlayBook users at launch

The upcoming RIM PlayBook will not be running Google’s Android OS, but that won’t be stopping them from trying to integrate some of Android’s advantages into RIM’s own tablets. Bloomberg is reporting that RIM is hard at work on specialized software in order to allow PlayBook users access to some of Google’s Android Market apps. If true, this would be a significant gain for RIM as users would then be able to download and use the multitude of apps in the Android Market as well as from RIM’s own emerging app store, the BlackBerry App World. The Android market currently has many more apps compared to RIM’s own app market, so having access to both would give the head start RIM may need against other tablets. Analysts are calling it a “shrewd move” and would make the PlayBook “attractive to consumers” if RIM can indeed pull it off correctly.

Unfortunately, due to recent legal issues between Google and Oracle Corp. surrounding Google’s Java software licensing, Bloomberg claims RIM will be on the safe side and will develop their own in-house software for running Android apps as opposed to simply utilizing software assets from Google. Whether or not this could delay or hinder Android accessibility for the PlayBook is currently unknown.

The RIM PlayBook will be available some time later this year, possibly as early as April, and will be RIM’s flagship tablet to show off the new BlackBerry Tablet OS and BlackBerry App World.

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Allen Ngo, 2011-02-12 (Update: 2012-05-26)