Rumor: BlackBerry PlayBook and Future Smartphones will Support Android Apps


BGR has got their hands on a bit of information, that if true, could really shake up the mobile apps market space. According to their sources, the BlackBerry team over at RIM is aiming to get a Java virtual machine running on their upcoming QNX devices, including their debut tablet the BlackBerry PlayBook. The same sources are saying the Java VM RIM is currently leaning towards is Dalvik, the same as in Google’s Android.

If RIM ultimately decides to go with the Java VM, BlackBerry devices would technically be capable of pretty easily running just about any Android app or game. But if this turns out to be the case, we ca only speculate on how it would be handled.

RIM could choose a path to turn a blind eye towards the capability or they could ink some sort of deal with Google that would involve the actual implementation of the Android Market and Google apps on BlackBerry, but for some reason we feel that is unlikely. If that somehow did happen, it would change up the app game greatly, with Google gaining slightly more vested interest in the success and moderation of their app store.

[via BGR]

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  1. Well first let me say BWAHAHAHAHA at the iFools probably shittin on themselves thinking that this could be true. Now seriously I though BlackBerry already used JavaME so I’m not sure why they’d be “trying” to get a JVM on their OS. And Dalvik is not a JVM. Its a Dalvik VM. If this is true its purely a play by BlackBerry to piggyback on the success of Android to help pull themselves up. I don’t think Google would be against it at all. Remember their goal is to keep the mobile space from becoming a monopoly situation like the desktop space had become. But boy if this did happen talk about and overnight change in the way devs think about which app markets to target. Android would have a gigantic user base that iOS would never come close to touching.

  2. I think it would be far more involved than just adding Dalvik VM. They’d have to support the entire Android SDK with all it’s little hooks and system calls. Also I don’t think they can shoehorn open source Android components into the closed source QNX without recreating everything from scratch which would be a monumental task. Finally this only addresses their QNX tablet which is a totally different beast from their RIM OS phones (which still suck).

  3. Phil, QNX is completely different to the current BB OS and isn’t Java based so they could actually be doing this as a way to more naturally shoehorn the existing BB apps onto the new OS.

  4. Just use Android, RIM!

  5. Bob is correct

  6. So then QNX will not run previous BlackBerry apps written in Java? If they have to start from scratch on apps then this may very well be true.

  7. Using Dalvik is probably quite attractive, as it avoids the Java licensing hassle while still allowing easy Java compatibility, and Google seems to be weathering the legal challenges just fine.

    I wouldn’t read any Android compatibility into that though, the vast majority of the SDK is libraries (the compiler/vm itself is barely a blip on the radar in comparison) and I can’t imagine they’d want to reimplement all those layers in a Blackberry compatible fashion.

  8. no, ilh is correct…
    RIM is working on adding a JVM to the QNX OS to allow backward compatibility for existing BlackBerry apps on the playbook. This would allow seamless integration for the current BlackBerry application offerings. There is no reason they could not implement the Dalvik VM as well. QNX is a very capable OS and adding support for multiple platforms via virtual environments is just one of its strengths.

  9. Remember that they could be using Dalvik + dex as a way to provide a JavaME-like stack for QNX, so that they can run legacy BB apps without having to pay Oracle.

  10. QNX will eventually be on all their devices, not just the playbook. So, this potentially could be a game changer. Also, all the code is right their for them in the form of both Android code and VM Software for QNX (QNX is actually a very old OS, it is a UNIX clone similar to linux). A company with RIMs pocket book could do it if they wanted.. its just the IF that matters. I would love to see it.. and I think it would work well for them.

  11. @Jeremy Statz: what “Java licensing” hassle? Java is open source. You get a free license as long as you support the entire suite. The issue Oracle is having with the Davlik engine is that it only supports a subset of Java. Otherwise they wouldn’t have an argument.

  12. I am little bit dissapointed with the performance of the blackberry, when the blackberry are trying to renew the OS, and now try to do themselves by adding the ability of andro, the Android themselves has started to facilitate their feature by adding the playstation ability soon…Yes, this year the Blackberry will be outclassed :(

  13. J2ME made a good start and concept was really sweet but unfortunately today it is as good as dead on mobile devices. I think Android is a good solution and right time for RIM to switch to it and may not regret if we look at Motorola, Sony, LG and Samsung.

    I believe Android is now Enterprise ready and right time for RIM to pitch in.

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