RIM may be building Android app support into its BlackBerry devices, according to a new online report. That would certainly alter the company's competition with Apple.
Motion could be planning ways for Android applications to run on its BlackBerry
devices, according to online rumors. If proven true, that would give BlackBerry
users access to hundreds of thousands of applications. However, such a strategy
could also confuse developers interested in building for RIM's proprietary
has publicly stated that it is looking at getting a Java virtual machine
running on the PlayBook-not so much for app development going forward, but for
legacy support, custom apps corporations have deployed and don't want to
recreate, etc.," the blog Boy Genius Report posted Jan. 26
have been told RIM is very much considering the Dalvik virtual machine, and we
ultimately expect the company to choose Dalvik."
virtual machine is an essential component in running Android applications, and
its presence on RIM's software platforms would mean support for those applications-at
least in theory, with lots of inevitable coding and corporate concerns.
If RIM is
considering such a decisive move, it seems in little mood to share the news.
"It's RIM standard policy not to comment on rumors and speculation," a RIM
spokesperson told eWEEK Jan. 26.
Should it come
to pass, such a move could affect whether developers, especially smaller ones
pressed for time and funds, choose to develop for RIM's proprietary operating
systems over Android. In a recent survey of 2,235 Appcelerator Titanium
developers by Appcelerator and IDC, some 28 percent reported being "very
interested" in developing for the PlayBook platform, a rise of 16 percent from
interest in developing for the iPad rose from 84 percent to 87 percent during
the same period, according to the survey, and interest in Android tablets
bumped up from 62 percent to 74 percent. That places both platforms well ahead
of RIM in overall survey share, with all three platforms handily beating the
as-yet-unseen Palm webOS tablets at 16 percent "very interested."
firm Deloitte recently estimated tablet shipments in 2011 at 50 million units,
ahead of research firm IDC's predictions of 44.6 million units for the year.
"Although some commentators view tablets as underpowered media-consumption toys
suitable only for consumers," Deloitte recently wrote in its annual sector
forecast, "in 2011, more than 25 percent of all tablet computers will be bought
by enterprises, and that figure is likely to rise in 2012 and beyond."
development environment permits the publishing of applications to a BlackBerry
without developers needing to write any native code. In addition, those same developers
can use the Adobe AIR software-development kit and have a local runtime on a BlackBerry
smartphone. Jim Balsillie, RIM co-CEO, has insisted that the company's
developer stance, along with its support of Adobe Flash, remain crucial
competitive differentiators in the fight against Apple.
that you can bring the mobile to the Web, but you don't need to go through some
kind of control point of an SDK, and that's the core part of our message," Balsillie told an audience Nov. 16 at the Web 2.0 Summit in
referring to Apple's "walled garden" ecosystem.
If RIM does
choose to embrace Android applications, that would put the company's extended
application library closer to par with that of Apple's App Store, which also
boasts hundreds of thousands of applications.