One month before its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is to be launched, RIM announced yesterday that PlayBook will run Android apps--just hours before its shares tumbled 12% in after-hours trading on news of lower than expected profits.
RIM is losing market share to Android. But the company appears to be taking an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" approach by saying it will allow PlayBook users to run Android apps. Still its stock plunged Thursday evening after RIM lowered its profit guidance, saying the cost of rolling out the PlayBook was crimping profits.
The Android app store is much larger than the add-ons available for BlackBerrys. So this is a way to satisfy the need to get a bigger app store.
However, the Android apps will not run on the native operating system but require users to run Android apps on a special player. So we'll have to wait an see how that works.
The PlayBook tablet will run on a new operating system, QNX, which has recieved some very favorable reviews and is expected to be a lot like Apple's iOS for tabs and phones.
RIM needs to do something because its phones have lagged Android and iPhone features badly.