BlackBerry PlayBook will run Android apps

RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will still be able to run Android apps despite dropping the Dalvik platform according to reports.

Circulating rumours have it that that RIM is developing its own software to enable the soon-to-be-released tablet PC to run Android software after the Dalvik Java platform was dropped.

The Canadian smart-phone pioneer decided to side step Dalvik after it was acquired by Oracle in last years buy-out of Sun Microsystems.

Bloomberg rolled out the standard 'people close to the matter' who were prepared to postulate that RIM was fearful of a patent dispute with Oracle over the Java derivative but weren't happy to be named.

The PlayBook uses a QNX operating system which, like Android, is based on a Posix framework which means that developing the code to allow any of the 130,000 apps currently available for the Google-developed open source OS shouldn't be too tasking.

RIM has around 20,000 apps of its own but allowing access to Android's Marketplace would certainly give the $500 iPad opponent a boost outside of its intended business audience.

RIM reckons the QNX platform, which was brought from Harman International Industries as part of a $200 million acquisition, is a more stable and secure platform than the current Android offering.

The release of Android 3.0 Honeycomb may prompt many to wonder why RIM doesn't go the whole hog and hand the PlayBook over to the rampaging Androids, but the BlackBerry marque's legendarily bullet-proof e-mail and messaging systems will, for now at least, retain their safe(r) harbour within the QNX system.