Report: RIM's QNX smartphones also will run Android apps

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) forthcoming QNX smartphones will be able to run applications for Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform, according to a Bloomberg report. 

The report, citing three unnamed sources, said that the new QNX-based smartphones, expected early next year, will be Android-compatible in an effort to broaden their consumer appeal. The report said that the Android app player in the new phone models is the same one that has been built for RIM's PlayBook, which also runs QNX. The PlayBook Android app player is being modified to fit the screen sizes and resolutions of the forthcoming devices, and will be available on the QNX phones out of the box.

A RIM spokeswoman declined to comment, according to Bloomberg.

RIM has struggled to retain U.S. smartphone market share, buffeted by both Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone growth and an ever-growing number of Android phones. According to research firm NPD Group, 52 percent of all smartphones sold to U.S. consumers during the second quarter were Android phones, up 19 percent year-over-year. Apple's iOS grew 7 percent during the past year and followed in second at 29 percent market share. Meanwhile, BlackBerry continued to slide, falling to 11 percent market share.

In March, RIM disclosed that in conjunction with its PlayBook tablet launch, it would launch two optional "app players" that provide an application run-time environment for BlackBerry Java apps and apps for version 2.3, or Gingerbread, of Android. The app players allow users to download BlackBerry Java apps and Android apps from RIM's BlackBerry App World and run them on the PlayBook. Android's 250,000 apps are six times the amount in RIM's BlackBerry App World.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

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