RIM's PlayBook may run Android apps

Research in Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) tablet computer, the PlayBook, may soon be able to run applications from Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system, a move that could make the device more appealing to users.

According to a Bloomberg report that cites three unidentified people familiar with the matter, RIM is integrating Android with the PlayBook's QNX operating system, which the company has said it will eventually migrate to its BlackBerry smartphones. By integrating the two, customers will be able to access Android applications. The software is being developed internally and might be ready as soon as the second half of the year, sources said. RIM declined to comment on the story.  Interestingly, RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie is expected to speak on Wednesday at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain.

Analyst Chetan Sharma told Bloomberg that by offering a tablet with BlackBerry's security and messaging software combined with Android apps, RIM may be able to attract customers that would otherwise opt for another tablet device.

RIM unveiled the PlayBook last September. The BlackBerry tablet has a 7-inch screen and supports Adobe's Flash. In January, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) announced that it would sell the PlayBook tablet starting this summer. The tablet will connect to Sprint's 4G service, which uses Clearwire's (NASDAQ:CLWR) WiMAX network. Neither company has provided definitive pricing information, except to say that the tablet will sell for under $500.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

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