BlackBerry could soon be running Android apps, sources say. First we heard HP’s ditched WebOS TouchPad was to be Android’ed.
Now it appears BlackBerry are following suit – and planning to adapt their smartphones to run Android apps, according to Bloomberg sources.
BlackBerry fledgling QNX platform, to be released possibly Q1 2012, is to be Android compatible, the sources say, allowing thousand of Google’s apps to be run on its smartphones, whose sales have suffered at the hands of the very same Android platform.
The move, it is hoped, would breath some much needed life back into the BlackBerry platform, despite having its own App World store, but with less than 15% of the content its Google Android Market rival boasts – around 250,000.
BlackBerry has already confirmed the QNX-powered PlayBook tablet would be compatible with Android software to run apps, but failed to make any comment about its cult smartphones, so far.
But the timing couldn’t be better, if the sources information is correct.
According to Canalys Q2 analysis, Android is the now the No.1 platform, accounting for 48% of all smartphones sales including the likes of Samsung, HTC, Motorola and Huawei handsets whom run Google Android, ahead of Apple 19%, with BlackBerry trailing fourth place with 12% – down from 33% a year ago.
Sales of Android open platform handsets grew over 350% during Q2 alone.
But BlackBerry’s woes are by no means the end of the road for the Canadian brand, with global shipments growing 11% year on year, and is the number one vendor in Latin America, Canalys stats which tracks 56 countries, also indicated.
Markets rejoiced following the news with RIM shares, which have received a battering of late, rebounding 3.9 percent, to US$28.57 yesterday, with one analyst in Toronto placing an “outperform” rating on the stock.
“Being able to run Android apps, that’s a big plus,” said Steven Li, analyst from Raymond James Ltd.
“If you get the tonnage of Android apps and the top 50 apps through BlackBerry’s App World, that addresses many of the concerns people have about RIM’s ecosystem.”
This isn’t the first move towards brand rejuvenation by RIM, who recently announced 5 new touch phones on 7 platform, and just yesterday launching BBM Music service for $4.99 a month.