RIM planning BlackBerry Android tie up?


RIM is looking to boost BlackBerry sales by adding the ability to download Android apps onto its smartphones, according to sources familiar with the plans.

The sources said RIM's new QNX software will be compatible with Android, meaning users should get a significantly wider choice of apps, Bloomberg reported.

There are over 250,000 apps on the Android Market, which could boost the popularity of BlackBerrys. RIM has been losing ground in the global smartphone share battle, as Apple and Samsung now lead the way in terms of hardware sales worldwide.

RIM has already said its PlayBook tablet, which also runs on the QNX software, would be able to run Android applications. One of the sources said the same Android app player from the PlayBook would be installed on BlackBerry phones.

The addition of an Android player would come pre-installed on new phones, rather than be issued within an OS upgrade, according to the source.

As part of its bid to reassert itself on the market, BlackBerry has launched a host of phones based on the new BlackBerry 7 OS this month. This included the BlackBerry Curve 9360 on Tuesday.

BlackBerry will want to look at the security implications of including Android apps, however. Recent data has showed just how prominent malicious Android apps are becoming.

Android was the most targeted mobile platform by new malware in the second quarter of 2011, with plenty of threats coming via Trojanised apps.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.