January 26, 2011, 4:56 PM —
Rumor on the Boy Genius Report, from "multiple trusted sources," has it that RIM is going to put a Davlik VM -- the virtual machine that runs modified Java apps on Android -- on their still-vaporous PlayBook tablet. This in theory has two purposes: to allow existing Java BlackBerry OS apps to run, and to get access to the wealth of Android apps out there.
I'll let others comment on the scent of desperation involved here (if they wanted to run Android apps, why not just make an Android tablet?) and point out that from a technical viewpoint this will be tricky. BlackBerry OS apps are written in Java Micro Edition, and Android apps are heavily modified Java Standard Edition apps. Either developers or RIM are going to be jumping through tons of hoops. Then, of course, there's the little matter that Oracle is suing people with deep pockets over Android and Davlik, and this starts to sound like a pretty terrible idea.