RIM, in the official BlackBerry developer's blog, announced today that Blackberry Playbook's OS update to version 2.0 will bring compatibility with Android applications. RIM's post has several helpful tips for developers looking to bring their creations to the Playbook, offering some recommendations for ensuring your approval into BlackBerry App World:
Let's be frank: RIM's BlackBerry products are unilaterally, shall we say, unexciting. And RIM's new theme song should probably be this. And by "unexciting," I mean ugly, hopelessly dated, and so boring that a story about them spontaneously bursting into flames might actually give the company some much-needed edginess in their marketing campaigns. Maybe that's a bridge too far.
Anyway, when I read this morning that RIM's new CEO Thorsten Heins, speaking to CrackBerry, said Android devices are "all the same," I couldn't help but go slack-jawed in a combination of muted laughter and near disbelief at the irony.
Now, we're an Android blog and all, but we aren't exactly deaf to the seemingly never-ending corporate death-curdle that is Research in Motion. As we speak, the tech world is watching (halfway out of actual interest, half for sheer entertainment value) as the once seemingly immovable enterprise titan rolls, like a god on high fallen from Olympus, to the bottom of a mountain called Relevancy.
The story of that tumble can be told, foot by foot, from the day of the iPhone launch.
Update: This was just an unsubstantiated rumor according to a Samsung spokesman: "We haven't considered acquiring the firm and are not interested in (buying RIM)" - Reuters.
It's no secret that RIM (Research in Motion) has seen better days; in fact, its stock dropped a whopping 75 percent last year alone. Considering the downward spiral, the company's CEOs are looking for a way out, be it a sale or licensing its Blackberry software.
A few days ago, redditor fernandizzel posted a hypothetical poll: "If MS & Apple had their way and Android ceased to exist one year from today, what OS would you use?" The choices were fairly obvious: Blackberry, Windows Phone, iOS, or Other.
When the tech world first heard of the BlackBerry tablet, it was greeted with a fair amount of optimism. It was thought that the very daring (for RIM) device could be just what the company needed to get out of its unabashed slump in popularity, particularly in the United States. In addition, rumblings that the device would be able to run Android Market apps (and actually can now) had Android and RIM fans alike excited for the possibilities of cross-platform development.
This is a pretty wild piece of news. Google, George Mason University, and the NSA are working to make Android the most secure OS out there. They're developing a "hardened" kernel so Android can pass all the necessary red tape to be deployed for government use. By 2012 they expect Android to be good enough for classified communication, and eventually they'll hit a higher security clearance level than BlackBerrys. Poor BlackBerry, security was one of the last things they had left.
As an ardent Android fan I spent the better part of the last few months trying to convince my girlfriend to switch over to the green robot after she lost her beloved BlackBerry and required a replacement phone.
A recent report from ComScore indicates that as of July 2011 82 million Americans own smartphones, with Android running on 41.8% of those devices, iOS on 27%, BlackBerry OS on 21.7%, Windows Phone on 5.7%, and Symbian on 1.9%.
The survey clearly indicates that significant gains have been made by Google and Apple at the expense of RIM, Microsoft, and Nokia.
Additionally, the survey also looked at the market share of hardware manufacturers and interestingly Samsung was well ahead of the rest with 25.5% market share.