While the BlackBerry PlayBook is fairly solid from a hardware standpoint, it lags behind the iPad and Android tablets when it comes to app selection. RIM has a pretty crafty workaround for that up its sleeve, however: a virtual machine that enables Android apps to run on the PlayBook.

The company demoed the Android Player for PlayBook earlier this year, and an early version was even discovered hiding out on RIM’s website. Both helped generate a good deal of anticipation, especially since RIM’s original launch target of Summer 2011 was in full swing.

Today, however, there’s a bit of news from the folks in Waterloo that puts a damper on things. A “reliable source” has told Engadget that the Android Player for PlayBook has now been delayed until the Fall, which will almost certainly compound its tablet market woes.

RIM executives admitted at the company’s 2011 annual general meeting that they didn’t quite know what to do with their first product launched via retail channels. Any further delays in key pieces of promised functionality could well seal the fate of the PlayBook — which would be a shame, since it has so much potential.

Still, potential isn’t always a good way to make consumers open their wallets, especially if it remains untapped for too long.


Lead blogger at Download Squad at the time of its shutdown by AOL, Lee has moved on to join Ziff-Davis sites Extreme Tech and Geek.com. He's been a contributor before at sister site Liliputing, where he...