RIM is expected to give the BlackBerry Playbook and future BlackBerry smartphones the ability to run Android apps as well as native BlackBerry applications.
The ability to run Android software will come through an “App Player” released directly by RIM to select devices, only one of which is currently on the market (the Playbook.) While the PlayBook will get the App Player through a software update, (and an early version has already been leaked to the public), Bloomberg reports that smartphones running QNX may come with the software preloaded.
It’s not clear that all QNX devices will be able to run Android apps. While it’s beginning to seem likely that RIM will eventually base its entire mobile offering on QNX software, the lower end models like the Pearl and the Curve may be limited to just BlackBerry App World, which has just a sixth of the amount of apps in the Android Market, while higher end devices get access to Android apps.