So in an effort to quickly establish a large library of apps on launch, RIM recently announced that its upcoming PlayBook tablet will be able to run Android apps via en emulator.
When asked why anyone would ever bother developing for RIM’s own platform again if they could just make Android apps that would also work on RIM devices, co-CEOdidn’t make it sound like his heart was all-in on Android.
He basically said that the Android support is there to check off the “tonnage of apps” box — so that RIM can say that tens of thousands of Android apps are compatible with their devices, for people who get excited about those things.
Meanwhile, he said that anyone interested in high performance apps, gaming, etc., will want to make custom PlayBook apps via the newsoftware developers kit.
Sounds like a crystal clear message of confusion to me. And oh yeah, there’s one more thing. Supported Android apps on the Playbook will be limited to the Android 2.3 ‘Gingerbread’ runtime. In other words, apps made specifically for mobile phones as the PlayBook won’t support apps coded for Google’s tablet OS, Honeycomb.
Matt Drance chimes in,
You could argue that RIM is playing to its classic audience: business decision makers who just need a checklist covered and don’t care about much else. The problem is the genuinely good products out there now are already chipping away at the same list. “We have all that” is no longer enough. And no matter who your target audience is, clarity of message is important — only more so when you’re late to the game.
Throw everything to the wall and see what sticks, eh? Not a shrewd strategy in the least.