As we tweeted earlier today: Although we have heard this rumor before, we are actually surprised (in a good way) that RIM has confirmed that its upcoming PlayBook will support Android Apps. This is a both a win and a loss for RIM. Its a win because consumers can access the 200,000+ Android apps. The PlayBook will be a strong challenger to Motorola's Xoom for the non-iPad tablet crown. On the other hand, it is a loss because RIM may feel that its own apps (25,000+ Blackberry Java) are not strong enough to compete with Android or Apple's iOS AppStore.
"RIM will launch two optional "app players" that provide an application run-time environment for BlackBerry Java(R) apps and Android v2.3 apps. These new app players will allow users to download BlackBerry Java apps and Android apps from BlackBerry App World and run them on their BlackBerry PlayBook."
Consumers will download the app players from BlackBerry App World which will then be placed in a secure "sandbox" where the BlackBerry Java or Android apps can be run.
The only downside is that the new app players will not be available until this summer. However, this feature makes the PlayBook more attractive.