In a conference call this morning, the new CEO of RIM, Thorsten Heins, announced that BlackBerry 10 smartphones will have an Android player, allowing them to run third-party software created for this rival platform.
Heins, who took over for former co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazardis this weekend, made it evident that BlackBerry 10 phones will have the opportunity to contain more third-party applications — the company has been heavily criticized in the past for the limited supply of these.
The Android player will allow BlackBerrys to run other Android apps even though it will not be running the Android OS. The software will have to be specifically modified, however. Although the process is not necessarily complicated, developers will have to go through a few extra steps, so only a sub-set of Android apps will be available for BlackBerrys.
This announcement could be huge for RIM when the new BlackBerrys are released in the fall. The arrival of Android apps to BlackBerrys can serve as a way to boost the company back into being a serious contender the smartphone market.