updated 06:10 pm EDT, Fri April 13, 2012
RIM may be close to BBM Android and PlayBook 4G
RIM could be getting close to releasing a pair of major projects based on a pair of tentative rumors in mid-week. One possible sighting emerging from TechnoBuffalo had BlackBerry Messenger being run on an Android device for testing purposes. The lone shot had few extra details, but conspicuously showed an "iPhone test" contact entry, suggesting RIM was developing for both platforms.
The shot isn't verifiable other than supporting the claims that the source was just responsible for bug fixing. Earlier rumors had RIM supporting both Android and iOS with a BBM port and might be supporting evidence, although conversation about it went silent for more than a year. Former co-CEO Jim Balsillie was said on Friday to have proposed putting Android and iOS on RIM's services just before he resigned as CEO, something that might have included BBM.
The switch would come as RIM acknowledged that some of its distinctive features, including BBM, were no longer unique. BBM has a direct parallel in Apple's iMessage, and third-party apps like Kik or Samsung's ChatON let users chat across platforms where BBM is limited to RIM's phones.
A separate rumor had the already leaked BlackBerry PlayBook 4G coming very soon. BerryReview heard that both 3G- and 4G- variants were already in testing worldwide, running a PlayBook 2.0.1 update. AT&T, Bell, Rogers, Telus, T-Mobile, and Verizon would be testing the tablet in North America, while Orange UK, StarHub Mobile (Singapore), and T-Mobile in both the UK and Germany were involved elsewhere.
The cellular tablet would supposedly ship in May, making it a strong candidate for an introduction at BlackBerry World at the start of the month. RIM's version would be a conservative upgrade from last year's model, but it might jump to a 1.5GHz chip to stay current with rivals.