Should the rumor come true, RIM, which plays a vital role in mobile-computing, will join the Android OS open-source platform.
No matter how efficiently the Dalvik virtual machine may run the Android App., if RIM will allow its popular BlackBerry devices to install a Java virtual machine (JVM), it can run the Android applications.
Currently, Dalvik is the virtual machine in Google’s Android mobiles and tablet PCs operating system, which executes files in the Dalvik Executable (.dex) format and runs classes compiled by a Java language complier. Dalvik, different to other Java VMs and Sun JVM, is a registered-based VM whereas JVM is stack-based. Each has its own merits. Dalvik is suitable for the embedded system, and Android is one of the best samples.
RIM might as well adopt Dalvik VM should it come true, then PlayBook is able to run Android platform as well as the new ONX-based tablet and the next generation of BlackBerry’s mobile intelligence.
But this has both positive and negative sides. Even though the central processor efficiency in tablet PCs and mobiles increases and enables RIM to run its own software by adopting this compatible way, and there is no delay in Android software, software developers will continue focus on Android platform developing while reducing resource invested in that of RIM.
In other words, if RIM does so, it will alarm RIM’s own software platform.
From a positive point of view, RIM users don’t need to worry about the abundant software. They can continue to use RIM mobile or tablet PC to meet business needs and install Android apps to enrich daily life and work.
RIM, therefore, may not simply go with Dalvik VM as there must be other constraints or limitations on certain range of application. Meanwhile, its execution efficiency is also worth paying attention to. Seen from the long-term perspective, RIM’s prospects in tablet PCs and intelligent mobile phones are not entirely positive.