RIM Woos Android Developers with PlayBook Giveaway

Android Robot Looking InResearch in Motion plans to give Android developers a free PlayBook if they  convert their apps to work on the device.  The promotion has created quite the buzz, according to the company, after Alec Saunders, RIM VP for developer relations, tweeted about it.

But it has to be done quickly. Apps must meet BlackBerry App World Vendor Guidelines and be submitted by Feb. 13. It has a set of tools to help.

RIM is expected to release the 2.0 upgrade for the Tablet OS later this month, which will include the BlackBerry Runtime for Android apps, which will allow Android 2.3.3 applications to run on the device. However, it said Runtime for Android might not support or only partially support APIs in the Android Software Development kit, according to IT World. The applications must be repackaged in the “.bar” file format.

The company is reported to have an oversupply of the tablets on hand and the promotion is one more way to get more devices in use. The giveaway actually might be more focused on developing apps for the BlackBerry 10 smartphones, due out by the end of the year, according to The New York Times.

The PlayBook to be given away is the 16GB model, which RIM discounted this week to $199, down from an original retail price of $499. The 32 GB model is now $249, down from $599, and the 64GB model is $299.