A lot of Android developers have been looking at the BlackBerry PlayBook as a new revenue platform, since RIM has developed a set of tools that make porting Android apps to the PlayBook OS a piece of cake. That interest only increased when RIM started literally giving tablets away to Android developers who joined the program. There’s a hitch in the process, however: according to GigaOm, a RIM representative has stated that apps ported using the Android App Player won’t support mobile ads, in addition to other limitations.
That’s a big setback for anyone who intended to make money with their ported Android app, since a huge portion of revenue on the Android Market is driven by advertising instead of direct app purchases. In-app purchases are also a no go. Without the income from ads, developers will either have to give their apps away totally free or change their business model and begin charging directly, at least on the PlayBook. At least they won’t have too much competition.
BlackBerry’s PlayBook has struggled even more than the rest of the platform. The $500 7-inch tablet is heavily discounted at many online and retail stores, and RIM apparently has enough laying around that they can give away thousands without seriously impacting their bottom line. The company hopes that OS 2.0 (which includes the Android App Player) will rejuvenate the platform. Considering that the PlayBook doesn’t get so much as a blip on the tablet OS market share charts, I wouldn’t hold my breath.