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Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), plans to enable models expected next year to run applications built for Google’s Android operating system, three people familiar with the plan said. New BlackBerry phones will switch to QNX by Q1 2012, by most reports. The current BlackBerry 7 phones will not be able to upgrade to QNX.

BlackBerrys that run on RIM’s new QNX software will be Android-compatible. RIM is rebuilding its range of devices around QNX and is looking to add features that appeal to customers who had grown weary of the aging BlackBerry portfolio and its narrower selection of apps.

In order for QNX devices to run android apps, they need a separate “Android player.” The Android Player will come pre-installed on QNX BlackBerry phones.

The Android app player in the new BlackBerrys is the same one that has been built for the PlayBook, and it is being tweaked to fit the different screen size and resolution of various BlackBerry models, one of the people said.

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Thomas Oppong is the founder @Alltopstartups.