RIM's VP of developer relations Alec Saunders has offered up free PlayBook tablets to Android developers today in exchange for their apps. All they've got to do is make sure they're signed up and have submitted their Android app to BlackBerry's BB AppWorld by the 13th of February. If your humble narrator didn't know any better, it would seem that RIM is desperate not only to get rid of their remaining stock of the PlayBook BlackBerry tablet, but to get Android users interested in working with them, no matter the cost.
For a company whose tablet was once several hundred dollars, giving these tablets away for free to developers might seem like a move of madness. Of course the truth of the matter is that there's no better way to get people to love your hardware than to get the greatest creators of software on your side. And there's no greater way to get a developer to work for your platform than to give them free hardware, right?
Incorrect, ladies and gentlemen, the best way to get a developer to work on a particular bit of hardware is to make that hardware popular on your own. If the user base exists, the developers will come and grab the cash they've got burning a hole in their pockets. On the other hand, when you're in the position that RIM is in right now, the best solution may well be what they're doing right now. So Android developers, grab yourself a free tablet and play gleefully upon it!
You can get all the tools you need for Runtime for Android apps beta over at Blackberry.com and start tapping away at your future market. Look at how easy it is to get into!