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RIM will trade you a free PlayBook for an Android app

BlackBerry maker is giving away a 16GB tablet for every ported Android app submitted to BlackBerry App World prior to February 16.

Take one, please!

Lately, Research In Motion has seemed determined to push out more of the BlackBerry PlayBooks it has lying around, even if it means literally giving them away.

There are still a few days left on a special deal announced by RIM's developer relations head Alec Saunders via Twitter--the company is giving away a free 16GB PlayBook to every developer who converts their Android app to be compatible with and available for the PlayBook.

The Android app needs to be ported and submitted to BlackBerry App World prior to the February 13 deadline to get the free tablet.

RIM's trade-a-tablet-for-an-app scheme adds to an air of desperation that's surrounded the BlackBerry brand lately. Not only has the price of the PlayBook been slashed to a fraction of the original asking figure (a 16GB slate is now $199), but there was also the odd bit of boasting recently when RIM defiantly insisted its developers were more profitable than Android's.

It seems plenty of developers have no problem gladly accepting free loot from a sinking ship. RIM says its offer was met with an "outpouring of interest" from Android devs. I have to wonder if RIM has spent much time on the Android Market lately--does all this porting of new apps mean there will soon be a whole new generation of spammy BlackBerry apps that do little more than port an RSS feed and some ads onto the PlayBook?

You might want to start bailing faster, RIM, you seem to be taking on more water. But thanks for the free tablets.