(KCBS) – Research in Motion is revamping its smartphones with plans to introduce the Android OS to its Blackberry line next year.

This comes as the company which last year was the smartphone leader has fallen into third place, behind Apple and Google.

CNET Editor-at-Large Brian Cooley clarified that what they’re doing is not making their phones run on Android but on an Android player, sort of like an app within the phone. This is not unheard of in tech but it’s not popular, Cooley said.

This is a good step for the company to get exposed to Android apps, Cooley commented, and they’re also introducing a new music service called Blackberry Messenger that will give users a way to share the music they’re listening to – much like a combination of iTunes and Facebook.

However, all of these are going in different directions from the core of what Blackberry does. To regain momentum they have to get into the mainstream. People want lifestyle and fun in their smartphones and Blackberrys have not balanced all that yet, Cooley added.

“They’re not great media phones at all…they’ve got to get that perception changed.”

You can hear his Tech Watch report Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:50 P.M. on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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