∞ HP says RIM imitates WebOS… um, you both copied Apple

It’s kind of amusing to see what’s going on in the mobile world these days. HP saying that RIM is imitating its WebOS.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]The similarities between HP’s TouchPad WebOS and RIM’s PlayBook haven’t escaped everyone. Laptop contacted both companies about how much RIM’s tablet OS resembles HP’s WebOS.

“From what we’ve seen in the market, there are some uncanny similarities,” said Jon Oakes, director of product marketing, TouchPad. “It’s a fast innovation cycle and a fast imitation cycle in this market, so we just know that we have the creative engine here to continue to build on what we have, and we’ll keep innovating, we’ll keep honing and those guys hopefully will continue to see the value in it and keep following us by about a year.”

RIM didn’t deny the accusation.

“I feel that we set out from the ground up to define a user experience that we felt would delight our customers, and we landed in a place that may look like other competitive devices,” Jeff McDowell, senior vice president for business and platform marketing, told Laptop. “But there was no intention and no preconceived notion that this is what we want to end up looking like. In fact, I think QNX had that design lined up before we even started working with them.

“You know, cars over time end up looking a lot alike because you put them through a wind tunnel, and when you’re trying to come up with the best coefficient to drag ratio, there’s one optimized shape that gets the best wind resistance, right? Well, when you’re trying to optimize user experience that juggles multitasking, multiple apps open at once and on a small screen, you’re going to get people landing on similar kinds of designs.”

Okay then.

What seems to be missing is that both mobile operating systems clearly copied Apple.

It’s also worth noting that both companies copied Apple’s hardware design too — notice how all tablets announced in the last year look suspiciously like an iPad?

Of course, neither company is shipping anything yet, so it doesn’t really matter.

  • Jim

    It would seem obvious wouldn’t it? Except for the oblivious.

  • Anonymous

    He’s got a point. Back in the 90s, there were a lot of makers’ cards, from Toyota, to Hyundai and even Mercedes that the back end of their cars looked like the ubiquitous Ford Taurus.

    This time, with the tablets, it’s Ford and Toyota and Yugo copying Porsche. 🙂

  • LOL. Nicely played, Mr. Dalrymple. It’s just what I was thinking when I first saw that quote.

  • Tim

    Apple was far from the first to make a tablet. Did they market it better? Absolutely. But enough of the finger pointing hoppocrisy already. There’s more than enough copying going on at Apple. Jobs got the ball rolling by ripping off Xerox and Apple has xeroxed every good idea they’ve come across since. Jonathan Ive ripped off (repurposed) all of Dieter Rams best designs (http://bbcicecream.com/blog/2008/03/13/dieter-rams-vs-jonathan-ive/). When Apple does it, apparently that’s different somehow? It’s creative. It’s magical. It’s bullshit.

    • YossarianLives

      You’re right, I recall the MP3 player that Rams designed and it was great. And every Apple presentation for every product has only ever been about how it looks; nothing about how it works or what it’s meant to do.

      For example my mouth and my ass can form circles, but it turns out that both actually have different functions. Yet that doesn’t stop many people, yourself included it seems, from talking out of the wrong one.

    • Cris

      You think this is about marketing? You are deluding your self. Sure tablets where around, but nothing like the iPad running iOS, NOTHING! Now, please, look at the market.

  • D0ppelganger

    Actually Palm brought genuine innovation to a mobile space that was a million miles away from what android 1.0 was to iOS . Apple has yet to better or equal web os on many of it’s core ui elements. All the tablets look suspiciously like an iPad? Well yeah, when you have a slab of 10″ glass it’s difficult to differentiate purely on design. Touch stone, touch to share however are worhy hardware differentiators if slightly more than skin deep. Crazy post , I just don’t get it

    • Anonymous

      Also when you put them in a wind tunnel “there’s one optimized shape that gets the best wind resistance.”

  • Extensor

    I love the hate dripping from these comments. Yummy!

  • Cris

    What some people and even Apple’s competition does not get, it’s not the hardware that Apple is competing with, it’s the solution that it puts in people’s hands. In the case of the iPad, the competition is focusing on the features, and this does not matter.