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.”
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.