HP calls BlackBerry PlayBook a webOS ripoff; RIM responds

Since we first laid eyes on the new UI RIM was building atop QNX, we’ve said it bears a striking resemblance to the webOS UI Palm introduced in January 2009. Of course we really don’t have a problem with that — webOS is an amazing platform and RIM’s old BlackBerry UI is, well, not great. It turns out some folks at HP might not have been flattered by the imitation, however. “From what we’ve seen in the market, there are some uncanny similarities,” HP’s director of product marketing for the TouchPad, Jon Oakes, said of the PlayBook. “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’s response? “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,” said Jeff McDowell, a marketing exec at RIM. “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.”

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