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HP calls BlackBerry PlayBook a webOS ripoff; RIM responds

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 7:04PM EST

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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.”


Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.