HP to RIM: Our iPad Challenger Is More Original Than Your iPad Challenger
Isn’t this ironic. Hewlett-Packard and Research in Motion, two companies that haven’t officially launched their first tablets yet, talking smack to one another the day before Apple debuts its second.
Evidently, HP feels RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook UI borrows pretty heavily from the webOS operating system on which its TouchPad will run, and it is more than happy to say so publicly.
“There are some uncanny similarities,” HP’s Jon Oakes told LapTop. “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 rebuttal? To claim that the PlayBook’s QNX OS developed organically, despite its WebOS Cards-style multitasking interface, and to suggest that similarities between the two operating systems are inevitable. “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.”
A diplomatic argument, and one that does make some sense. Design similarities are likely inevitable in a market like this one.
Particularly if you’re the one that established it in the first place.
Sadly, neither HP or RIM can claim that, because the TouchPad and PlayBook aren’t even available yet. But Apple can. And later today, after it laps HP and RIM a second time with the next iteration of the iPad, this little spat will look even sillier than it already does.