HP Accuses RIM of Immitating TouchPad Design on PlayBook

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HP touchpad and PlayBook

HP seems like they’re picking a fight with RIM over the similarities in UI design between the TouchPad and the PlayBook. Both tablets manage apps as cards, allowing you to swipe between them as they run in the background. Both tablets also have similar swipe gestures, allowing you to swipe apps off the screen. When both companies were asked to comment on the issue, things got pretty passive aggressive.

HP on the BlackBerry PlayBook. Jon Oakes, director of product marketing, TouchPad

From what we’ve seen in the market, there are some uncanny similarities. 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. Jeff McDowell, senior vice president for business and platform marketing

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. 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.

Jon comes across as pretentious while RIM’s McDowell takes the high road and points out the obvious answer: a lot of UIs look the same because they’re the right way to do it. Did every blog rip off the first blog’s formatting? No. It’s just that presenting content in that form makes the most sense. You could present your content in that way, or you could just go Gawker’s route and present it in some ass-backwards way that nobody wants to read. Same goes for a tablet UI.

More commentary over at LapTop Mag.

  • slype

    RIM justifies that QNX already had it and cars all start to look alike because of wind drag… what a bunch of lazy BS excuses. The fact remains QNX or RIM o whoever you want to blame ripped WebOS off very well, because they didn’t think Palm would make it for a bigger platform. Palm’s WebOS has a better chance of surviving this competitive market than RIM, but both have a slim chance combined.

    Android, iOS, and WP7 (tablet edition announcing in June) will be the real show stealers. It’s also why RIM is creating emulators to allow android apps to run on it’s OS. pathetic.

  • All4Choice

    You know, if RIM was actually losing money or even stagnant, I would agree with you. However, RIM isn’t (on both counts) so your ‘analysis’ is not based on any facts (derived or otherwise) but based on dislike of the company. Personal feelings or emotion do not have a place here. Opinions are fine but they should be backed up by facts, facts and, did I mention facts?

  • Roc

    I couldn’t agree with you more sir. Its all good to have an opinion but before you start bashing a company please have some actual facts. But even as a BlackBerry fan I will admit that WebOS brought that UI design to the generally public first……I don’t believe they created it but they did bring it out based on my limited knowledge. The bigger question at hand here is so what if RIM took a design layout? Is that a bad thing and why is RIM getting the heat? The fact is we all copy other peoples idea but what you can’t do is somehow claim you created it yourself. So if RIM were to say we actually came up with the card view first than they would be lying and customers will be offended, which they haven’t said. So should Apple, Android, and any other company that does push email have to apologize to RIM for taking some of RIM’s push emailing structure design when implementing theirs? How about Android and their new panel view? Did anyhow notice its pretty much the same as Apple’s laptop view when you are switching between programs? What about Microsoft Word? or Apples version of Microsoft Word? Give me a break lol all companies steal each other’s ideas. If HP actually had a point then they should stop word fighting and do what RIM did with KIK…….sue them if you feel they stole your idea. That’s how you stop a company from taking your idea if it is affecting your business.

  • BerryKing

    Your comment is pathetic and you don’t understand jack shit of what they just said! Go get lost!

  • Dan

    I kind of wish you would have wrote that you are excited about WP7 (in any version) because I would have stopped reading your post at that time.
    Right now WP7 is worse off than anything RIM puts out and is also about 4 years behind any of the competition. If you think they are going to be a game changer come June then you are crazy.

  • http://caspan.com Caspan

    I love it when people talk of of their ass that only have opinions and no facts what so ever to back themselves up with! Ohhh RIM is declining they are so 2008, they are so old school. Their stock is not worth a billion a share so they must suck.

    Give me any fact you have and I will show you how you only read and listened to what the media or Job’s or Google wanted you to believe and force feed it so everyone believes it.

    1. 2008 anymore: So stop talking about it!!! Just because a device cannot play games means nothing. OH your device is old cause you cant play games like mine does! I guess in your analogy then your devices are old cause they cant even do basic things like security and proper email integration!

    2. They’re slowly on the decline: RIMs focus was on Business until they decided leak into the consumer market and took a big chunk of it. What you are seeing RIM losing is something they took from all of the other markets! So RIM made a huge leap cause people were sick of the crap that was out there and decided to jump ship to something new. That big spike is now settling down while people figure out if they really want a consumer level device or a secure business device they can also use for personal but no angry birds! So to site there and say they are going down cause they are on the decline is just an uneducated opinion on something you don’t understand at all. Also look at the numbers outside North America RIM is the World Leader next to Nokia but they are not a “Smart Phone”

    3. this is in stark contrast to Google, Apple and Microsoft: You cant compare apples and oranges… RIM only does smart phones, all of theses other companies have other means that drive their stock prices. Microsoft is way different because they say “We sold 10 Million WP7 units” this does not mean they have 10 million phones currently in use, it means they have sold 10 Million licences to hardware manufacturers to install on their smart phone hardware that supports WP7

    4. this is in stark contrast to Google, Apple and Microsoft: Again Stock prices are nice to pretend who the winner is based on price per share but this aint the bank I don’t care what the price of a stock is when I buy a device. I want a device that is solid and secure.

    5. Enjoy laughing at Nokia, who’s smartest decision was adopting some other OS platform to build upon their hardware because at this point things are not on the up yet.: Only because RIM rejected them first!