HP finally address RIM's PlayBook: 'a fast imitation' of webOS | webOS Nation

HP finally address RIM's PlayBook: 'a fast imitation' of webOS 72

by Derek Kessler Tue, 01 Mar 2011 8:04 pm EST

It’s been on the tips of our tongues for a while now, and though our friends at CrackBerry don’t want to admit it, Research in Motion’s PlayBook tablet OS looks an awful lot like webOS. Okay, the boys over at CrackBerry are actually pretty cool about it, but we were beginning to wonder how long HP would be cool about it. Being cool is still the name of the game, though apparently Jon Oakes, director of product marketing, TouchPad, has decided to call things as he sees them:

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.”

Oh snap, RIM, you just got told. For their part, RIM defends the PlayBook as an experience built from the ground up, claiming that “there was no intention and no preconceived notion” that they wanted to emulate webOS, and that QNX may have even had the user interface under development before RIM bought them. That said, we aren’t buying the line about how “cars over time end up looking a lot alike.” That Lotus Espirit we’ve been lusting after doesn’t look much like the Honda Civic in our garage. There are many ways to manage a multitasking mobile operating system, and we’re disappointed that RIM doesn’t seem to want to innovate too far beyond the UI conventions put forth by webOS. Then again, it seems Microsoft couldn’t come up with something better either.

Source: Laptop Magazine; Via: Engadget


Yep, it's a copy. Then again, Nokia had a similar card-type interface on the N900 which came out shortly after the Pre was released.

That being said, I'm anxious to see the blackberry can do with QNX now that they've just bought it. QNX is an awesome system, and I'm amazed no cell phone company snapped them up before. They had a version of their OS available free for download almost a decade ago, that had a nice GUI, a network stack, a web browser, and modem drivers. And it all ran off a 1.44 MB floppy disk on a computer with 8MB of RAM. With anything approaching modern smart phone hardware, it should just fly.

Emulate? Maybe.... Imitation? Probably... But which one will hit the market first? Regardless I will be in line on day 1 for my TouchPad.

yea, first to market, and how its marketed, is gonna have people saying oooh, that company copied that company...should be interesting...

My side hurts from seeing HP use the word "fast", twice no less and it's about their competition and not themselves.

At least HP has only announced one tablet. Blackberry first announced the Playbook ages ago, and has announced two variants. None have shipped.


the Touchpad is some nice hardware for sure and i will consider buying one if it is around $500. if its anymore than that i think i want a Moto Xoom. i just played with it last night at the Verizon store by me and daaaamn it's frickin sweeet. Android 3.0 Honeycomb really takes advantage of the large screen. i am impressed i must say and i almost hate to say that i like it much more than WebOS 3.0. not to mention it also has mini hdmi and usb (both lacking on the Touchpad for some dumb reason). i am no fanboy here, i am being straight-up.

But the Espirit does look like halfway between a ferarri and a veyron.

That said... anyone else seeing that videos button that is basically a recolored version of Palm's one?

have you seen the new veyron? wayyy hot. they also gave it even more horsepower haha. i think its pushing like 1200 now? ridic

In the picture, why is the Playbook next to an iPad? Oh, wait... embarrassing.

Isn't it ironic that the TP, an obvious copy of the iPad, is what is held up as the original to RIM's copy?

Physical copy, sure. UI is what we're talking about here.

He probably still feels bad that they decided to dump the gesture area...

yeah doesn't the playbook have it all around the bezel? thats really cool

From a hardware perspective tablets will be very similar to each other just like laptops. The only real difference will be button placement how many buttons.

Now from a software/UI perspective, things can be completely different. Well, at least they should be completely different...

Now that palm's patent application (US 2011/0035708) is finally published, this is how HPalm might try and go after Rim's Playbook. Check it out!


the TP may look similar to an iPad, same with all the other pads coming out but the OS is what makes the difference.

RIM did a pretty good job of imitating webOS but unless they can keep inovating it the TP will come out on top.

HP has a good thing going so far. Just hope they market it well.

We said the same thing about WebOS, if they kept innovating, the Pre would only get better. Meanwhile, imitation outsells innovation 10:1, and the imitators have that much more money for advertising and product development.

It also would help if they actually released the TP! So far, it looks like BB is going to beat HP to market so the average customer is going to think that the TP is a knockoff of the Playbook!

reminds me of the poor Dreamcast. sometimes in the tech world its bad to b too ahead of your time

Thank you HP for taking the high road! Woot! It is nice to be on your team.

RIM, geez... just admit that HP/Palm has a fantastic interface and you gotta have it... no need to say otherwise... 6+ versions of BBOS and now, all of a sudden, you did it all on your own without even looking? Paaahleeeeeze! Just makes you sound like a 6-year old. Only one believing it is you!

Tired of hearing that any tablet is a "copy" of the ipad. The TP's got a screen with bezel and a button. What else is a tablet supposed to be? The tablet concept was around for a long time before apple made one. Do you think apple invented rounded corners or something? The important thing is that the OS/user experience is different, which is the issue with the playbook. Rather than making it a problem, though, HP is confident in their product and ability to make it stand out. I, frankly, feel the same.

The design documents that engadget posted a few weeks back clearly shows that HP pretty much used the iPad as the gold standard for what the TouchPad needs to be in many areas. Kinda like they did with the Envy line.

Not trying to throw BB under the bus but the BB Torch has the same hardware design as the Pre as well.

Palm invented the vertical slider that we've been seeing for about five years? There is a lot of room under that bus.

my first vertical slider was LG then my next was Samsung about six years ago... off topic but just so HP knows: that Samsung slider i had WAY better spell check than the pre. it was awesome actually. i wish they would just release a damn update giving me Text Assist. it was the main reason i wanted 2.0

Yeah, it was some minor stuff I wanted HP to give the legacy hardware before I'd trust them with another two years and $2000+ of my money. But we've gotten squat since the video was added and that's what they're getting from me.

They just gave up. Quit. Where's my ETF rebate?

lusting over a lotus esprit??? Really? oh well, different strokes for different folks.

yeah id rather have a Skyline GTR. sooooo hotttt

IF we are lusting over cars go big or go home!!!

Bugatti Veyron (super sport)
0-60 in 2.5 seconds

ya go big!!!

I think what they were stating had more to do with convergent evolution. I think iOS will also soon gain better notifications which will likely be similar webOS. I use a palm because I want to be different, I feel no shame in admitting that overall the iphone and android platforms are much more compelling to many users. I also feel the balance of power still might shift at some point in the future. The simple fact is a good web browser and PIM apps are 90% of what I do on my phone, and hopefully the webOS platform will perform above average at these things at pace with industry. I also have the luxury of being in a profession where I can be flexible with my mobile OS choice (developer). I think the Feb 9th event was a letdown, but assuming they can stick to the timeline they laid out and the products are not grossly outperformed by the industry, 2011 may still be a good year for webOS. -nick

agreed... i too use webos just to b different at this point. dont get me wrong i like it and all but it is just lacking so many simple feature that i had on phones years ago. it ridiculous. hp needs to realize i dont give a **** about printing from my phone as much as i do about a damn spell check to correct all my errors caused by this tiny keyboard

Pre 2 has a spell checker, just like 2.1 meta-doctored Pre and Pre+.

Everyone copies Apple. Nuff said.

well this is true (talking to all those who voted you down here) what sells now? slab phones with big touchscreens with rows of icons that run "apps" (in one way or another) the first to do this well? APPLE. it took Google and HTC alil over a year and palm 2 years to come out with a viable competitors. nuff said

seriously, why did everyone vote this person down? that's just an indication of fanboyism running rampid around here. This person speaks the truth. It wasn't until Apple released the iphone that the smart phone market changed so much. When you open up your app launcher, are you going to tell me that doesn't look and feel like an iphone? What about the battery indicator on the top right, or the scrolling? Let's not forget the look on texting and many other apps. If you say no, now you're just lying.

What RIM did was beat HPalm to the game. HPalm could have moved faster but they didn't, instead they keep telling people "in the coming months". Well, you snooze you lose! Don't get me wrong, I'm not a RIM fan, in fact I can't stand RIM, but facts are facts. HPalm had an opportunity to shine, but they once again let someone else exploit their best features. What's even worse, is the RIM has gestures and HPalm took them out!

Whose fanboyism? Apple fanboyism? To an Apple fanboy, everyone copies Apple.

I'm not an apple fanboy - I personally don't own apple product and probably never will. Get your facts straight and open your eyes. The entire industry knows everyone's been copying apple - nothing new here.

I think RIM has had their eyes on HP/Palm for a while now, considering how the torch is sporting alot of familiar hardware specs and form factor of the Pre, and mow they try to copy the Web OS UI, but fail miserably.

Hopefully HP uses this ''protege'' in it s marketing to emphasize how powerful Web OS really is. Use this situation to tease RIM and make Web OS products shine.

it doesn't seem like it fails miserably. looks pretty good to me. cards run programs active just like webOS. just saying so u are informed properly

basically repeating what people have stated already - The Playbook being first to the market will have a big impact. Not many people outside of this community even know what WebOS is. Most will see the TP and think it is a ripoff of the Playbook. Hopefully HP gains share over time and all will be good since it will be much more refined experience.

The sad thing is that spec wise the Playbook is very impressive while the Touchpad is already behind the ball. The Touchpad really should have a rear camera on it just to meet other tablets in the market. All other Tabs have a rear camera. A small addition to what HP could have made. SMH

The touchpad isnt really behing the ball. Besides the rear camera (which I find stupid on a 10 inch tablet anyways) its got better specs than the soon to be announced iPad 2 and is faster than the Xoom. So what are you referring to when you say behind the ball?

it's processor is slightly faster than the tergra 2 in the Xoom but i believe the graphics processing is superior. the Xoom also has a rear camera, mini usb and hdmi, and sorry to say Android 3.0 which is amazingly nice... i hope the TP is priced low to compete

At least RIM was smart enough to steal the gesture area too, HP was too stupid to keep Palm's own innovation...

haha for real. looks like they cheaped out on it, it really does.

I seriously question the decision making regarding the discontinuation of gesture area support in non-phone formats. That alone may force me to purchase a competitor's product. Heck, HP removed one of the largest, most popular differentiators.

Agreed with aboveavg.

It reminds me of when WebOS was first introduced and TealPoint quickly created TealOS as a UI to imitate WebOS on PalmOS. Palm apparently issued them a "cease and desist" within about a month. Background: www.treocentral.com/content/Stories/2494-1.htm

Sorry but this is ridiculous. It 'copies' the smaller version of the window paradigm because it's the only task-switching mechanism that makes sense on these devices. Can you come up with something better? Or let's say something equally good but different. I bet no one can.

On jailbroken iPads you can get the same thing by the way:


The thing that really IS innovative is the stacks of cards with windows that are all from the same application. That part has not been 'stolen' by anyone.

I'm just as much of a HP/Palm fan as anyone else here but this is really borderline ridiculous.

andoid 3.0 has a good way to multitask, not as cool but it works.

Thanks, he totally didn't ask for that but it's a tidbit of information we really needed.

BB PLaybook software is a viral copy of webOS. I really hope HP is just waiting for the Playbook launch to do something in the legal field.

I hope that HP is focusing on getting their product to market rather than worrying about this. Let their army of lawyers battle it in court instead of their mid level marketing people crying about it. But it does point to HP's focus on the enterprise market rather than consumers.

Now we know why HP is talking now. The BB Playbook will be released on April 10th.


some ppl say that rear facing camera is "stupid". Maybe for doing your photo trip it is, but there also Developers out there, that MIGHT do with a camera just fine, for several Enterprise- class use cases... Oh wait,there's no camera API... Too bad for them- in this case,sure,camera makes NO sense...

Just imagine using a tablet with a rear-facing camera (essentially every tablet except the HP TouchPad) for augmented reality (e.g. Layars) - especially during vacation.

The title of this article is pretty misleading since it pulls only part of a phrase which completely change it's meaning -- classic Quoting out of Context. The complete phrase is "Fast imitation cycle". HP is simply arguing that BB produced a nearly identical UI to WebOS so quickly that they could only have copied it. The misquote reads like HP is complementing BB on performance characteristics of the copy (the UI implementation on the PlayBook).


And a terrible one at it.


not really... it has more feature than the touchpad... i luv webos and iv had a pre for awhile now, but im able to admit when something that isnt webos is good. i hate this mentality that people have that think anthing that they dont own is complete garbage. its just tech. re **** lax people

Shit immitating ****

Playbook coming out in April 2011.

HP's response: hey you stole our UI! Well, not completely - we like that gesture area on your playbook. Anyway, just wait until we release our touchpad..... in, um, well, ummmm... in... the... coming... months. (insert this sound -> http://instantrimshot.com/index.php?sound=priceiswrong).

Damn you HP and your "ready to ship" 6 month window!

Sadly Apple is releasing the iPad 2 (March), RIM the Playbook (April) and Google will have Honeycomb out, all before the announced but unobtainable Touchpad. I decided to wait on the iPad 1 on the promise of the Touchpad, but HP really needs to get faster. I'm a Palm loyalist and the time to market is excruciatingly painful. iPad 2 is delivering on some of the original shortcomings including 1080p HDMI out and two video enabled cameras (front and back). In product terms HP risks missing the market window even with the great webOS user interface.

And if RIM delivers on an Android virtual engine, they'll solve any complaints about app availability plus have essentially the webOS cards interface. And I presume RIM will keep their enterprise friendly features.

ipad2 and Xoom own the Touchpad. i am sry to say that it wont sell too well except to webos loyalists. Whomp whomp whomp HP. no HDMI out!? what where u thinking?! o yeah, u weren't.
the ipad 2 has at least equal the processing power, a rear camera, lighter, thinner and 1,000 times more awesome software to run on it while being the same price i'm sure. man i had high hopes for webos and have been die hard loyal to it since the beginning. i suppose its time to move on

Did you just register an account to post comments boosting the Xoom and iPad 2?

can i dowmlowd preware on palm pixi plus? and what is it for?

Forget BB for a minute. iPad 2 announced March 2nd. Begins shipping March 11th. There's a strategy I wish HP would steal right from the pages of Apple. Go ahead. Imitate it. Instead HP will do it their own way. Announce Touchpad, then 6 months later show up late to the prom and actually release it. Then the execs will can look back and tell everyone what they did wrong. Palm did the same thing and evidently didn't learn a single thing from it. Regarding success, a wiser man than myself once told me, "If you want to have what they have, you have to do what they do". If an HP employees are reading, go ahead and pass that quote on to your bosses.

Well Leo Apotheker wanted to only announce products that are ready for release, but that obviously won't be happening for this release cycle.

Maybe Leo Apothekar should have announced the iPad2...

so Apple announced the Ipad 2 today, and its being released on the 11th. Just over a week from now. HP announces the touch pad in february and we wont see it until.... July?? August??

I understand that the ipad two is iterative and all that is new on it is really a new OS(upgrade), cameras, and faster processor (which i havent seen specs on really). But HP NEEDS better turn around

why can't someone just do the right thing and sue leo/HP for promising consumers that their products would be readily available after announcement knowing well that the products that are no where available for another few months.

Glad they fired back but we can barely agree at this point. This is just another business situation, when your company doesn't compete on the major levels it needs to ( the major groups )

Your idea can be taken and used as a secondary feature and no one will blink an eye. If something of this nature were to go to court right now. The ruling and argument would be a child custody case. You have deceived the public, intentionally used false manipulation to create gossip likely to save what remaining male fortitude those working for these companies have left. If you went side by side with these companies what you (HP/Palm) calls unique would simply be another feature.

What really is funny is HP/Palm refuse to use much of the integration of the other companies because a calender feature or small additions they actually have would be seen just as this nothing more then simple natural progression. They remind me of the school boy who did the most significant task first and we had to remind him that it is who does it first but how it is implemented into the real world.

Blackberry will predominately win a case on this feature. At least amongst the public, and at this point, people of WebOS have more to fear of the court then to benefit from it.

As for coding... the quality is better, but programming is dismal and features to the major base of your consumers at this point is weak. Still I have no idea what you could possible have been thinking to abandon your major consumer base that are stuck with your older software.

How does this company expect the purchaser to purchase the new product if the release is only on another network? Unless your hoping the owners disregard the product. In which case they couldn't purchase your product anyway. With their evil intentions in mind at this point we could see them wanting people to disregard a durable product to hopefully have one feel condemned by it later on. Though even HP Spokes people admit most people go through a different phone every 2-3 years.

Maybe Palm is a simple education course. Assuming their numbers are always small 500k-1,000,000 they could simply revolve to different consumers at any one time.

Their mentioning of 1.2 billion dollars for the purchase of this company is heavily exaggerated and is like no more then 100 million if that. I wouldn't put it passed them to say this company was no more then a business plan with ideas that was passed along.

What we know possibly is this , support has been cut likely by the amount of people on their payroll. A few quality developers could easily correct these issues and yet it has not been completed. Why, would you think you have anything unique when the most unique applications on the market are on different devices, applications that are predominately on an open platform that which you have access to with a phone call or email.

I read the last paragraph and I have to say Are you Nuts!?
If it weren't for Blackberry you wouldn't have any business mobile clients even worried about advanced multi-tasking. What the WebOS has made possible is limited by its other resources.

Blackberry's App world has every mobile chat client, every application in the Palms catalog, PDF views, document editing, kept promises, continued support, flash, If anything we can say the WebOS pre 2 was nothing more then to say yes technically we have many of those features also, but no one has them.

Implementing the missing links in a quality way doesn't put you on top of much if your trying to ignore the market entirely. This is the equivalent of not letting Itunes run on the Pre or not wanting it to. Again too many people in a company just saying things, because no one has any idea why reasonable occurrences aren't happening.

For the record to all of you young politicians your not allowed to stop an occurrence from happening unless your going to implement yourself knowing you have larger and stronger capable means.Simply making it not happen doesn't put you anywhere.