HP TouchPad to BlackBerry PlayBook: Quit Copying Me!

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Nothing like stirring the pot between two tablet makers, eh? That’s just what Laptop did by calling the attention of HP and BlackBerry to the similarities between both companies’ upcoming tablets.

According to Laptop:

“Both tablets render open programs as cards that you can easily swipe through for multitasking, and you can close apps using both OSes by swiping them off the screen. To be fair, though, RIM goes further with gestures in the PlayBook than HP does with its tablet.”

HP got to comment first, saying:

“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.”

By about a year? Ouch. BlackBerry, your rebuttal?

“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.”

The BlackBerry rep added that his company had “no intention and no preconceived notion” that the PlayBook tablet’s interface would resemble the one used by HP, saying, “In fact, I think QNX had that design lined up before we even started working with them.” QNX is the operating system powering the PlayBook—the company was acquired by RIM (BlackBerry) last year.

But didn’t the HP TouchPad get announced and revealed long after the BlackBerry Playbook? Yes, yes it did. But the TouchPad’s interface is a version of Palm’s webOS software (Palm was acquired by HP last year) that debuted on the Palm Pre smartphone back in mid-2009.

More on TIME.com:

HP Unveils 10-inch ‘TouchPad’ Tablet, New Smartphones

BlackBerry Introduces 7-inch ‘PlayBook’ Tablet

Motorola Xoom Reviews Are In: King of Tablets or Just Android Tablets?

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