Another N9 Copycat Alert! NOT. EDITED

Before reading further, please realise the facts have changed here and if you go down towards the bottom of the article you will read the update on this.  Thanks.

Further to my recent post here where I mentioned some of the recent look-a-like phones which have come to market, I stumbled upon this, another engadget story, via mynokiablog.

It seems while although this is only a developer device, Blackberry are now very much on the copycat bandwagon – what do you think ?

Blackberry Dev Alpha Device: Blatant Nokia N9 Rip Off

When I first saw it I actually thought it was a black Nokia N9 – take a look at this photo for a comparison:

Nokia N9: subject to many imitations but still untouchable

To me it looks so similar that I thought maybe Nokia had licensed the design to Blackberry but I doubt it.   Just another example of more blatant plagiarism in the mobile phone world… I just expected more from Blackberry being that they’ve always had their own designs.

Still the N9 looks more carefully thought out and a far better design IMO – it will be interesting to see how much of the MeeGo Harmattan UI Blackberry have copied for their own BB10 OS.   From what I’ve seen so far it looks quite similar.

Maybe I’m being harsh ?


It appears that I was wrong on this original post and apologise for jumping to an early conclusion.   According to various sources and the photo below, the aforementioned BB10 handset actually had an exo-case on which was hiding the design inside.

The handset actually looks like this:

BB10: Actual device without external case which originally made it look like the N9

I would like to go one step further and say ‘hats off’ to Blackberry in trying to develop something ‘original’ with their own Linux based OS under the circumstances – I’m sure it will be a great handset.

In lieu of a Jolla (or Nokia) tablet, and as I needed a tablet for travelling imminently, after much research following this post, I went out and purchased a Blackberry Playbook (got the 64GB version for a steal!).

So far I have been mightily impressed with the OS (great multitasking and intuitive UI) which also has the ability to port some android apps successfully adding to the fairly limited number of Playbook specific apps.

The biggest issue for the average user is the limited and overall expensive app market place, but with a bit of knowhow (see: Crackberry forums), you can find most of what you need.   Two biggies which a lot of people can’t live without are Skype (which is available in Beta mode for IM part only), and Netflix which a lot of people are divided on anyway it seems.

It also has flash support with the native browser so viewing websites is a really nice fluid experience.

I may do a separate post on the Playbook if anyone is interested  let me know in the comments?

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  1. All of them are just a rectangles with screen. In my opinion these two are different. N9 looks definitely better (for me, I own one too)
    Wish luck to BB and to Jolla. New and fresh systems are always welcome!

  2. Maybe you’re right, it’s just funny that before the N9, the square polycarbonate look wasn’t really so big… since then though, there have been a few similar looking devices. But I agree fresh systems are definitely most welcome. :-)

  3. I think your self-critical reflection (at least it appeared to be that way) about being harsh is quite comprehensible. And if so, to be honest, who could resent you & your team for this harshness? I mean, a lot of your work, efforts & enthusiasm has flown in the N9, which imho indeed seems to be recycled by blackberry at first glance. On the other hand, you also can be proud if others are geared to and inspired by innovation you created. Which could encourage them to add their own inspiration, leading to further innovations…for me that’s the force of open source :)

  4. Trendsetting is a good place to be for sure, but nothing works if you’re not connected and in tune with the people who matter – that’s also ‘the force of open source’. I guess these big companies are too detached from the people so end up copying for lack of a better idea.

  5. There really aren’t many more options for smart phone design any more (round or square corners?), so there will be bunch of new look-alike devices in future. The weird thing is that these people get very good salary for “design” work.

  6. The BB device seems to have a cover over it, simular to what new cars have before the public eye is supposed to see it. See how big the distance is from the top of the phone down to the screen? I think it’s the cover that looks like a N9 and the device under it will look different.

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  8. I have edited the original post as I realise the original post was incorrect under the circumstances. Please read the bottom for a revised view on this topic. Thanks.

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  10. Pingback: A Confession To Make… BB Heavy « Latest Jolla Mobile News

  11. please no more BB
    the BB10 design is sucks u know
    i own s3 and n9
    both is a good smartphone with smooth UI
    bud BB is just copy the N9 design
    WHAT THE *BLEEP* !!!!