According to many analysts and reviewers the new BlackBerry Z10 looks a lot like the iPhone 5. What does this mean for the Canadian smartphone manufacturer?

Act 1: The Wait

Everyone knew that this was RIM’s (now renamed BlackBerry) last chance to be noticed. It needed to take a big punt on a device and an OS that had been so horribly delayed that people forgot that they were waiting for one. The leaks showing the device started trickling in as the final “final” date for the new BlackBerry launch drew near. The initial leaks were of the Alpha Dev devices and so the striking resemblance to the iPhone was largely ignored. After all, the proof of the pudding is in eating and the final device was still behind the curtains.

Hmmm.... the resemblance is uncanny

Is the resemblance uncanny?

Act 2: The Reveal

On a cold winter morning, RIM assembled all its faithfuls and some more for an event where the latest BlackBerry devices and the BlackBerry 10 OS would be revealed. But first it announced that RIM was dead, long live Blackberry, i.e. the company was renamed BlackBerry. Then came the OS in all its glory. The press loved it and everyone raved at how beautifully complete everything was, but amidst all of this, there was something about the Z10, BlackBerry’s full-touch flagship, its much touted reply to the iPhone and Android devices, that in the days to come will be the one thing that BlackBerry fanboys will find hard to defend. 

As soon as the Z10 was held up by Thorsten Heins, BlackBerry’s CEO, everybody’s gaze turned to Cupertino, as if almost by instinct. The new device that BlackBerry just released looked a lot like the iPhone 5.

Both are slim and quite sleek

Both are slim and quite sleek

Act 3: The Reaction

Many would argue that you can’t do much with a slab of glass and polycarbonate that must also double up as a smartphone, but then, not every new phone is greeted with the same chorus – that it looks like a spitting image of another famous competitor. All the initial reactions to the Z10 have stated this obvious fact. The Verge felt that it “looked like a wider and beefier version of the iPhone 5” while CNET had this to say about the Z10, “At first glance, the handsome BlackBerry Z10 looks suspiciously like Apple's black iPhone 5” and Phone comparison website GSM Arena is split right down the middle about the way the phone looks. The general consensus seems to titling towards the fact that the new BlackBerry phone does indeed resemble the iPhone 5, especially when it is clad in white. 

Now, we all know what happens when you borrow a look from Jonathan Ive’s design book at Apple—and Samsung now has 1 billion reasons not to. That brings us to Act 4.

Even the camera is placed in the same spot

Even the camera is placed in the same spot

Act 4: The Retribution

What BlackBerry can’t afford right now? A lawsuit filed by a competitor who is richer by a few orders of magnitude, especially when BlackBerry’s cash reserves are below $3 billion (RIM financials). Will Apple sue BlackBerry for “copying” its design? Well, Apple seemed ready to litigate at the drop of a hat when Steve Jobs was around. Under Tim Cook, however, Apple seemed to have adopted a more benign approach. Having said that, this would possibly last only as long as BlackBerry doesn’t gain any market share at Apple’s expense. The minute the numbers start shifting in Waterloo’s favour, Apple’s phalanx of lawyers at Cupertino may start itching to have a go at them.

Which brings us to the dark irony that could play out in the unending drama that is BlackBerry – the one sure way that BlackBerry can save itself from a lawsuit is if if fails, and horribly at that.

For all you want to know about BlackBerry's recent launch and the news devices check out this link here.

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