Any color, so long as it’s black

HP Slate photo gallery.
The real question to me is, how come Apple’s pursuers not only rip off the interfaces and concepts but also blatantly copy the exteriors? Black bezel, chrome rim–is there no other way for a tablet device to look than exactly like an iPad, albeit with a back panel full of Citgo logos?
Every touch phone in the market rips off the iPhone’s visuals, too. It’s not like Apple’s products are always handsome, either. I actually think the iPhone 3G and 3GS weren’t all that attractive. But the competitive market seems to think the only way to keep up with Apple products is to look like them. Even Microsoft’s Zune ripped off the iPod’s single round button for navigation.
Here’s a hint, product teams: these tactics may get you some sales, especially if you’re filling a market need, like offering buckets of iPhone-looking devices on Verizon’s as-yet iPhone-less network. But they won’t get you industry recognition. Or long-term market growth. Or the respect of discerning, taste-making consumers, who generally know the difference.