Let's be frank: RIM's BlackBerry products are unilaterally, shall we say, unexciting. And RIM's new theme song should probably be this. And by "unexciting," I mean ugly, hopelessly dated, and so boring that a story about them spontaneously bursting into flames might actually give the company some much-needed edginess in their marketing campaigns. Maybe that's a bridge too far.

Anyway, when I read this morning that RIM's new CEO Thorsten Heins, speaking to CrackBerry, said Android devices are "all the same," I couldn't help but go slack-jawed in a combination of muted laughter and near disbelief at the irony. I'm pretty sure RIM is the epitome of hardware and software sameness in the smartphone market. If it didn't have a tiny screen with a keyboard directly below it and it was a RIM product, it probably didn't sell very well.

So, in an attempt to educate Mr. Heins, who we assume also believes all butterflies, birds, and bats are "the same," we've created a little collage of the variation found in the Android ecosystem. To make it fair, in this first picture we've only included software keyboard smartphones running Android 2.3, to paint a more static picture of the Android OS. This first picture is really just about software (not to scale):

VariationAndroid

Manufacturers obviously have very little say in how the software on their Android device looks... if you live in Bizzaro World. But what about hardware? Clearly, the picture above shows us that Android is just a bunch of touchscreen candybars of varying size, right? Oh, wait (first two rows to scale):

HWVariation

Yeah, I think they all pretty much look alike. Superficial differences. Perhaps Mr. Heins' PR team should work on "clarifying" his comments, lest RIM seem even more out of touch with reality.