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windows phone 7 againWhen Apple announced its new iOS 5 software on Monday, we noted that Steve Jobs and company had mimicked a lot of good ideas from the Android and BlackBerry OSes. The new notifications system clearly looked borrowed from Android, while the new iMessage program looked like Apple’s own version of BlackBerry Messenger.

But now we can add Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 to the list of places Apple sought inspiration. Joe Belfiore, director of Windows Phone, took to Twitter shortly after the presentation to say he felt “flattered” because of the ideas Apple had used from Windows Phone and listed similarities from iOS 5 and Windows Phone 7.

Belfiore tweeted the following yesterday:

Feeling flattered today. Lots of great WP ideas headed to iOS. Camera button/above lock, auto-upload of pics, better notifications … wi-fi sync, built-in twitter, background download service, short-messaging chats (though we do Facebook!)

He also pointed out to a fellow Twitter user that:

With a wp7 you get a dedicated camera button that wakes the phone from sleep and jumps u to camera. Been shipping for 8 months! :)

There’s no doubt Apple has kept a close eye on its competition and integrated ideas seen other places first. Apple even liberally added features first seen in iOS apps from independent developers.

It’s hard to knock Apple for this strategy, though. If you can’t beat the competition with a better idea, at the very least you can match it while you work on something more inventive. Plus, it’s easy to get behind the idea of mimicking your competition and your developer’s best features to better serve your customer’s ever-expanding needs.

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