Is Samsung Really Copying Apple? You Decide

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the unending back and forth between Samsung and Apple over alleged patent infringement. The two companies are fighting it out in courts located in various countries like Australia, Netherlands, Germany and the United States. Apple, to an extent, has had an upper hand in these cases successfully managing to obtain preliminary injunctions against Samsung products in a number of countries.

There are countless arguments both for and against Apple’s policy of suing its competitors over a rectangular device with a touch screen. The most convincing “for” argument I’ve seen till now comes via Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, who posted pictures of what Android looked in 2007, the pre-iPhone era. Of course this argument isn’t directly against Samsung, but we all know that Apple is indirectly targeting Google’s mobile OS by suing a number of Android OEMs.

Android in 2007

However, the idea of Apple suing a company on the basis of  having a rectangular device with a touch screen with rounded corners didn’t seem right. An excerpt from Apple’s U.S. complaint against Samsung reads:

“The copying is so pervasive, that the Samsung Galaxy products appear to be actual Apple products — with the same rectangular shape with rounded corners, silver edging, a flat surface face with substantial top and bottom black borders, gently curving edges on the back, and a display of colorful square icons with rounded corners”

It is very hard to deny that before the iPad, tablets never really took off, nor did App Store become main stream. So is Samsung really copying iOS devices?

The latest example of this came in the form of a shop selling Samsung devices in Italy with a wall covered with app icons including some proprietary ones like the App Store and Mobile Safari found only on iOS devices. The store however didn’t belong to Samsung nor was its design in any way commissioned or approved by Samsung.

But the image below cites a lot of examples where Samsung’s devices bear a resemblance to iPhone and iPad:

The USB chargers of the two companies seem very similar and we all know who introduced them first. What else do you think is blatant copying?

[Image via Reddit user MarsSpaceship]

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  • psp

    the tablet packing seems alike n the usb connector

  • Mandar deodhar

    Samsung is copying apple in every aspect. First apple sued them, now they are suing apple back … Such a copycat =)

    • thomas

      amazing comment

    • http://iphonehacks.com Rounak

      Haha! amazing comment truly

  • mkimid

    I have felt that is a justfying about copycat. Absolutely, the simiarity is more than an effecteness.

  • http://None Fuck you

    Different os though.

    • John

      Funny…you say the OS is different but Android is a direct copy of iOS.

      • opoel34

        well, as I know, iOS derived from mac, mac derived from unix, android derived from linux, & linux derived from unix. so all of it not really original except unix.

        • Chris

          Mac OS did not copy UNIX, it built it on top of it, using some of the same features of Linux.

          That’s why when a program freezes, the whole OS doesn’t crash.

  • http://writingforprofits.net WritingForProfit

    Samsung is blatantly copying every aspect of Apple from design of the devices to the way they’re packaged. They know it too. Anyone who says otherwise is just an Apple hater.

    It’s one thing to take features and improve on them. It’s a whole different thing to blatantly copy.

    • MrEd

      yes like iOS 5 is a copy of Android

      • John

        You have your facts wrong…once iOS was released…Google changed Android to copy Apple.

        • iRSX

          Everyone copies everyone else. It’s not just with the iPhone, look at flip phones back in the days. All of them basically looked the same – hardware and software. Anyway, iOS 5 definitely copied Android and the JB community.

      • http://writingforprofits.net WritingForProfit

        Wrong. IOS is not a copy of Android. They share some features. The features in smartphones evolve over time and an improved notification system would eventually come, that doesn’t mean it was copied.

        People claiming that IOS5 is a copy of android are obviously ignorant. Smartphone operating systems continue to improve through customer feedback. You copy designs, trade dress, actual code, methodology. You don’t copy features like making a phone call, read/send text, notifications, wifi sync. Grow up kids.

    • Bob

      Lets not forget, Apple ripped off the entire i-Product naming system.
      iAudio CW100 was an mp3 player released a full year before the iPod. Then Apple has the gall to call iAudio copycats. That is Apple.

      Steve Jobs’s philosophy on stealing ideas:

  • Pacomac

    There are some spoof videos going around YouTube of a Samsung Galaxy G2 running iOS. Some say it’s fake and just an iPhone with a Samsung sticker on it. Fact is these two devices look so similar it’s hard to till if it’s real or not :-)

  • Shalashaska

    Have u seen samsungs new laptops… Exactly the same as the MacBook air and pros…even the samsung sales teaam round where I live say it in their sales calls…” it’s looks like apple” …I’m a big fan of samsung and my house is full of their acs and tvs and screens and fridge…but they are just being plainly stupid….I used to think they had an edge …not any more

  • John

    Why are they at Samsung so stupid an do so? I always thought they are only fighting because of the shape of the device itself, but EVERY piece looks similar to the iPad (Plug, box, connector,…). That a tablet is always flat and might have rounded edges its clear to me, but it looks really a lot of copying Apple. And last but not least they have the Apple AppStore-Logo on their wall in a shop……. ridiculous

    • Applefan

      Read completely before posting your comments
      ***And last but not least they have the Apple AppStore-Logo on their wall in a shop……. ridiculous***
      “The store however didn’t belong to Samsung nor was its design in any way commissioned or approved by Samsung.”

      So it is NOT Samsung which is doing all this. Things we dont know are the Samsung’s 3G technology without which the iphone would have been just a music player.

  • http://www.unitedworx.com paris paraskevas

    recently played with a samsung android device which i dont remeber its name, the camera app looked exactly like the iphone app, the position of the buttons, how they looked what they did, a pure copy from apples camera app.

    irs a shame that a company so big as samsung cant really put some thought behind their products and they are rippign off what apple does.

    i am sure apple is pissed off by thier stance since they do buy lots and lots of components from them, not for long i guess, bravo samsung you just lost your bigger customer!

  • http://www.motorbeam.com/ fas

    Could not Samsung think of their own. You cant blame them. Korean companies always do that. Hyundai has been doing it for years.

    • Billy Bunter

      Right on the Money. Koreans are smart but copycat to the core. Hyundai is the burning example which borrowed everything including their initial ‘H’ from the innovator ‘Honda’ of Japan. But they are smart in the sense, they know what aspect/s need a tweak so that customers buy their product. In case of cars, they won with the ‘price’ and in case of smartphone/tablets they are betting on the ‘freedom’.

    • KKW

      haha that’s bloody true!!!!

  • borisrowo

    applefanboy+androidfanboy both idiot! do u agruing in every forum for what? hv u all guys get money?
    moron!

  • mobydick

    in asia…there is no such thing as copyright. there is only…copy-is-right

    • A Black Dude

      lol

  • http://www.marusya.us Marusya

    it is easier to copy then to innovate.

  • http://www.phonecovercases.com Karthik

    Really who cares who copy whom. People always look for best product with lower price. Remember Apple copied too!

  • Apel

    You don’t have to live under a rock to realize their coping like a mofo

  • http://www.karimsaad.net Karim Saad

    This is what I call cost effective!

  • Eric

    iPhone 4 looks slot like Blackjack2

  • Eric

    Copycating phones is just one thing out there. Look at cars r they next?

  • ricengga

    you know what would be funny if the iphone5 looks like the galaxy lol

  • Duke

    Although it’s obvious Samsung took their design queues from Apple, such things will never change. Not to mention apple is guilty of this as well. The app store, as well as multitasking features, hotspot connectivity, etc all come from various parts of the hacking community but apple continues to slowly integrate these things into their devices. It’s good for us but at the same time, I doubt apple is paying anything to anyone for these ideas.

    • pacomac

      The hacking community didn’t invent any of these things. App Stores, multitasking and wifi hotspots are all ideas that have been around for the last 20 years!!

  • -X-

    Maybe we should nuke every single mofo that copies anything that is original and set them back by, 30 years or so….starting with CHINA, yes CAPITAL, BOLD, ITALIC…CHINA.

  • -X-

    And I take my comment back since everyfukin’ thing is made in China…hell probably even Nukes.

  • Spacewolf

    If you care, you are a douche.

  • Chris

    I think they should have stuck to a micro USB connector, had a bit different design on their power adapter and definitely done different packaging. If Samsung makes these slight changes, I don’t think Apple would stand a chance in court, the device it’s self looks very different in my opinion.

  • possibly

    @ricengga

    I wouldn’t be suprised if that happened. Much like early movies from Dreamworks and Pixar.

    Dreamworks found out what movies/themes Pixar was working on them copied them. Dreamworks rushed out their movies and Pixar spent years making theirs good. This made it so the Dreamworks movies sometimes released before the Pixar movies.

    Toy Story Nov-1995/Small Soldiers Jul-1998
    Antz Oct-1998/A Bugs Life Nov-1998
    Shrek May-2001/Monsters Inc. Nov-2001
    Shark Tale Oct-2004/Finding Nemo May-2003

    The same thing is happening here. Apple spends a long time in R&D to design these products. Samsung spends very little time since they are just copying what Apple is doing.

    • ricengga

      yeah there more quantity v.s. quality i like quality so what ever it looks like I’m sure apple will make us proud and make it worth the wait…

      • myoung

        I do tech repair. I fix 3 to 5 iPhone screens a day. 5 cracked cases a month. Pretty much zero Samsung galaxy phones. Cause the use better glass. Walk around and see how many broken iPhone screens there are and then see how Many high end android phones have them.

  • Зло

    And who cares about this? Apple of course .We can only benefit from it .Cheaper and the same product .If you talk about fairness. Then all products should be free and widely available .Do I need to sorry someone who has grown multi rich at the expense of monopoly? The more of these product the better for all of us .A most important and technology will improve. Because of competition .

  • Old timer

    What your all missing is that both Jobs And Gates are thieves the stole dos from some guy in Texas and cop pied icons from Cannon I think. Point being people have a concept of what a smart phone should do and look like so companies trying to make people happy with there products make items similar to the most popular devices trying to get buyers. I think Apple should drop it and be happy they made a difference which is one of there logos. Products that promote change or make a difference. Bunch of horsefeathers if you ask me.

  • mtealo

    oh oh oh the headphone port?

  • mtealo

    and does anyone remember the ipaq hq6968? same dock, same square shape, same touch screen, same etc…

    • myoung

      And the lg prada phone. Or one of the Sony music phone that had touch screen and built in 4GB hard drive and camera. Came out a year before I even heard of the iPhone.

  • borisrowo

    idiot article!

  • AnonymousDeveloper

    Why cant we be friends? Why cant we be friends……….

  • Ottis

    Why has samsung got away with this so long? I’m not here to have kiddy arguments but it’s blatant that samsung are copying apple as the examples proof that and for all you against this if you designed something and then someone came along and took your design and made lots of money hence samsung would you be happy? I don’t think so I will never purchase another samsung product again I will stick with Sony and apple at least I know there all about originality. Sorry I hate copycats it’s cheap and it’s wrong hope samsung lose lots of money so I can have a good laugh

  • Rmleloup

    K, lets go on severalpoints from auser of an android galaxy s phone, and a ipad 1. Both first gen of each.

    Android market vs app store.

    Market, search feature, organized in boxes, no real tabs, but lots of apps on a google like result list that you scroll vertically.

    App store. The same virtually on all iDevices, searchable for iphone and ipad sized apps, separated, easier to see for its lighter coloured scheme, etc. Easier search features to narrow things down, but very different.

    Main/home screen.
    Ipad, no folder feature initially. Iphone didnt have it either for awhile. Max screens for ipad was 11 total.

    Android google os for my galaxy, had folders, can move screens around, wigits, a background, widescreen that you could see parts of as you change windows left to right and back. Ipad/iphone is single background, always the same.

    Home screen again for droid, live wallpapers. Easily the one of two things droid has better outright over iphone. The second thing is swype. Youtube it people, i can do this entire article 3x faster then my keyboard, on my phone.

    Lock screen. With no addons, just defaults, the lock screen on iDevice and droid can have independent wallpaper, however again, droid can have live wallpaper there.

    Lock screen, bonus for droid, can see multiple notifications on it. While ipad, not so much. Just a blurb in the middle from the latest notification only.

    Here is a win for ipad and iphone over samsung droids. Droid, one finger at a time, two to zoom in or out. Thats it. While, iphone, ipad, multiple.

    Another win for iDevice over droid. Touch sensor, while droid is heat sensor. I have a stylist, that if n my pocket, heats up the rubber, then i can do swype with it, but thats it. While i can have it frozen in a freezer, and it works dandy on my ipad.

    Now, the ipad, honestly would do amazing with a swype feature, as i could blaze write articles on blogs, easily. While i know a keyboard is nice, i love not chipping my nails as often.

    In terms of shape and design, sure they may be similar to an average user, but in terms of literal designs, literal configurations to the milimeter, shapes, etc, there are several differences!

    Droid home = rectangle.

    IDevice, is square in a circle,

    3 different shapes mentioned.

    Power button placement/design, on each brand is very different. They may have a power logo, or not, depends the device, but honestly, thatisnt a patent of either company, (power button logo) its been around pre iDevices…

    The iDevices, cant do flash, or java.

    Droid can. Nuff said for that point.

    A reminder, this is for non jailbroken points.

    Usb power for iDevice chargers vs usb power for droid.

    IDevices require specific propriatary chargers for most devices unless fluke they work with rare 3rd party chargers.

    Droid, as long as the cable plugs, it will charge. Slow or fast, nuff said there, ive tested this thoroughly with moto chargrs for flip phones, bb chargers, chargers meant for usb hubs, etc.

    There is for samsung, longer lasting battery packs, that have their own separate battery case, which still seals itself as a single entity phone, where iphone/ipad battery life extenders are using external packs that “stick” to the back of said devices as 3rd party addons…

    With the samsung battery pack that is different, it changes the shape of the phone entirely, thus making it even further different from apple.

    Apple outright to the milimeter, has no grounds, to sue samsung. Samsung has rights to sue apple for being falsely accused, and falsely sued. Basically samsung can freely countersue all apple attempts outright.

    The reason i have the ipad, is because i thought it was awesome, still is.

    Reason i wanted droid for phone, i waned something totally different for once.

    So far, i love both, they are great. I have no direct loyalty to either brand, asiuse windows and linux at home, and a virtual machine of mac osx lion as well.

    So honestly folks, there is no arguement here, apple and samsung are extremely different outside and inside for defaults, and they will always be.

    Nuff said,

    Rmleloup

    • opoel34

      fair explanation.

  • Osriuzna

    I don’t give damn shit…who’s copy who’s.. as long i get what i want.

  • w3rd

    No matter what side of this argument you are on your comments achieve nothing.

  • juice

    tablets have always been rectangular pre-ipad. Should ipad be sued? Copyright laws need to be overhauled because they are suppose to boost innovations not hinder them.