To back up its argument of design inspiration being fairly common in the portable device industry, Samsung highlighted an email conversation between Steve Jobs and Tony Fadell, which talks about a 2005 Samsung phone dubbed “fashionphone,” and how certain design concepts of the device could be used in an iPod style phone.
The email conversation was initiated by Tony Fadell, the former Aexec who headed the iPod product line, who sent Jobs an Engadget post about the Samsung fashionphone. He highlighted the most notable feature of the fashionphone, a circular dial pad:
Jobs replied to the email saying “This may be our answer.” He did add, though, that Samsung’s number placement on the dial pad was screwed up, and that a watch like number placement would be much better:
This may be our answer – we could put a number pad around our clickwheel. Of course we should orient it like a watch, with 3, 6, 9, and * in the pure horizontal and vertical positions, just like any clock.
(Steve Jobs showed this image of an iPod-phone as a joke at the 2007 iPhone keynote)
You can check out the screenshots of the emails below:
As Nilay Patel over at The Verge points out, Samsung showed this email to highlight that Apple was also inspired by Samsung products, however in this particular case, it didn’t really matter as Apple dropped the idea of the iPod style phone concpet and opted for the touchscreen iPhone concept.