One could easily opine there are only so many ways to design a tablet or a smartphone. The argument has its merits and isn’t far from truth. With today’s mobile gadgets increasingly becoming basically a piece of glass framed by a bezel of sorts, the question of who’s copying who gets muddied.

As you know, Apple filed the first in a series of “look-and-feel” lawsuits against Samsung in April 2011 over the design of the iPhone and iPad, forcing the South Korean consumer electronics conglomerate to fire back with infringement allegations of its own.

As both companies remain entangled in a complicated web of lawsuits in courts around the world, Samsung Mobile’s vice president of design Lee Min-hyuk has gone on the record to say he did not rip off the iPhone when designing the original Galaxy S smartphone…

We’re not sure what Jonathan Ive, Lee Min-hyuk’s counterpart at Apple, would have to say about this. Be that as it may, here’s what Samsung’s design guru said Friday in an interview with Reuters:

I’ve made thousands of sketches and hundreds of prototype products (for the Galaxy). Does that mean I was putting on a mock show for so long, pretending to be designing? […] As a designer, there’s an issue of dignity. The Galaxy is original from the beginning, and I’m the one who made it. It’s a totally different product with a different design language and different technology infused.

An Apple court filing recently discovered by The Verge proves Apple met with Samsung four times in 2010, trying to settle patent woes. In July of 2010, according to Bloomberg, Steve Jobs himself reached out to Samsung, Apple’s biggest supplier of displays, flash NAND chips and processors powering its gizmos. Talks went nowhere so Apple eventually proceeded with litigation.

Lee Min-hyuk also told Reuters his job as a designer is “to blend new functions and technology with aesthetic beauty”. Interesting enough, Samsung too has different teams studying new technology trends, “working on future design trends and Samsung’s own design identity, and they’re all regularly exchanging ideas with designers”.

This sounds a lot like Apple’s approach where the design process takes center stage, from the earliest phases of product conceptualization all the way through to how it’s gonna look and feel in your hand.

I also like this quote suggesting that Samsung is finally beginning to realize that it’s the software, stupid:

We were told so many times until the early part of last year that Samsung is not good at software. We’re not hearing that as often any more. I’m confident that one day Samsung will make a product that defines our time, and I hope it’s one of mine.

Again, Ive and his design team are deeply involved in not only the physical aspects of the product, but the underlying software as well. In a recent interview with Mark Prigg of the London evening Standard from Apple’s headquarters, Ive gushed:

The iPhoto app we created for the new iPad completely consumes you and you forget you are using an iPad.

iPhoto for iPad lets you make quick edits to your photos and share them across social networks. The app topped one million downloads in ten days, raking in $5 million in revenue (it costs $4.99 a pop).

And in a profile over at The Chicago Tribune,  Lee Min-hyuk confesses he isn’t Samsung’s Ive (yet):

I might not be at (Ive’s) level yet, but I believe Samsung will produce such iconic products one day. It’s not just effort that makes it possible for a new product to be a massive hit. It also has to be timely, and technology should be ready to make a certain design a reality.

London-born Ive is one of Apple’s most prized assets. Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson that he made sure nobody can touch his “spiritual partner”, as he put it. “That’s the way I set it up”, Jobs told Isaacson.

Jony, as friends affectionately call him, thinks while other manufacturers strive to create something different and marketable, his team at Apple is focused on making something they love, knowing other people will love it, too.

As you can see in the above depiction of the Apple vs. Samsung design, courtesy of AppleInsider, there are more than a few similarities between the iPhone 3GS and Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphone, both on hardware and software fronts.

With that in mind, I really do wish common sense prevailed and both firms settled patent issues out of the court, so we could all put this behind and move on.

Aren’t you too getting tired of these patent suits already?

  • kailash tindwani

    Hey what about the give away !!!
    Patiently waiting for the results ……..

  • What make me getting tired is people still supporting brands like Samsung.

    Samsung is the kind of brands that live on the shadow of the most successful brands, like Apple today and Nokia, in the past. They don’t give us anything revolucionary, progressive, innovative.

    They are only limited to copy the best brands, put it on cheap materials and sell it in a lower price. Nothing more.People only buy Galaxy’s because it’s the closest they can get of an iPhone in a reasonable price. The lack of quality and support it’s HUGE, but people nowadays don’t care about it. It’s like the relationships of today.

    Apple, HTC, Nokia, Sony -> Thumbs up
    Samsung, Chinese copies -> Thumbs down

    • Anonymous

      you sound like my grandmother talking about “the war”

      • That sounds great. Give your grandmother a huge hug. 🙂

      • Anonymous

        I will 😀

    • Anonymous

      While everyone is allowed an opinion it is worth tempering it in reality with some facts.

      Samsung won two huge prizes at the Mobile World Congress’ Global Mobile Awards, for Best Smartphone of 2011, for that Samsung Galaxy S II as well as Device Manufacturer Of The Year.

      Everyone must not know what you know because surely they wouldn’t award a copy cat company with a copy cat device the most prestigious awards.

      • Just industry doing their work. Giving some boost on the competition, because everywhere, where the competition exist, more money all the industry can get…they don’t want only one brand receiving all the credits. And believe me, Operators have a HUGE FINGER on that… (Galaxy II less expensive + Network Crapware + Blocked Android avoiding upgrades = More costumers buying new stuff every year…)

        And I cant tell you FOR SURE that the Galaxy SII isn’t the best smartphone, at all (I own one, it was offered) . Bad support, Bad materials, Front design, totally a copy of the iPhone 4, only bigger… and that plastics, oh man… wear and tear much more faster than any iPhone. Senseless UI. Crazy performance.

        And talking about awards, J. D. Power and Associated has given the coveted Highest Customer Satisfaction rating to Apple’s iPhone for the seventh consecutive time… so, can unbalance all the purpose of the Mobile World Congress…

    • Anonymous

      I just hope there’s a dislike button on this comment section. Whoever likes the very first comment doesn’t have any such knowledge of what’s happening on this real world.

      • That feet very well on you.

        Google -> Who was really first? Apple vs Samsung F700 Story Truly Debunked ;

        an article from Android Comunity. I’ve tried a couple times to post the link but somehow is going to moderation. Then, say again “doesn’t have any such knowledge of what’s happening on this real world.”

        Fandroids are the type of people that invent a story and sign them as a “true story”. But facts my friend, you can’t change them with lies.

      • Anonymous

        Please, and I am not a fan of Android: I don’t even know how to use it. I am truly tired of Apple submitting lawsuits against Samsung and trying to hide the real truth of who’s the real robber. I’d love to say again people “doesn’t have any such knowledge of what’s happening on this real world.”

      • Anonymous

        Please, and I am not a fan of Android: I don’t even know how to use it. I am truly tired of Apple submitting lawsuits against Samsung and trying to hide the real truth of who’s the real robber. I’d love to say again people “doesn’t have any such knowledge of what’s happening on this real world.”

  • With the iPhone 4 and 4s, they have merit to continue with counter suits.

    Makes you wonder who is dragging what out!!

  • 富春丽

    “I also like this quote suggesting that Samsung is finally beginning to realize that it’s the software, stupid:”


  • im not, samsung should be banned from the phone industry and they should keep making LCD TV’s rather than copying phones.

    • They are great about hardware (HDD, Memory, Chips, Displays) but know nothing about design, user experience, software.

      TV’s is nothing more than an Great IMAGE QUALITY and simple software, that’s why Samsung TV’s are really great.

      • I agree, even the English in their TVs are not properly phrased. It looks more like Google Translate of Korean.

  • Anonymous

    I hate people who bash the two rival OS’s, it angers me that people can’t just accept that what one person likes, another won’t and it’s that simple. I own an Xperia Ray and I love the phone, the specs, the design, the OS. I bought this phone as a replacement for my iPhone 4 as I was bored of the same phone for almost 2 years and didn’t want an upgraded phone that looked the same so I switched to Sony and as a user of both OS’s it is Android that for me pisses all over iOS simply because of what I can do without having to jailbreak and install a dozen tweaks, that being said that is based on what I want to do with my phone and how I want to customise it, both OS’s are very good and I am an unbiased user of both.

    Apple are the best designers of phones with, imo, Sony. I know many won’t agree with me and that’s fine, it’s all about choice and personal preference, that’s why I hate the bashing that goes on between fanboys because not everybody likes the same things, it doesn’t make any better than the next.

    I personally don’t like Samsung phones because of the design but the OS is good and obviously the quality of their parts are good otherwise Apple wouldn’t use screens from them but for me design is more important than specs to a degree, if I love the look of my phone then I am far happier than buying a top end phone and not liking the design so much and that’s what made me choose the iPhone 4 as my first smartphone and i’m confident the design of the next iPhone is what will make me switch back to it.

    • Thank you. I finally found that someone who sees the same as me, in an unbiased manner.

    • Have you written this same post earlier also…idk bcoz i think i hav read this b4…jst askin..:)

  • Hey Samsung,

    You suck.

    iPhone Lover

    • Anonymous

      Please dont post that kind of comments around here. Spare yourself the embarrassment.

      • Call everybody “Apple fanboys” and get hurt when someone says that SAMSUNG sucks…

        Make sense…

  • Anonymous

    Blantant ripoff, I don’t care what the designer says.
    Of course he’s going to defend himself, but just look at it. Seriously just look at it.

    • Couldn’t agree more! I don’t really care who thinks which is best; because I know which is best. I am sorry though, I can see why Apple handed their assess to them in court! That is a blatant copy…

  • samsung==sh!t

  • Hatyrei

    I didn’t know apple can patent the shapes & feel of an object . lol

  • Sumsung = Good TV
    Apple = Good Macs, Phones, Tablets.

    Thats how I see it.

  • Anonymous

    Textbook Apple fanboy, bashing at the competition (I say competition so you can keep up, in my opinion Samsung is light years ahead of Apple).

    But dont worry! I was an arrogant Apple fanboy once, heck, I was one a month ago! Then I used a Samsung Galaxy S2, and it was mindblowing. After two years of using an iPhone, I had witnessed everything: abbandonment (think iPhone 3G on 4.2.1), battery drains, flawed software releases, the death of who turned out to be Apple’s only hope.

    When I used a Galaxy, I felt free (as cheesy as that might sound). So im not here to advertise Samsung or the Galaxy, but to suggest you and the rest of the blind idiots that worship Apple, to get your heads out of your asses, and wake up.

    PS: I’ve been a follower of this blog since day one, so dont get all religious with your “what are you doing here” crap. And, seriously, “Thumbs down” Samsung? How old are you?

    EDIT: Sorry, this is in response to Int3nsive’s unnecessary comment.

    • Comparing an old iPhone 3G to a brand new Galaxy SII … you had a point.. but not valid at all.

      • Shree Krishna Shrestha

        Yeah true and satisfying comments…

  • My point of view is everyone isn’t the same you can’t force someone to love something you love. I’ve says that they make things they like and hope people like yes that’s amazing but not many sare the same opinion.

    Also the iPhone and just apple are amazing there os, hardware, products. They give quality, most of the time. I love it. And well the compitition is great I’d love to see how things turn out. But the compitition is really good had and android and I liked it so much, but like everything it has flaws it’s not perfect but with the iPhone I just feel in love. But I think every product had its pros and cons and at the end you pay for what you want. So yea iPhone ROCKS (my opinion and yours?)

  • Anonymous

    unfortunately, its apple who copied samsung. Even before the iphone came out, samsung had a device that looked just like it. Ahh, where would apple be without samsung.

    • So Apple designed the iPhone and made him available in only one year? lmao…

    • Anonymous


      I don’t know what everyone else feels, but true story.

  • Anonymous

    SAMSUNG OWNS ALL huehuehue… keep on crying isheeps 😉

  • Anonymous

    Too much rumors and false statements and true statements mixed up…