Apple gives Samsung Alternative Design Options for its Phones

Comparison between iPhone 3GS and Samsung Galaxy SII (2) and Visualising Apple's Proposed Changes to the Galaxy S2

The Lawsuit between Smartphone Rivals

Samsung and Apple started earlier this year but finally its beginning to draw to a close. Apple claims that the design on various Samsung phones infringed about half a dozen of their patents, but Samsung insists that Apple is trying to remove all of its competitors of the market by lodging frivolous lawsuits against them. Indeed, Apple has been on a suing spree lately, although Apple may not have invented the first touch-screen phone, they have certainly lodged enough patents and design copyright for the entire industry. 

However, a recent judgement made by the courts provide some insight in where Apple draws the line between what it deems "original" smartphone design and one that they believe is derived from the iPhone. In order to disprove Samsung’s originality claim, Apple provided alternate design options to prove that Samsung had "blatantly copied the iPhone's design". These suggestions include:

  • Front surface that isn't black.
  • Overall shape that isn't rectangular, or doesn't have rounded corners.
  • Display screens that aren't centered on the front face and have substantial lateral borders.
  • Non-horizontal speaker slots.
  • Front surfaces with substantial adornment.
  • No front bezel at all.
These suggestions are rather all encompassing. This along with the doctored comparisons between the iPhone 3Gs and the Samsung Galaxy SII and Apple's hypercritical claim that Motorola was using its patents to "eliminate competing alternative technologies," has made the tech giant look rather foolish.
Indeed, if Samsung were to comply with Apple's alternative design options we would get something like this (shown to the right and above). Not exactly something you would go out and buy is it? This is most demonstrative of Apple's complete overreach when it comes to their design protections. 

Comparison Between the Samsung Galaxy SII (S2) and the Samsung Galaxy SIII (3) and Apple's proposed Changes outlined in Lawsuit

The Release of the Samsung Galaxy S3

With the lawsuit still over their heads, Samsung followed Apple's checklist to some extent for the Galaxy S3. The S3 has undergone a significant design change from the S2 and arguably not for the better. The bevels of the phone have shrunk and Samsung has adorned the front of the phone with their logo (as per Apple's request). However, the speaker grill remains, as I'm not sure if Apple could enforce its removal or rotation, given a ‘horizontal speaker’ has been on phones since their creation. However, the biggest changes were to the device’s buttons. Firstly, they appear to be lower on the phone, creating an unsightly gap between the bottom of the screen and the buttons themselves, which throws off the entire design of the phone. The home button itself has been altered, to be less circular (like the iPhone's home button) and instead takes up a much skinnier and unique shape instead. Love it or hate it, what is clear, is that Samsung's lawyers had a say in the design process.

Write a comment