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Samsung claims Apple's iPhone was based on a Sony design concept floated in 2006

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Samsung claims Apple's iPhone was based on a Sony design concept floated in 2006
Straight from Samsung's pretrial briefs come more and more nuggets of information that shed the light around the iPhone and iPad design conception, and we are comfortably on the couch, popcorn in hand.

In Samsung's clarifications that it had rectangular touchscreen phones with colorful icons way back in 2006, there was the additional argument that Apple actually was steered to the idea for the final first iPhone design by a Sony concept. Now we have more details on this concept and the design sketch based on it, including the picture. The whole ordeal allegedly started in 2006, when Bloomberg made an interview with designers from Sony, where Yujin Morisawa goes like this:

How much did the iPod influence your design?
Morisawa: When I started this project, that was my concern. I looked at the first Walkman [which debuted in 1979]. Then I thought, "How can I give shape to the music?" Music doesn't have shape; it's flowing. I was listening to music and waving my hand in the air. I thought there shouldn't be an end to its lines. So I started drawing a round shape, and I kept moving the line.

My team had shown me their sketch: It was a square with a screen and buttons. Most other players have a screen and buttons. My first mock-up didn't have buttons. I didn't want buttons. With any digital-music player, the hard disk drive and chips are similar. I thought, "How can we make the layout different?" I knew what would go inside, so I could start the design from the outside. I knew how big the hard disk drive would be, how many chips there would be.

What challenges did you face in making sure the final product would look like your sketch?
Morisawa: It's really tough to make something round. You can't really measure where the components are inside [the device] when using the CAD [computer-aided design] system. I didn't want the engineers to change the shape or the size. I didn't want something larger than this; it fits in your hand.

I thought it had to be smooth on the back. The engineers wanted to make the back side flat. But I didn't want the flatness to bother you when you're listening to the music. I made two physical mock-ups for engineers so they could feel the difference. That's how I convinced them to keep working on this. Afterward, the engineers joked that they didn't want to work with me twice in a row.
Samsung claims that this interview was floated by Apple's VP Tony Fadell at the time, and sent right to Steve Jobs and Jony Ive, becoming the basis for design sketches Samsung says resulted in the ultimate original iPhone design:
Samsung claims Apple's iPhone was based on a Sony design concept floated in 2006
Right after this article was circulated internally, Apple industrial designer Shin Nishibori was directed to prepare a “Sony-like” design for an Apple phone and then had CAD drawings and a three-dimensional model prepared. Eliminating any doubt about the origin of the design‘s inspiration, Apple‘s internal CAD drawings had the "Sony" name prominently emblazoned on the phone design, as the below images from Apple‘s internal documents show...

Soon afterward, on March 8, 2006, Apple designer Richard Howarth reported that, in contrast to another internal design that was then under consideration, Mr. Nishibori‘s “Sony-style” design enabled “a much smaller-looking product with a much nicer shape to have next to your ear and in your pocket” and had greater “size and shape/comfort benefits.” As Mr. Nishibori has confirmed in deposition testimony, this “Sony-style” design he prepared changed the course of the project that yielded the final iPhone design

Looking at the original "Sony-style" design drawing from 2006, what do you think, will Samsung's argument sound plausible in court when trial begins?

208 Comments
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posted on 26 Jul 2012, 08:31 52

1. wendygarett (unregistered)


Dont forget the nokia concept too that apple stolen :)

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 08:33 65

3. dickwyn (Posts: 621; Member since: 07 May 2012)


Steve jobs say smart people don't copy they steal

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 08:48 54

16. MeoCao (unregistered)


Wow, this is exactly like iPhone's "iconic" design LOL. How shameless Apple is.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 08:52 11

23. A-P-P-L-E (banned) (Posts: 45; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)


Apple made it famous. others couldnt.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 11:19 27

108. shuaibhere (Posts: 1986; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


now samsung made it more famous..... so why apple cant shut its mouth......

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 14:41 12

151. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4857; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


I was not going to say anything because I am trying to turn over a new leaf. BUT.....

Apple really has no shame. If they still insist that they developed that "iconic" look then what else is there to say?

I am with Apple on this, BOTH Sony & Nokia went back into the past with their Back to the Future apps, used an iPhone 4 but slapped a Sony logo on it & used Apple patents that Nokia now has because they already knew the iPhone 4 was "iconic".

That's plausible right? I mean that’s GOT to be what happened. I believe you Apple this is a conspiracy against you. Apple FTW! lol

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 16:27 2

157. SleepingOz (unregistered)


Oh man, please get a life!

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 16:48 8

158. tedkord (Posts: 12301; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Ok, so it's ok to steal ideas as long as they're not popular. Is that it?

Actually, I think you feel it's ok to steal ideas if you're Apple, and only Apple.

posted on 27 Jul 2012, 08:47 3

175. jroc74 (Posts: 6015; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Yea...Apple is mad at Samsung for copying what Apple already copied....lol.

Apple wants to be the only ones who copy others.... :(

posted on 27 Jul 2012, 08:41

173. jroc74 (Posts: 6015; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Marketing and execution, thats all.

That doesnt mean one should dimiss what the iPhone was inspired by, what Apple copied, however you wanna look at it... :)

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 10:39 18

95. andro. (Posts: 1999; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


I was gonna say the same,f*ck me the iphone looks extremely similar. Funny thing is it took apple several years to actually reach this level of design with the iphone 4.

posted on 27 Jul 2012, 08:45

174. jroc74 (Posts: 6015; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


lol....this is nothing new tho:

http://gizmodo.com/343641/1960s-braun-products-hold-the-secrets-to-apples-future

Its really funny tho.....that amazing, innovative iPhone 4 design was ...copied....just like what they did with Braun products.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 08:57 7

27. A-P-P-L-E (banned) (Posts: 45; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)


Well others tried. But failed.
Apple took it and cause the world a damage. Like no others has.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 09:07 16

35. Tjey007 (Posts: 86; Member since: 22 May 2012)


lol i bet you are hungry...you are trolling all over...take some rest..enough for the day :P

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 09:11 8

40. A-P-P-L-E (banned) (Posts: 45; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)


What a joke. more like you all jelious...
get over it loooosers! Face the facts and logic.
Apple is Apple like no others.

More like you all Trolling.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 09:15 23

44. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


More like you dumb like rock.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 09:48 5

72. A-P-P-L-E (banned) (Posts: 45; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)


pls get a life and stop being jelious of Apple.
Get over it.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 16:20 6

155. Ksolaoke (Posts: 9; Member since: 11 Dec 2011)


jealous of apple, that's the best you could come up with, try again.......it would be better if you could spell jealous correctly.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 21:37 4

165. Jphones (Posts: 235; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


learn how to spell dumbass

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 09:49 3

73. A-P-P-L-E (banned) (Posts: 45; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)


i think you need help. get wize councelling.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 12:01 21

129. techsavvy.jaz (Posts: 153; Member since: 07 Feb 2012)


"Apple is Apple like no others."
exactly our point mate .. stealers.like.no.other

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 13:35 17

144. osmaankhaan (unregistered)


like.no.other is sony's line
see apple company and also its users (iFools) copy sony

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 09:33 31

62. alien_x (Posts: 7; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)


Yeh apple did damage --> to your brain.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 11:15 3

105. A-P-P-L-E (banned) (Posts: 45; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)


ur more damaged. cause u hate Apple.
so u need to get over it.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 13:49 7

147. corporateJP (Posts: 2431; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)


Money...you are clearly blind, mentally disabled and you have "poor Engrish".

A real nice triffecta.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 20:00 4

162. joey_sfb (Posts: 6035; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


You need to pull your head out in the sand. Unless you have hundreds of thousand of apple shares.

Apple lawsuit would not bring you a single benefit. Less competition mean more pricey apple product.

Apple recent price reduction in ML, iPad are the result of competition or because apple is feeling charitable.

iFan will believe all the marketing info feed to them by Tim Cook.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 08:47 7

14. A-P-P-L-E (banned) (Posts: 45; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)


Apple were first to design this. Every-one is Xeroxing Apples
design. To many copycats!
Apple had lead will lead have lead allways will
others will follow us!!!

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 08:49 27

19. wendygarett (unregistered)


Copycat? Still better than patent troll :D

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 08:55 4

24. A-P-P-L-E (banned) (Posts: 45; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)


Others dont have the equity to patent. Apple will has paid double triple the cash amount.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 10:20 11

86. Evil_SaNz (Posts: 259; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


I can imagine a post-apocalyptic future where the world is in a queue with an apple sticker on their heads

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