Was the Samsung Galaxy S III design driven by lawyers?
The Samsung Galaxy S III didn’t come with a fancy ceramic finish, nor was it in the shape of its predecessor. With curves floating around its sides making its corners fold differently, no black version and a couple of other interesting coincidences, the SGS III design is different. As in weird. It’s different than the one of the Galaxy S II, but most interestingly, it’s different than the iPhone. And this last interesting coincidence, caught by Android Police, might have been at the core of how the Galaxy S III came into being - designed by lawyers to avoid Apple’s lawsuits.
To be perfectly exact, it's the "trade dress" suit. This is a kind of a legal attack on design where Apple basically tried something bold by saying it owns a set of designs like black rectangular smartphones. Here are some of the pillars of design that Apple uses to lay blame on Samsung for copying its products:
1. a rectangular product shape with all four corners uniformly rounded;
2. the front surface of the product dominated by a screen surface with black borders;
3. as to the iPhone and iPod touch products, substantial black borders above and below the screen having roughly equal width and narrower black borders on either side of the screen having roughly equal width;
4. as to the iPad product, substantial black borders on all sides being roughly equal in width;
5. a metallic surround framing the perimeter of the top surface;
6. a display of a grid of colorful square icons with uniformly rounded corners; and
7. a bottom row of square icons (the "Springboard") set off from the other icons and that do not change as the other pages of the user interface are viewed.
The points are taken directly from Apple’s 2011 trade dress infringement suit against Samsung. Interestingly, nearly all of them are smartly addressed by the Korean company in the SGS III, and it’s hard to believe this is a coincidence. Of course, Cupertino can’t sue Samsung for having just one or two of those features like the common metallic framing, but it’s rather the combination of a lot of them that gives Apple it’s legal reasoning.
Take a look at the images below - they are a perfect illustration of what could have driven (and likely drove) Samsung’s designers in the process of creating the SGS III.
Now, we wouldn’t call the design of the S III ugly - it’s not. And, Samsung achieved to narrow down the bezel significantly, allowing for a 4.8-inch screen while keeping the size of the last Galaxy S nearly intact. But doesn’t it bother you that Apple has the leverage to now force major phone makers to quit making rectangular handsets with equally rounded corners (for example)? Let us know how you feel about all this in the comments below.
source: Android Police
Images courtesy of Android Police.
While the Galaxy S II looked rectangular, the new S III has much more curves to it.
The curve of the corners differs.
How about no black version of the handset at all? Welcome to the SGS III.
For those wanting to nitpick, the bottom border is wider than the top one.
This seems to go for a rather generic feature, and is something that Samsung kept.
This was only present in the original Galaxy S, and since then Samsung got rid of it.
A weird and impractical decision, that seems to be driven by Apple's lawsuit - the dock icons disappear when you enter the app drawer.