So, you think Apple doesn’t take other people’s ideas, and then uses them in their own products? Apple has claimed Samsung has copied the appearance of various user interface elements — such as the look of icons — for use in their own devices. What if Apple had done this themselves before? Maybe they took some ideas from others, and used them in their own products, too? let’s have a gander.
So, does Apple have any moral grounds for calling out Samsung on allegedly copying them? Let’s have a look, and see if Apple has ever copied the user interface/visual appearance of something else before.
The two images above are from Apple. The first one will be familiar to many — the iPhone’s Weather app. Does it look like anything else? Yeah, course it does, it was based on Apple’s Mac OS X Dashboard Weather widget, which is also shown above. All fine so far. However, Apple shamelessly, and blatantly “borrowed” this interface, and visual appearance from another company, or companies. Noooooo!!! Yes, possibly from a popular gadget maker called Konfabulator back in 2004. Thing is, Konfabulator had designed this weather widget in 2003, or earlier; Apple’s widgets, which were publicly released in 2005, bore a striking resemblance to Konfabualtor’s. Back then, there were a number of others doing widgets with similar concepts and appearances, but I just focused on Konfabulator since one is more than enough to prove a point. Up until mid-2004, Apple had never shown any type of weather widget which resembled Konfabulator’s one.
Here’s some examples of Konfabulator’s Weather widget from 2003/early 2004.
Another from 2003:
While this patent case rambles on through the courts, I’ll wait and see what the outcome will be. It’s entirely up to the jury to find Samsung either guilty, or not guilty. In my own view, if Samsung were basing their designs on Apple’s, it’s nothing that Apple hasn’t done themselves, and why not? I think it’s ok to create something on top of others, and in ways which might even be better than the original. Practically the whole world builds on-top of what has gone before. Just look at Apple’s designs for many of their products, which their chief honcho designer was certainly inspired by.
Still think Apple hasn’t based their products on other companies ideas? For your consideration:
*This is a reversion post, which means it’s highly opinionated, extremely sensationalist, but most of all, it’s right. It’s already up for 3 BAFTAs, and a Tony Award, ya know.