While we were taking the Sony Xperia Z for a spin during its Asia launch, we can’t help but notice some minor design cues that this 5-incher share with the iPhone 4/4S. Could it be that Sony copied Apple’s design concept?
It’s a strong allegation, one that may prove costly for the promising device. Luckily, an unlikely source (Apple-Samsung patent lawsuit) may shed some light on this topic and prove once and for all who copied who, if anybody did.
Just days before the heated Apple-Samsung patent trial commenced, the South Korean firm filed a counter lawsuit (not sure if I said that right) against Apple claiming that they did not infringe any of the Cupertino-based company’s design patents. Included in Sammy’s court filing is a claim that Apple was actually the one who copied some other else’s design (Sony) which gave birth to the iPhone 4.
As a proof, Samsung’s lawyers also included a handful of pictures/renders which, according to them, was where Shin Nishibori (Apple Industrial Designer) got the iPhone 4’s design concept. Here’s one of those images:
Further down the road, it was proven that the Sony-inspired renders were indeed looked in to by the Apple’s designers including Jon Ive. In their defence (Apple), they claim that the Sony’s handset design were only internally circulated months after they’ve drafted the iPhone 4’s design concept and that Mr Nishibori’s Sony-influenced design suggestions are just cherry on top of their then upcoming sundae. Judge Koh, who was arbitrating the case, sided Apple’s statements and prohibited Samsung from presenting this evidence in the patent trial.
As it turns out, Sony didn’t copy Apple’s design concept and if anything, the Japanese company deserves some credit for some of the iPhone 4’s aesthetics. So now that everybody’s on the same page, let’s take a step back and look at the render once again. Notice that the render bears striking resemblance to the Sony Xperia Z? Could it be that Sony’s flagship handset is 7-years-in-the-making?