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February 03, 2013

Did the Xperia Z’s design come from Apple?

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.

sony xperia z

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:

sony render

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?

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14 Responses to “Did the Xperia Z’s design come from Apple?”

  1. Kami says:

    regardless of who copied who, i standby the fact that iphone 4/4s (at its time) and sony xperia Z are both awesome phones.

    Sony Xperia Z, ur gonna be mine! XD

  2. ronjiedotcom
    Twitter: ronjiedotcom
    says:

    to me, the Xperia Z doesn’t look at all like an iphone, or at least not as much as the 1st two samsung galaxy s phones did.

    also, notice the difference: yung sony phone concept ng apple, nasa likod ang “SONY”. yung sony phone mismo, nasa harap may “SONY.”

  3. Mamais says:

    Indeed japanese are the ones who designed the iphone… Tahnks to their creative minds..

    But i think sony xperia z is by far the best handset of 2013… And im willing to slap my money in sony’s face just to get this amazong phone…

    Sent by sungsang gulaygulay 3

  4. DTech says:

    I could sell my iP5 just to get Xperia Z, I’m definitely having this phone! Damn! it caused too much water to run through my mouth.

  5. angel says:

    APPLE COPIED LG’S FIRST PARADA PHONE’s’ Design
    THEN SONY COPIED LG OPTIMUS G’s DESIGN…
    PAKI PANSIN O TINGNAN NYO FRONT DESIGN NG Xperia ZL at LG OPTIMUS G(at&t)…

    • Rem says:

      AFAIK Sony has been using glossy piano black finish sa Xperia ion pa lang tapos tinanggal na lang yung capacitive buttons bago pa yung Optimus G E970 :) Mas kamukha pa nila yung Galaxy lineup eh especially the UI :)

    • aze says:

      kakairita kayong mga LG trolls, paulitulit, basta android ang balita isisingit nyo LG.

  6. marlon says:

    People nowadays seem to forget that Apple is also copycat. A lot of their designs are stolen from other products that were not popular during their days.

  7. ccpaulin
    Twitter: ccpaulin
    says:

    Iphone’s external design are somewhat inspired by something and with the numbers of phones right now it will be impossible not copied something either accidental or intentional.

    Unless they go extra ordinary like with the imac that was inspired by a lamp.
    Just think a phone inspired by a flat iron or another kitchen equipment.

  8. daniel says:

    but after all…. Apple copied Sony’s design if you will let an ignorant-about-the-topic person see the pictures and comparisons.

    Sony is the original maker of that design

  9. Haier says:

    Iphone and also Apple Innovative designs are really the trendsetter. It’s a fact

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This article was written by Ronnie Bulaong, a special features contributor and correspondent for YugaTech. Follow him on Twitter @turonbulaong.

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