Does This Look Like Something That Would Inspire Jony Ive For iPhone’s Design? [PHOTOS]


As the crucial Samsung vs. Apple patents battle began in San Jose federal court this week, Samsung tried to convince the jury that before Apple unveiled the first iPhone, it was pursuing a design inspired by a device from Sony. In response, Apple submitted another iPhone prototype code named ”Purple” which indicated it was designed several months before the Jony Ive’s prototype even existed. Philip Elmer of Tech Fortune has highlighted in a recent report why these design copy claims from Samsung are totally bogus. He points out Apple’s design process didn’t change the course of the iPhone project since Apple released sketches of a near-final iPhone design (pictured below) that pre-date his CAD drawings by almost a year.

According to Philip, here is the iPhone creation story Samsung tried to sell in courts:

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. Confirming the origin of the design, these internal Apple CAD drawings prepared at Mr. Nishibori’s direction even 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.

Funny thing is, the design aesthetic Samsung is pointing at is not even a cell phone but a Walkman instead i.e the NW-A1200, that according to the source represented for Sony a new, cleaner, less cluttered design aesthetic. Here’s what the author says about this:

And what inspired that new aesthetic? Of all things, according to the Sony designers, an Apple iPod.

Apple wasn’t copying Sony, Sony was copying Apple.

So, what do you guys make of all this drama?


  • Mobbdeep

    Samsung trying to continue their FUD

  • Why is Samsung even doing this? Their Galaxy S3 is doing super well, I think from what I’ve read and seen it is giving the iPhone a run for its money. It really looks like Samsung copied Apple in the form design…

  • It’s all fun and games until somebody loses an iPhone.

  • UI_guy

    Sumsung is nothing without iPhone. They will not even surpass Sharp, Sony and the other Tech giants. But good try though.

    In Asian country buying android phones is nothing but status quo for being cheap. LOL

  • JMCD23

    I think almost of this is for nothing. If the patent system worked the way Apple wants it to, the consumer will lose. No one is truly going to win from all these lawsuits, except the lawyers.

  • LondonFish

    There was one Samsung smartphone that looks 99% like the 3GS. They are a big company already, with good looking TVs so they do have ppl who can make good designs, I hope they don’t act so cheap and copy not just the hardware, but even down to the packaging as well, just makes me think of that bootleg country “C”.

  • BugOn2


  • You mean China right? I guess the difference is China’s knock offs are just cheap looking and non-functional…whereas Samsung makes a decent ‘copy’ that’s usable–then claims it’s their own design.

  • BugNo2

    Wait a minute Gary, I thought Apple stole their iPhone design from Sony’s Walkman design circa 1985. Did you see the comparison of the two? They are identical! it’s not stealing if it was stolen. No? Ok, I am totally confused… On a related news, street prices of crack skyrocketed right after the Samsung’s expert testimony.

  • LOL!