The Most Damning Evidence Yet That Samsung Copied The iPhone

Yesterday was supposed to be a dull day in the Apple-Samsung patent trial.

It didn’t have any superstar witnesses like Phil Schiller or Scott Forstall from Apple. It was just outside design experts. Reporters covering the trial tweeted about how the court room was empty.

Yet, yesterday produced one of the most intriguing behind the scenes looks at Samsung and how it dealt with the rise of the iPhone.

Internal emails from Samsung, which Mike Issac at All Things D has posted, have seemingly damaging quotes.

Samsung’s mobile president JK Shin writes in an email from February 2010, the difference between Apple’s user experience (UX) and Samsung’s user experience is the difference between “heaven and earth.”

Shin also says that he hears things like, “Let’s make something like the iPhone.”

We’re not sure if that’s internally or externally, but either way, it works in Apple’s favour. Apple is trying to establish that Samsung was copying Apple’s work. And clearly, Samsung felt pressure to make something like the iPhone. 

As you can see in this email excerpt, which includes both of those quotes, Shin didn’t think Samsung’s Omnia phone from 2010 was up to the standard of the original iPhone.

Click to see it bigger:


Photo: Screenshot

For some comparisons, here’s what the Omnia phone looked like:


Photo: Samsung

And here’s what the next major Samsung phone, the Galaxy S looked like:

samsung galaxy

Photo: Engadget

And here’s an iPhone:

iphone 3g duo

While, we’re on the topic, here’s some more evidence from Apple comparing Samsung’s icons to Apple’s icons, via CNET:



Photo: Screenshot

And here’s a look at contacts:


Photo: Screenshot

And here’s a look at the music logo:


Photo: Screenshot

It seems very clear, to our eyes anyway, that Samsung copied much of Apple’s design.

We just don’t know if that’s illegal. Design theft happens all the time.

(Have you seen the Honda Insight versus the Toyota Prius?)

Here’s the full email chain, via All Things D:


NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at

Tagged In

apple sai-us samsung