Samsung again appears to defend its phone design choices

The Korean tech company outlines why the Samsung Galaxy Alpha looks the way it does, despite the device's similarities to Apple's iPhone.

Samsung's new Galaxy Alpha and Apple's iPhone may look like they were separated at birth, but Samsung would like to assure you that -- no -- they are not related.

samsung-galaxy-alpha-press-flat.jpg
Samsung claims the design for the Galaxy Alpha harkens to a Samsung design from 2006. Samsung

In a blog post Wednesday, Samsung walked through its design choices for the Alpha, which has a metal frame -- like the iPhone -- with curved corners -- like the iPhone. The phone hits the market next month, starting in the UK.

You may think a metal design seems to be something new from Samsung, which has produced a series of smartphones with plastic frames and backs. Samsung would like you to know that you are wrong. It took pains to list its history of metal in its phone and wearable designs and added that the Alpha's look derives from the Samsung Card Phone from 2006 (which, incidentally, came out a year before the iPhone).

The Galaxy Alpha is Samsung's attempt to quell the complaints that its line of high-end smartphones have a cheaper plastic feel than the iPhone 5S or even the metallic-framed HTC One M8. The Alpha is expected to be the first among a series of smartphones from Samsung to incorporate a metal design.

Still, Samsung needs to be mindful of avoiding any designs too close to Apple's. The two companies have been in court for the past few years over patent issues, with both companies accusing each other of copying designs and functions. Amid the continuing disputes, Apple on Wednesday again failed to win a sales ban on some older models of Samsung phones found to infringe on Apple patents, Bloomberg reported.

Samsung said the corners of the Galaxy Alpha are curved to "balance the straight lines on each side," calling the appearance "rhythmical." The Korean tech company added that the weakest parts of a smartphone are its corners, so a curved design broadens the point of impact if a user drops his device, helping improve shock resistance.

But it's undeniable that there's a resemblance between the Galaxy Alpha's curved edges and the iPhone's own "chamfered" edges, or what Apple calls the polished edges around its frame. Both phones also include similar looking speaker grills on the bottom.

This isn't the first time Samsung has provided an explanation on its design choices. When the company came out with a gold Galaxy S4 days after Apple revealed the gold-colored iPhone 5S, Samsung came out with a similar blog post ticking off the history of its gold designs.

Apple and Samsung representatives didn't immediately respond to a request for a comment.

Apple is expected to come out with a new iPhone next month that is rumored to steal from Samsung's playbook by providing a bigger screen. Maybe Apple should get its own blog post ready to explain that.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

Last-minute gift ideas

Under pressure? These will deliver on time

With plenty of top-notch retailers offering digital gifts, you still have time to salvage your gift-giving reputation.