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Samsung Galaxy designer hits back at iPhone copycat claims

A Samsung design honcho has struck back at claims that the company 'slavishly' copies Apple products.

Samsung Mobile's vice president for design has struck back at claims the company "slavishly copies" the look of Apple's gadgets, saying that his designs are "original from the beginning".

In a report from Reuters, Lee Minhyouk says of the copycat accusations, "I've made thousands of sketches and hundreds of prototype products. Does that mean I was putting on a mock show for so long, pretending to be designing?"

Lee defends his own integrity. "As a designer, there's an issue of dignity," he reckons, saying the Galaxy smart phones are "original from the beginning, and I'm the one who made it. It's a totally different product with a different design language and different technology infused."

Lee worked on the Galaxy Note, a massive 5.3-inch mobile with a stylus hidden inside it. The size hasn't been well received by everyone, but Lee says the design was "breaking a taboo" about phones having to be small enough to fit in your mitt.

"But smart phones are more about entertainment. The Note was created by simply breaking that taboo and focusing more on the new functions that smart phones require."

Maybe that's a good point. While tough to wrap your digits around, I won't deny that games and movies look terrific on the Note's massive display. 

Samsung has sent Lee to Brazil and the ancient city of Cuzco in Peru to help him conjure up inspiration. Lee doesn't think he's a match for Apple's design honcho Jony Ive yet, but says, "I do believe Samsung will produce such iconic products one day.

"It's not just effort that makes it possible for a new product to be a massive hit. It also has to be timely, and technology should be ready to make a certain design a reality."

The article is an interesting read, so I recommend checking it out. If you're keen to know the history of Samsung meanwhile, hit play on the video below.

Personally, I reckon the Galaxy S2 is the best-looking Samsung phone out there. The follow-up to the Galaxy S impressed me with how light and thin it was, considering the high-powered components lurking inside. 

But what do you think of Samsung's design? Let me know in the comments below, or over on our Facebook wall.

Now playing: Watch this: History of Samsung