Samsung claims 2005 fashion phone influenced Apple's design

Samsung tells the court that Apple took inspiration from one of its 2005 handsets when designing the first iPhone.


The latest in the ongoing patent court case: Samsung has claimed a 2005 fashion phone influenced Apple's design, The Verge reports. Samsung has brought out an email from Steve Jobs to design supremo Jony Ive, including a link to the handset, and the phrase, "This may be our answer".

The Samsung SGH-E910 was made in 2005 in conjunction with Bang & Olufsen, and featured number keys in a circular pattern. Apple was reportedly considering bolting number keys onto the iPod at the time. Of course, we all know it didn't in the end.

But still, Samsung wanted to show how manufacturers are inspired by others' creations.

"This may be our answer," Jobs wrote in the email (the original link was sent by Tony Fadell, head of iPod). "Of course we should orient it like a watch, with 3, 6, 9 and * in the pure horizontal and vertical positions, just like any clock." Jobs said Samsung "really screwed up in this respect", and that the letters should be oriented so they were easier to read.

So is it convincing evidence, seeing as the final iPhone design ended up so different to any Samsung handset on sale at the time? Probably not, but the fact Jobs used the phrase, "This may be our answer," is quite telling.

This case is going to centre on defining the difference between being inspired by other designs and copying rivals, so we'll have to wait and see what Judge Lucy Koh makes of it all.

It was also revealed in court that the Apple team had a sign up saying 'Fight Club', where they worked on the original iPhone. Because as we all know, the first rule of Fight Club is you don't talk about Fight Club. So it was to guarantee secrecy, rather than anything to do with fisticuffs in the car park after work.

What do you make of the Apple versus Samsung case so far? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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