Much of the animosity between Apple and Samsung / Google stems from two-way accusations of plagiarism regarding not only aesthetic design, but also aspects of each party’s respective operating system.
Steve Jobs once famously warned Google: "I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this." Indeed, the war has well and truly ensued, with Google and Samsung repeatedly in the fruit company’s firing line. Often, Apple will even drag Samsung into complaints regarding Android – even though Samsung has no say on the Big G’s mobile software.
Up until Apple began crying plagiarism with regards to Samsung’s designs, the two giants shared had a fairly good relationship, with the Korean LCD specialist preparing the panels for the fruit company’s iPad 2. With both company’s lawyers now on a world tour of the courtrooms, though, Sharp is beginning to take much of the burden in producing the Retina screen of the brand-new iPad.
Despite Apple firmly believing everyone’s out to steal their ideas, Samsung’s mobile design chief Lee Minhyouk sings a different tune, insisting that his company’s Galaxy product is original from the ground up:
As a designer, there’s an issue of dignity. [The Galaxy] is 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.
He adds a little weight to the argument, by somewhat defensively pointing out:
I’ve made thousands of sketches and hundreds of prototype products [for the Galaxy]. Does that mean I was putting on a mock show for so long, pretending to be designing?
Of course, the late Jobs would have had a field day answering that particular question, and if one looks at the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus up next to the iPhone 3GS, the similarities are stark:
Simply a case of great minds think alike? Or does the accusation that Samsung "slavishly copy Apple’s innovative technology" ring true?
Speaking with the Chicago Tribune, he did take a moment to pay homage to rival Sir Jony Ive – responsible for designing most of Apple’s contemporary devices – and believes that, one day, he himself may emulate Ive by creating a game-changer:
I might not be at [Ive’s] level yet, but I believe Samsung will produce such iconic products one day.