Samsung Designer Denies He Copied Apple’s Devices, Is Confident He’ll Match Jony Ive One Day

Samsung Designer Denies He Copied Apple’s Devices, Is Confident He’ll Match Jony Ive One Day

Apple and Samsung have battled in court over the design of a number of Samsung’s Galaxy products, which Apple believes were “slavishly” copied from the iPhone and iPad. However, the Korean company’s chief of mobile design maintains that the Galaxy is “original from the beginning,” and believes that one day, he will match Jony Ive by designing a truly iconic product.

In an interview with the Chicago TribuneLee Minhyouk, Samsung Mobile’s vice president of design dismissed claims that the Galaxy lineup copies Apple’s devices, and insists that they are all his own work:

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?

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.

Apple, of course, would disagree. The Cupertino company has previously branded Samsung a “copyist,” whose products “blatantly imitate” its iPhone and iPad. In a previous lawsuit, Apple said Samsung’s products “slavishly copy Apple’s innovative technology, distinctive user interfaces, and elegant and distinctive product and packaging design.”

The Chicago Tribune’s report notes that Samsung has earned the name the “fast executioner,” thanks to its ability to be first to market with a copycat product shortly after one of its rivals releases something new.

However, Minhyouk is confident that one day, he and Samsung will create a product that will match one of Jony Ive’s iconic creations:

I might not be at (Ive’s) level yet, but I 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.

  • GregsTechBlog

    Either he’s lying or in serious denial.
    Either way, it’s pretty sad, Samsung.

  • gnomehole

    Wow, the biggest copy cat in the industry finally speaks out… and lies his a$$ off… no surprise there.   At least we now know who is getting paid for ripping things off.

    What a joke.

    I agree.. sad, Samsung… just sad!

  • Tony C

    And the Chicago Cubs hope to win the World Series some day too…

  • FourFeetOfCurl

    It doesn’t matter how good or bad a designer this guy is, or how many sketches he’s made because his bosses are clearly telling him to make something that looks like an iPhone.

    The carriers want their manufacturers to give them an iPhone clone, and Samsung is more that happy to oblige.  Obliging the carriers is what Samsung does. It’s how they’ve become so successful as of late.

  • peterson90210

    Wow. And he actually had the guts to even show up. Its easy to claim youre original. Either the proof that is so self-evident is lying. Or him.

  • hrav

    What an ass…

    I’m very familiar dealing with Samsung. Their higher positioned employees act like pricks.
    All they ask are girls and money. They don’t care what’s going into their products other than get the cheapest stuff they can get. All people who have dealt with them or their supply chains know these issues.

  • Richard

    Hogwash . . . it’s a copy of the iPhone and his denials ring hollow.

  • prof_peabody

    I would think the guy was lying just in the context of saying he is the personally the guy that actually did the designs at Samsung.  

    It’s really unlikely that the “vice president of design” at a large corporation is actually the same guy doing the actual designing, making the sketches etc. Jony Ive has a whole team that does the design work that he credits as well as himself.  The way this guy makes out like every design fell out of his fingers alone, is just as questionable as the claim he didn’t copy IMO.

  • CharliK

    He’s right about the language and the internal tech

    But what was shown to the public shows clear ‘inspiration’ straight from Apple’s products, leaks and rumors

    And yet they can get Apples end user sales, esp on tablets. That must hurt his dreams of being the next Jonny Ive

  • ubuniz

    Er.. Apple copied samsung Ahh where would apple be without samsung haha. Now they want a 4.6 inch iphone. Niw what you isheeps. Hehe

  • volodoscope

    what a joke,

  • Joe Derek

    “Is confident, he will match Jony Ive one day”

    ….and yes Pigs will fly too. 

  • Vasu Sharma

    This guy is a liar, and not worth ten seconds of air breathe on him.

    It’s sad samsung can’t be original. Thank god, i’m not apple, cause they would be penniless by now, and never release another product again.

  • mdridwan

    worthless piece of s#it

  • The_Newtype

    1) Apple copies.
    2) Samsung copies.
    3) Everyone copies.

    Where was the outcry when Apple blatantly “copied” the drop-down menu/notifications in iOS 5 from Android?

    There weren’t any tears when Apple “copied” wireless syncing (going so far as to also copy the system’s icon) from the small developer Greg Hughes.

    I didn’t hear a peep when Apple “copied” the camera from lock-screen functionality from HTC.

    Let’s get real here: Apple isn’t the only company that innovates, nor are they the only company who “copies” ideas on the regular.

  • okayatdrums90

    Every single time someone has the nerve To say Apple copies just as much, they bring up the stupid pull down menu. As far as I’m concerned, that’s just payback for multitouch, pinch to zoom, smart text zoom, use of accelerometer for orientation, use of proximity censor to make screen sleep, visual voice mail, inertia scrolling, app store, etc. the list goes on and on. Android, in it’s current form wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for iOS. Samsung uses another company’s OS to begin with, and then they can’t even come up with their own designs for hardware. Give me a break. You are clueless dude. Why are you defending them. Why can’t you just accept the fact the Apple is winning and everyone else is whining?

  • The_Newtype

    When you decide to read my whole post and respond to how Apple copies on each individual basis that I mentioned, I will formally respond to your non-argument.

    Until then, keep on trucking, friend.

  • Tarryn

    Copied wireless syncing? Apple has provided wireless syncing, via dot.mac, since before they introduced the first iPhone.
    I think the_Newtype is probably right on the other two points. Just how ‘innovative’ a pull down table view is is debatable, since Apple’s had menus pulling down from the top of the display since 1983.
    Apple’s camera access was really lame in the first iterations, and within hours, users were saying, “WTF, why do i have to unlock my phone and prod an app icon to take a pic.” The fact that HTC was the first to fix Apple’s fail is to their credit. OTOH, from a patent perspective, there’s no new art in making a camera (or phone) that doesn’t need to be unlocked before you take a picture.

  • okayatdrums90

    I read your whole post. The only claim with the slightest bit of substance was the one I spoke of which, as I explained, is justified by all the prior art taken from Apple. That was a pretty good way of avoiding all of my points though. Well done.

  • Jerry R

    Anyone ever hear of Deter Rams? Nearly every Apple product has been “inspired” by his work. Is Mr, Ivey a great designer? Sure. Is he original? No.

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    What? Who wants a 4.6 inch iPhone? That was just a horriblly bad comment.

  • kdarling

    Well, the picture used for the article makes it look like the iPhone and Galaxy are the same size :)

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    iOS 5 Notification Center: It serves a simple purpose. A simple feature should not be activated any other way than by swiping: it’s the simplest thing to do.

    Wireless Syncing icon: Are you shitting me? Is that how far you have to dig in order to get anything? That’s just a stupid point.

    Camera from home-screen: That’s not copying, bro’. A phone that features icons on a home screen isn’t copying the original GUI. However, when you set up those icons to functions exactly like another devices (e.g. Touch Wiz homescreen starting at the left, just like every itteration of iPhone), then you have an example of copying.

    I’m not saying Apple never copies any other idea, but the few you listed were not anything close to what Samsung is doing. Just look at the fucking phones up top! Again, look at how Touch Wiz looks so familiar to iOS. Samsung is a copy company. The only original desings that come out of Samsung are for their TV’s.

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    Yeah, insipred. There’s a difference between COPYING and have been INSPIRED BY. Hence, why Macs and iPads don’t look like microwayes and record players. Ives likes the industrial design approach. He uses a lot of metal and glass in his designs. That’s not similar to what you’re saying.

    Crawl back to Cult of Android, noob.

  • Dilbert A

    Deter Rams designed a cell phone?

  • Terry Ng

    I like this guy. 

  • ubuniz

    what a joke… it’s apple who copied samsung.  do your research.  even before the iphone came out samsung had a device that looked just like it.  you guys are sad…  where would apple be without samsungs technology rofl. on and btw, keep your 3.5 inches while the rest of the world moves on. hehehe

    http://static6.businessinsider

  • zviivz

    Make no mistake – Koreans and Japanese are good at copying products and they are determine to make it even better. You just have to look at what they had done to the auto industry! 

  • Maryanne85

    Keep dreaming man…

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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