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The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern today shared a new documentary about the evolution of the iPhone ahead of the 15th anniversary of the device launching on June 29, 2007. The documentary includes an interview with Apple's marketing chief Greg Joswiak, iPhone co-creator Tony Fadell, and a family of iPhone users.

iPhone-vs-Galaxy-Larger.jpg

One segment of the interview reflects on Android smartphones gaining larger displays years before the iPhone did. When asked about how much of a factor Samsung and other Android smartphone makers had on Apple at the time, Joswiak admitted they were "annoying" and accused them of poorly copying Apple's technology.

"They were annoying," said Joswiak. "And they were annoying because, as you know, they ripped off our technology. They took the innovations that we had created and created a poor copy of it, and just put a bigger screen around it. So, yeah, we were none too pleased."


Samsung launched the Galaxy S4 with a 5-inch display in early 2013, at a time when the iPhone 5 had a 4-inch display. Apple did eventually release its first larger smartphones with the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus in 2014, and the devices were met with strong demand and went on to be among the best-selling iPhone models ever.

Apple sued Samsung in 2011 for patent infringement, alleging that Samsung copied the iPhone's design with its own Galaxy line of smartphones. Apple was initially awarded around $1 billion in damages, but the amount was lowered in a subsequent retrial. In 2018, Apple finally settled with Samsung and reiterated the following statement:
We believe deeply in the value of design, and our teams work tirelessly to create innovative products that delight our customers. This case has always been about more than money. Apple ignited the smartphone revolution with iPhone and it is a fact that Samsung blatantly copied our design. It is important that we continue to protect the hard work and innovation of so many people at Apple.

We're grateful to the jury for their service and pleased they agree that Samsung should pay for copying our products.
The full documentary can be watched on The Wall Street Journal's website and provides an interesting look back at the iPhone over the years.

Article Link: Apple Executive Says Samsung Copied the iPhone and Simply 'Put a Bigger Screen Around It'
 
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ThomasJL

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Oct 16, 2008
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Samsung’s smartphone strategy has evolved: it went from merely copying Apple to first making fun of Apple for illogical design choices (like the elimination of the headphone jack and the inclusion of a notch) and then copying Apple’s illogical design choices.
 

iDento

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Sep 8, 2011
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As a customer, I am happy they did, competition is good for me.

*for those whore disliking my comment, please tell me how competition is bad for you unless you’re an Apple shareholder. And by the way, almost every gadget, machine, and accessory I use is made by or related to Apple but the PS5.
 
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Andres Cantu

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May 31, 2015
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Copied yes, but Apple crippled their first large screen iPhone by using the same amount of RAM (1GB) for what was the third year in a row, since they knew they would still sell incredibly well.

The 6s then turned out to be a much better phone. I don’t recall Samsung crippling their devices in that manner. Plus, thanks to them, we have larger screens.
 

chr1s60

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Jul 24, 2007
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Everyone knew what was happening. It wasn't really hidden. But I will say Samsung/Android didn't just rip off the iPhone and put a bigger screen around it they also took the stance of utilizing gimmicky features as sell points and rushing features to production before perfecting them. I'm not saying that in a bad way, but it's what they did in order to get sales and it really worked well for them. Apple continues to be slower to market with a lot of features, but many, not all, work exponentially better than features on other phones. There isn't a right or wrong in which route a consumer goes, it's merely a preference.
 

CarAnalogy

macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2021
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Well yeah but the bigger screen was exactly what people wanted at the time. He's right that it was a poor copy other than that, because I switched for a while to get the bigger screen and more freedom. I did discover how inferior it was otherwise, but Apple sure was obstinate about just giving people the bigger screen they wanted.

I specifically remember at the time when they were bragging about how advanced their processor is, how good their software is, etc- but the only way to experience it was through that tiiiiny little window.
 
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ThaGoochiestMane

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Jan 2, 2020
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Everyone knew what was happening. It wasn't really hidden. But I will say Samsung/Android didn't just rip off the iPhone and put a bigger screen around it they also took the stance of utilizing gimmicky features as sell points and rushing features to production before perfecting them. I'm not saying that in a bad way, but it's what they did in order to get sales and it really worked well for them. Apple continues to be slower to market with a lot of features, but many, not all, work exponentially better than features on other phones. There isn't a right or wrong in which route a consumer goes, it's merely a preference.
What exactly did Apple do with NFC and wireless charging that the various other OEMs weren't doing?

Yes, there were a bunch of gimmicky features, but there were also legitimate features that Apple seemingly just waited on for no discernable reason (given the version of the technology they eventually released).
 

DanteHicks79

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Sep 19, 2019
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I mean, there's really only so many ways you can make a smart phone.

The Sony Clie and Blackberry had sort of touch screen interfaces (stylus required), but their base interface was pretty much the same - icons on a grid, tap to interact with elements, etc.

It's not like Apple alone was revolutionary in introducing the core concepts of smart phones. It was all kinda common sense on the approach - let us not forget Apple for a hot second considered using the iPod scroll wheel as a primary interface method.
 

ArtOfWarfare

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Nov 26, 2007
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Copied yes, but Apple crippled their first large screen iPhone by using the same amount of RAM (1GB) for what was the third year in a row, since they knew they would still sell incredibly well.

The 6s then turned out to be a much better phone. I don’t recall Samsung crippling their devices in that manner. Plus, thanks to them, we have larger screens.
I used my 6+ for 5 years. I don't recall the RAM being an issue.

I recall the battery not being great. I had it replaced for $30 when Apple offered that deal after some class action lawsuit.

I'm thinking about trading in my iPhone 8+ for a Surface Duo 3 from Microsoft, though (when that phone is actually released, of course). The iPhone and iOS kind of suck. Apple keeps bloating them with pointless features that nobody needs, raising prices, and refusing to give us actual features that people have been asking for for 5-15 years.
 
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ackmondual

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Dec 23, 2014
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And good thing they did because Apple was slow to put a proper sized screen on the iPhone.
When I was job hunting at career fairs, we spent a good amount of time in line, waiting to talk with recruiters from various companies. You strike up conversations with those around you. I asked about what phones people liked, and many of them admitted they love iPhones, but because their eyesight has taken a hit, the dinky 4" screen was just pathetic. They were using Samsung phones because they answered the market call for larger phones.
 
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fwmireault

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Jul 4, 2019
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The documentary is interesting, but the parallel between the iPhone and the kid born the same day as its release is just weird. Like if his their life was only defined by the iPhone. Yikes. I would have take more of in depth discussions about the iPhone development and launch

And I agree with the comments here, competition is good, and pushes Apple to give us bigger screens and more functionalities. I would not want to live in a world where there are only iPhones in this world, we would still be stuck with 4 inch screens
 
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