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Print 48 comment(s) - last by Any14Tee.. on Apr 3 at 7:28 PM

If accurate, Android better hope Apple didn't patent the more widely rounded edge!

One of the most bizarre design spats played out in court in late 2012 when Apple, Inc. (AAPL) accused archrival Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KRX:005930) (KRX:005935) of not just stealing its user interface look, but also the shape of its phone itself.  In various jurisdictions Apple argued that any smartphone with relatively sharp, narrowly rounded edges in an "industrial" type frame design with less than four face buttons was in infringement of Apple's design -- an argument summarized as Apple claiming to "own the rectangle".
 
As tenuous as such broad design claims might be, it's true that Apple's design for the iPhone has always stayed relatively true to a general look with long, straight sides and sharply rounded (small radius) corners, giving its phones the classic "iPhone" industrial look.
 
Over time Android devices came to emphasize rounding of their faces and edges to try to avoid the appearance of mimicking Apple, and also to avoid the threat of being sued by Apple.  Apple meanwhile seemed to gravitate towards sharper and sharper edge rounding.

iPhone designs
The evolution of the iPhone's design [Image Source: TechnTechie]

But a pair of leaks -- while from questionable origins in China -- suggest that Apple may be reversing direction, returning to a more rounded look.

Weibo rounded edges
An iPhone 6S prototype? [Image Source: Weibo]

The first leak is an apparent design sketch (published by Japan's MacFan and sourced to Chinese leakers), while the second is a set of photos that appear to be taken of a prototype body design under testing at Hon Hai Precision Industry Comp., Ltd. (TPE:2317) subsidiary Foxconn.  Foxconn's Chinese facilities in Shenzhen are the primary iPhone assembly plant.
 
The first leak -- the sketch -- shows a possible iPhone 6C with rounded edges.

iPhone 6C
[Image Source: MacFan]

The Foxconn leak -- posted to Chinese forums site Weibo -- shows an iPhone 6S with a protruding camera design, possibly to allow more advanced internal optics and exposing the internal image sensor to more light.  It also shows similar rounded edges.

The leaked images are similar to a Jan. 2014 leak on Weibo from a regular iPhone leaker with a mixed track record.

Weibo leak
The Jan. 2014 leak from CTech on Weibo [Image Source: Weibo]

According to 9 to 5 Mac expected changes for the tenatively titled iPhone 6 include a larger screen size (possibly the rumored 5.5 inch phablet-size screen), and possibly a smaller screen (similar to the current 4-inch model) as well.  The design is also supposed to unify the iPhone and iPad design paths that currently appear far apart.

Android phonemakers better hope that Apple doesn't evolve its designs along a path towards more round edges, or they may be smacked with new lawsuits, courtesy of Apple's surely pending patents.

Sources: Weibo, MacFan, 9 to 5 Mac



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>.<
By Motoman on 3/31/2014 7:09:40 PM , Rating: 5
First of all...the notion that Apple is going to produce a phone with rounded corners is news is...ugh. Why were any pixels wasted on this article? Rounded corners on a smartphone is not news anymore than the fact that GM's latest car is going to have tires on it.

Secondly...I'll ask everyone to be attentive to the venomous patent-troll nature of Apple (at a minimum). All Apple product purchases should come with a complimentary punch to the face. Because you're the ones funding their patent-trollery.




RE: >.<
By menting on 3/31/2014 7:43:38 PM , Rating: 2
yup. exactly. I tell everyone I know that buys an iPhone (thankfully, that number is decreasing slowly) that they are directly funding the stupid litigation(s) that Apple is so happy to wage.


RE: >.<
By aurareturn on 3/31/14, Rating: 0
RE: >.<
By JackBurton on 3/31/14, Rating: -1
RE: >.<
By Solandri on 4/1/2014 1:57:24 AM , Rating: 4
Actually, the iPhone 4/5 with its rounded corners and flat metal "band" around the edge borrows heavily from the design of the Sony Clie I was using in 2002.
http://www.pdamuseum.com/sony_clie/sony_clie_peg-s...

Do I need to say it again? Just because the first time you saw something was on an Apple product, doesn't mean Apple invented it.


RE: >.<
By Wazza1234 on 4/1/14, Rating: -1
RE: >.<
By invidious on 4/1/2014 9:19:34 AM , Rating: 2
Neither does any samsung product.


RE: >.<
By Bateluer on 4/1/2014 10:58:32 AM , Rating: 2
Doesn't look like an Apple phone? Well, lets see; Rounded corners, icons on a grid, black and silver coloring. These are all things that Apple sued Samsung over.

Granted, I can understand how the average Apple customer would be confused.


RE: >.<
By Arkive on 4/1/2014 11:51:07 AM , Rating: 2
Lol, knowing this product was back from 2002 and is going to look dated, how can you NOT see any similarities between this and most current smartphones (to include the iPhone). A touchscreen, the navigation buttons at the bottom, similar form factor, and I'm not even bothering with the rounded edges, but yea, those too.

The bottom line is we need more innovation and less litigation. If your product can't stand on it's own merit then it probably isn't the best product, and hampering customer options helps no one but the company executives with the best litigation team.


RE: >.<
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/1/2014 12:03:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
how can you NOT see any similarities between this and most current smartphones
It's called blind loyalty.


RE: >.<
By retrospooty on 4/1/2014 4:20:18 PM , Rating: 2
"It's called blind loyalty."

He is just full of himself and full of sh!t. Not sure which is the higher of the two.


RE: >.<
By Wazza1234 on 4/2/2014 6:25:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Lol, knowing this product was back from 2002 and is going to look dated, how can you NOT see any similarities between this and most current smartphones (to include the iPhone). A touchscreen, the navigation buttons at the bottom, similar form factor, and I'm not even bothering with the rounded edges, but yea, those too.


Well, this is a bit of a straw man. The guy who I replied to was talking about things the IPhone 4 and iPhone 5 specifically copied from this product. He referenced a metal 'band' which, frankly, doesn't even exist on the product.

Being able to see 'similarities' has nothing to do with the conversation. Touch screen is a similarity now? So therefore any product with a touch screen copied this old product? Similar form factor - are you joking? It's not even remotely similar.

Even the round edges are different, but more importantly there are thousands of gadgets with round edges.

None of your comment has anything to do with the ridiculous claim that the iPhone design specifically copied anything from this hideous looking device.

It's like arguing that Ferrari copied Ford because their cars have 4 wheels, a curved part and a windscreen.

Seriously?

And in what is the biggest indictment of this site I've ever seen, the most shocking part is the number of people desperate to agree that the iPhone suddenly copied this not-remotely-similar phone. Imagine if we applied exactly your logic above to tell them that their precious Android phones ripped off the same device, how then they would suddenly be able to see how it's completely different.

Sigh @ the level of people on here.


RE: >.<
By evo slevven on 4/3/2014 2:14:11 AM , Rating: 2
What's really odd is given Samsung's evidence presentation along with documents from Apple's end, isn't Sony technically the only phone maker that Apple hasn't ever touched with a single lawsuit? I thought I remember it being presented by Samsung as one of their defense in explaining why Apple's patent wasn't valid in the first place was showing documents discussing how Sony made innovative phone designs and that market and prototype phones from Sony shared similarities with Apple iPhones but predated them by several years.


RE: >.<
By splatter85 on 4/3/2014 1:28:15 PM , Rating: 2
Apple innovated, they payed for patents so no one would steal their stuff again like MS did. The litigation team is like a screaming call to action for other companies to innovate and try something new, rather than steal ideas Apple already came up with.

So Samsung (among others) has chosen to steal patented ideas and deal with the courts, rather than innovate and try a different approach. Like something other than capacitive touch screens.


RE: >.<
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/1/2014 11:06:45 AM , Rating: 2
I remember working for Sony and supporting those. Good times! :)


RE: >.<
By vol7ron on 4/2/2014 1:14:09 PM , Rating: 2
I vaguely remember the Clie. Did the band also act as an antenna? I think that was the purpose of the (failed) Apple design, which in theory sounds great: make a better antenna, that doesn't look like the traditional pullout antenna of phones past; not factoring in human conductivity and electronic interference.

We at DT need to give Apple credit where it's due -- they design good hardware and good software. Though the latter tends to be lacking, some of their designs should be rightly patented and protected for a period of time.

This should not mean to say that MS, Sony, or Dell don't have good designs/software -- they all have their strengths. If you've ever used a Tandy, you should marvel at what each of these companies provide.


RE: >.<
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/2/2014 9:38:23 PM , Rating: 2
The Clie was a PDA, not a phone. Never was a phone, and none of the Clie line were phones.


RE: >.<
By GlobleWarmingisbunk on 4/1/2014 1:22:52 AM , Rating: 3

Don't forget that Apple also invented the flip down notification window that Android has had since the beginning. Oh don't forget Apple was the first to include an active stylus and handwriting recognition software in smartphones.

Apple also invented Sliced bread, Velcro, WD-40, Duct-tape and everything else in this world...Including this world and the universe. /end Sarcasm.


RE: >.<
By Motoman on 4/1/14, Rating: -1
RE: >.<
By macca007 on 4/1/2014 2:47:26 AM , Rating: 2
no NOOOOOOOOO, You have dashed my hopes for another year.
"GM's latest car is going to have tyres on it", It's 2014 where is my f'ing flying car. ;)


RE: >.<
By hughlle on 4/1/2014 4:37:38 AM , Rating: 2
Planes have tires ;)


RE: >.<
By Arkive on 4/1/2014 12:08:35 PM , Rating: 2
This just blew my mind a little.


RE: >.<
By atechfan on 4/1/14, Rating: -1
RE: >.<
By Reclaimer77 on 4/1/2014 9:24:02 AM , Rating: 2
Motoman is an "Android fan"? News to me.

He hates Apple though, so do I and a lots of regulars here.


RE: >.<
By Arkive on 4/1/2014 12:10:04 PM , Rating: 2
Because, "If you're not with us, you're against us." Or so the saying goes.


RE: >.<
By Wazza1234 on 4/2/2014 6:26:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
He hates Apple though, so do I and a lots of regulars here.


It's good that you're finally admitting the source of your retarded arguments - complete lack of objectivity and emotional issues towards a company.


RE: >.<
By retrospooty on 4/2/2014 12:36:08 PM , Rating: 2
Says the guy that does nothing here but defends a company. LOL. Not only that, you are on your 3rd userid, because you just cant get enough defending Apple even though your obnoxiousness has had you banned twice (that we know of ).

Go home putz... No one is buying the crap you are selling.


RE: >.<
By Sironfoot on 4/1/2014 5:59:46 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Secondly...I'll ask everyone to be attentive to the venomous patent-troll nature of Apple (at a minimum). All Apple product purchases should come with a complimentary punch to the face. Because you're the ones funding their patent-trollery.


On that basis, are you going to stop people buying Microsoft stuff, because they extort money from Android handset manufacturers.


RE: >.<
By Wazza1234 on 4/1/14, Rating: -1
RE: >.<
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/1/2014 8:52:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You're a troll. You just think you're not because you're a hater troll. The worst kind.
Oh the irony....


RE: >.<
By Bubbacub on 4/1/2014 11:57:58 AM , Rating: 2
never realised there were different species of troll out there....


RE: >.<
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/1/2014 12:05:49 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure what species has to do with this, the irony is a HUGE troll calling others a troll. Pretty simple.


RE: >.<
By Wazza1234 on 4/2/2014 6:28:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Oh the irony....


Just counting the percentage of my logical arguments which you addressed in this post.

Lets round up to 0%.

I wonder if you know what trolls do. They like 0% too.


RE: >.<
By retrospooty on 4/2/2014 12:39:28 PM , Rating: 2
Not getting drawn into your repeated trolling trap doesn't not mean he isn't correct or doesn't have an argument. It means we all know who you are and what your agenda is. You have been outted. You need to create a 4th userid and try to act like less of a douche - maybe your points may get across on the 4th round.


RE: >.<
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/2/2014 9:40:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I wonder if you know what trolls do.
Sure do, one only needs to look at you and your posting history, and your other banned accounts posting history. That, is what a troll does.


RE: >.<
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/2/2014 9:43:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
of my logical arguments
Also, dead give away of who you are. You consistently think your trolling is logical, when it is nothing of any logic, it's delusional fanaticism, nothing more.


RE: >.<
By Argon18 on 4/1/2014 11:44:48 AM , Rating: 1
"Secondly...I'll ask everyone to be attentive to the venomous patent-troll nature of Apple (at a minimum). All Apple product purchases should come with a complimentary punch to the face. Because you're the ones funding their patent-trollery."

No different at all from Microsoft, Samsung, or any other major players. If you buy any modern electronics, you are supporting patent-trollery. Why single out Apple? Careful, your fanboy is showing.


RE: >.<
By mellomonk on 4/2/2014 4:06:25 AM , Rating: 2
Well actually......you all need to learn the definition of 'Patent Troll'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_troll


Jobs Mob strikes Again.
By Any14Tee on 3/31/2014 8:00:40 PM , Rating: 5
Is it an Apple or is it plane? No its frigg*n HTC, they stole the frigg*n design!




RE: Jobs Mob strikes Again.
By TSS on 4/1/2014 4:51:30 AM , Rating: 2
When asked to comment on this, a Apple spokesman simply replied "Yoink!" and ran off.


RE: Jobs Mob strikes Again.
By Wazza1234 on 4/1/2014 8:09:14 AM , Rating: 2
People who think this looks more like an HTC than the previous iPhone are seriously delusional.

If HTC looks like this, then HTC copied the iPhone 5 or iPhone 5S.

I personally think they look nothing alike.


RE: Jobs Mob strikes Again.
By Any14Tee on 4/3/2014 7:28:22 PM , Rating: 2
Fair comment,what came first, egg or the chicken?


haha nice evolution
By NellyFromMA on 4/1/2014 2:27:01 PM , Rating: 2
I think its funny that the photo of the iPhone's design evolution essentially shows 8 phones that have barely any differences on the surface between them.




RE: haha nice evolution
By Reclaimer77 on 4/1/2014 2:45:32 PM , Rating: 2
lol yeah. "Evolution"? Same phone, same phone, same phone etc etc.

Someone post the Zoolander meme, you know the one...


copying blackberry
By blaznazn22 on 4/3/2014 4:02:21 AM , Rating: 2
looks exactly like my blackberry z30




By stm1185 on 3/31/2014 7:02:37 PM , Rating: 1
Looks like it on the image. Too blurry? Should give an idea of screen size. If it is 5 or above I might end up getting one, not impressed with the S5 or One2




Everyone, on their knees now!
By DukeN on 4/1/2014 1:43:15 AM , Rating: 2
The Jobs' master-ship has created a masterpiece. ROUNDED EDGES MOTHERFUCKERS!

Commence fanboi fellatio in 3, 2, 1....




RE: Everyone, on their knees now!
By Wazza1234 on 4/1/14, Rating: -1
"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton














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