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Hughes' logo is on the left, Apple's is on the right
Apple's iOS 5 includes a feature that is almost identical to an app a developer submitted in May 2010

It's no secret that Apple has been militant in suing competitors that employ technologies even remotely close to Apple's own [see: SamsungMotorolaHTC]. But when it comes to stealing ideas for apps from developers, Apple's intentions are a bit more dubious.

The Register reports that Apple is being accused of stealing the idea of one UK-based college student and developer — Greg Hughes. In May 2010, Hughes submitted an app for consideration called Wi-Fi Sync, which allowed users to sync their iTunes libraries wirelessly. 

Rather than receive the standard rejection email, Hughes reportedly got a call from an iPhone developer relations representative letting him know that his app was "admirable," but that some unspecified security concerns prevented it from being accepted. "They did say that the iPhone engineering team had looked at it and were impressed," Hughes told The Register. "They asked for my CV as well."

But rather than back down, Hughes simply submitted the app to the Cydia store, where it's sold more than 50,000 copies in a little more than a year. At $9.99 a pop, it's fair to say that Hughes made out quite nicely from his decision, though he declined to say how much he profited. 

That didn't pad the surprise that Hughes received earlier in the week, when Apple unveiled a number of key features for its upcoming iOS 5. One key feature, aptly named Wi-Fi Sync, does exactly what Hughes' rejected version did. Furthermore, Apple's icon for the app bears a striking resemblance to Hughes original design (see photo).

"Obviously I was fairly shocked," Hughes told The Register. "I'd been selling my app with that name and icon for at least a year. Apple knew that, as I'd submitted it to them, so it was surprising to see that." 

The Unofficial Apple Weblog has a list of other jailbreak developers that have been subject to similar "borrowing" by Apple.



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RE: Nice...
By bupkus on 6/10/2011 9:39:15 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Yeah Im sure Apple wasnt planning this for their new OS from the point the released the previous full number upgrade or anything.
Yeah I'm sure Apple couldn't have thought up this idea for the previous upgrade or anything.
quote:
Lets ignore the fact that other devices have wifi syncing for years and pretend this guy came up with it and its an original idea.
No, lets ignore the fact that other devices have had wifi syncing for years and pretend Apple couldn't have come up with this years ago.
quote:
Lets ignore the fact that this guys icon is a simple combination of two icons apple has used in their UI for years. Gee I wonder why they'd look slimier?
Lets ignore the fact that Apple's icon is that of a simple apple with a bite taken out which had been suggested before in where was that... Genesis?
quote:
Some of you let your hate for a company blind your judgement just as much as the people you condemn for their love of the same.
Actually, you make a paranoid assumption and try to suggest my statement is from one of the "Some...". I don't hate Apple because they're successful. But I do hate bullies that tread upon those less able to defend their rights. I do hate those who hypocritically accuse others of stealing their ideas but fail to implement those ideas until someone else shows them how and why.

Now a question to you... Can Apple do no wrong?


"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg














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