Last week Apple announced the launch of the all-new iPhone 6. For the first time, Apple’s smartphone offering will feature a larger 4.7-inch screen as standard – increasing to a 5.5-inch screen with the iPhone 6 Plus – thus entering Samsung’s domain as the so-called phablet provider of choice. This has resulted in an unsurprisingly outraged response from Samsung HQ, leaving many in the tech world to ask the obvious question: “Did the Apple iPhone 6 copy the Samsung Galaxy Note?”
Samsung’s latest advert certainly leaves little room for doubt. The Galaxy Note 4 will be launched in October 2014 and this television advert has Apple well and truly in its crosshairs. In fact, Apple aren’t the only ones to be reminded that Samsung have been producing large-screen smartphones since the Note launched in 2011. Reviewers who described using the first Note as like “talking into a piece of toast” are being asked to eat their words. Literally.
Did the Apple iPhone 6 Copy the Samsung Galaxy Note?
The honest answer, of course, is that we will never know. Is the larger-screen smartphone – the so called ‘phablet’ – a product of Samsung’s R & D department? Samsung clearly think so, although this shouldn’t come as a surprise given the Korean company’s long-running legal wranglings with Apple.
What is clear is that the Samsung Galaxy Note was the first mainstream smartphone to feature a 5-inch+ screen. At the time the iPhone 4 had a smaller, 3.5-inch screen and Apple were keen to distance themselves from the idea that a larger screen would be a good thing. As far as Samsung are concerned, the iPhone 6 represents both a significant u-turn and a recognition that the Galaxy Note was ahead of its time:
“Samsung Mobile invented the large display genre, but The Next Big Thing is about more than just size. As the rest of the world catches up to the ‘not everyone wants a tiny screen’ thing, the Galaxy Note 4 is more productive, more innovative and more fun than ever.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been quick to deny allegations that the new iPhone 6 is a Samsung copy. In an interview with Charlie Rose he suggested that Apple could have made a larger iPhone several years ago, but waited until they were able to develop a product that they were happy with.
Cook’s response tells us both everything and nothing. It’s clear that Samsung have been making larger ‘phablet’ smartphones for several years now. It’s also clear that Apple are unusually late arrivals on the ‘phablet’ scene.
Did Apple Copy Samsung? Our Verdict:
We will ultimately never know whether Apple copied Samsung. We have no doubt that the new iPhone 6 will be a big hit – and that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4, launched this autumn, will again raise the bar in terms of what we can expect from a smartphone.
Whenever a technology trend starts to form – in this case large-screen smartphones – it’s easy to start accusing rival brands of copying each other. It’s important to remember that imitation is the highest form of flattery.
Samsung have an opportunity to build upon the credibility that they have achieved with the large-screen Galaxy Note series – and make further inroads into Apple’s iPhone market share as a result.