The big feud between Apple and Samsung seems like an old hat these days, and you would think that the companies have long left behind their differences. But it looks like some Apple employees are still holding a grudge against Samsung for its supposed copycat tendencies of old. In a Wall Street Journal retrospective on 15 years of the iPhone, Apple marketing director Greg Joswiak said that Samsung “created a poor copy” of the iPhone, ripping off the company’s technology.
The WSJ documentary short was published in celebration of 15 years of iPhone, going over how the company had a big part in inventing the modern smartphone as we know it today. However, Apple isn’t an isolated entity on the market, and Android is arguably the most prevalent mobile operating system in the world. Google has Samsung to thank for that, in part, with the Galaxy S2 being one of the best-selling phones of its time, bringing Android to the masses.
Apple’s Greg Joswiak isn’t too fond of this time, though. Asked at the 13:55 mark how big of a factor Samsung and Android were for the creation of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus as they hit the market with their big phones, he said about Samsung:
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. And you know, so yeah, we weren’t too pleased.
This statement comes after a year-long legal battle between Samsung and Apple that the latter finally ended up winning in 2018, gaining more than $500 million in damages. However, Apple did not win the case because Samsung just “created a poor copy” of what Apple created. It came down to patents revolving around Apple’s iconic “slide to unlock” gesture and autocorrect, and Samsung also managed to win smaller counter-sue cases, in which Apple was found infringing on its patents, too. The story isn’t as black and white as painted by Joswiak. Although Apple is arguably the company to popularize the modern smartphone as we know it, it isn’t the only company innovating in the space.
How many different ways are there even to build a rectangular device?
In fact, Apple was long one of the last holdouts to stick with smaller screen sizes, all while Samsung popularized big-screen smartphones with its Note series and then later with the rest of its lineup. Apple arguably benefited greatly from finally moving on to bigger screens itself, with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus being one of the most popular models in a long time. Experiments with the iPhone 12 and 13 Mini also show that smaller phones just aren’t in demand anymore, with these devices not selling nearly as well as the bigger, more expensive products in the Apple lineup.
Since the Washington Post retrospective focuses on the iPhone history rather than the feud between Apple and Samsung, it doesn’t go too in-depth on this, but it does give Samsung some room to clear its name. In a statement made in the video, Samsung is cited saying it pioneered a lot of technologies in the market, including OLED panels and water and dust resistance — both features we take for granted on iPhones these days, too.