By SteveJack

This is not an April Fool’s joke. Take a look at the image on the left. It’s Samsung’s newly-announced “Instinct” to be offered to the criminally obtuse by beleaguered Sprint in June.

In the spirit of Samsung’s lack of originality, portions of the rest of my article are basically just half-assed rephrasings of statements lifted directly from my recent RIM BlackBerry 9000 article. Unlike Samsung, I’ll throw in some actual new ideas, too:

Samsung clearly seems to have tried to copy Apple’s iPhone exterior look, but it has none of the multi-touch goodness of Apple’s iPhone. It’s the same old, same old in an iPhone-inspired wrapper. And that should fail to inspire much confidence in Samsung or Sprint (which has precious little to begin with).

You can judge the distance behind and overall cluelessness of iPhone’s future roadkill by the amount they copy the iPhone’s exterior. See: LG, HTC, RIM, and now Samsung, among many others.

Apple’s lawyers really should begin lobbing trade dress lawsuits at these companies and nip this in the bud. Apple’s won them before.

According to CNET, “Except for a [few] feature changes and a unique interface, the Instinct is a recycled CDMA version of the SGH-F490, which we saw two months ago at the GSMA World Congress.” This ceaseless quest to dress up antiques in Apple veneer is pathetic and sad.

What are Sprint customers supposed to do? Get this phone, stick an iPhone Apple logo sticker on the back, and just pretend throughout the duration of a 2-year contract?

Obviously, Samsung has no shame. And Sprint’s so desperate, they’d sell blocks of wood painted like iPhones if people would buy them.

The question I’m left with for Samsung and Sprint — and this goes for the rest of these companies rolling out imitation iPhones this year — exactly how stupid do you think your customers are?

See Gizmodo’s gallery of Samsung Instinct photos here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader "Joe Architect" for the heads up.]

SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.