Samsung’s ‘Instinct’ is obviously to make Apple iPhone knockoffs

By SteveJack

This is not an April Fool’s joke. Take a look at the image below. 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.

Samsung's Instinct
Samsung’s Instinct
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.


  1. Don’t blame Samsung…this is sprint (notice all lower case) realising that THEY need to have an iPhone look-a-like.

    Samsung has an incredible design group; they dont’ need to copy other people’s designs…but if a client is paying, you do it and then move on.

  2. I just don’t get this. For years Apple’s iPod competitors tried to be “iPod” killers by imitatin the iPod. If you’re going to unseat the iPod, you need to create something a magnitude GREATER than the original. Why buy a copy when the original is available.

    Similarly, Apple stole a march on the phone industry. They reinvented the phone and made it an internet platform. They are not going to defeat it – or even slow it down – by following in it’s path. It’s very hard for me to understand how such very smart people can continue to make such very foolish mistakes.

  3. This is such a joke. I remember a girl friend I dated was a patent attorney. She was a biter but that is another story. She was wrapped in this suit where on trash bag company used the same packaging as their client and marketed the trash bags as similiar to the other. The color of the boxes were very similiar and the logos and such were as well. She eventually won the suit and the other company had to pay them several million dollars in a judgement. Samsung trash bag sure looks like Apple’s trash bag.

    Nor about the biting………

  4. It’s a huge fat ass phone at .49″ thick. More plastic then you can shake a stick at and Gizmodo is impressed and said it’s a good competitor to the iPhone. Man, Gizmodo is getting lame these days.

  5. Great article, Steve Jack. It’s really pathetic to see the whole mobile universe try to copy one product. The copy cat scheme has gotten much better since the iPod knockoffs, and are focusing on the polish and trim of the iPhone, not the software (because they can’t). I agree with your comment that Apple SHOULD stop these phones on patent or copyright infringement charges, as it is just plain wrong to take a unique, recognizable design from an innovative company and try to market it as your own duping the dumb and the innocent. In the process, they cheapen the image and render the design ubiquitous.

    I don’t know if it’s Samsung or Sprint who’s behind this, but it’s wrong. Actually, I like both companies for different things. Samsung’s got some great innovative hardware design, it’s a very capable company. And Sprint offers fairly decent phone service for a good price (much lower than Verizon, lower than ATT, at least in NYC), albeit their phone selection is pretty rotten.

    Having said that, it’s wrong to rip off proprietary designs.

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