Samsung returns to mimicking Apple’s iPhone with chamfered metal-edged Galaxy Alpha

“Samsung has announced a new metal-edged flagship smartphone that takes its design language a step closer to the iPhone — and gives it something to fend off competition from surefooted Android startup Xiaomi,” Natasha Lomas reports for TechCrunch. “The latter has been gobbling Samsung’s lunch in China and just last month announced its own iPhone-a-like flagship, the metal-edged Mi 4. Bottom line: What Xiaomi can copy, Samsung can copy, too.”

“Question is whether Apple will fire up its lawyers for another design infringement court battle, given that the last one resulted in a near $1 billion bill for Samsung,” Lomas reports. “The new 4G Samsung handset is called the Galaxy Alpha, and on the specs front packs a generous but not crazy big 4.7 inch HD Super AMOLED display.”

Samsung's Galaxy Alpha
Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha

“Samsung’s fingerprint sensor is also on board,” Lomas reports. “There’s 32GB of internal memory and no Micro SD expansion slot — presumably that’s had to be sacrificed to make way for the seamless metal-band design… Samsung describes the new design as refined, sophisticated and compact in terms of construction. It does not say ‘iPhone-esque’ but if Steve Jobs were around to see it he’d hardly be mincing a verdict.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Without Apple’s trade dress to infringe, Samsung would be utterly lost.

Samsung can’t sell phones with their own crappy “design” – cheap plastic injection-molded by the blind – so they go back to their only successful play: Knocking off Apple’s iPhone.

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

Apple’s products came first, then Samsung’s:

Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy Tab Trade Dress Infringement

Here’s what Google’s Android looked like before and after Apple’s iPhone:

Google Android before and after Apple iPhone

Here’s what cellphones looked like before and after Apple’s iPhone:
cellphones before and after Apple iPhone

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

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  1. It’s amazing how much I take the time when buying stuff now to see if it’s Samsung-labeled. I know so many people like to point out that so many electronics have Samsung parts. Yes, I know that. Save your fingers and don’t bother telling me.

    All the bitching in the world won’t change anything if people keep buying Samsung (consumer) products. I’ll buy a shittier Panasonic TV before I buy a fancy Samsung one.

      1. I didn’t mean to imply that Panasonic makes shittier devices. I just meant, if I can get an OK Panasonic whatever at $500 or a much better Samsung whatever at $399, I’m still going with Panasonic. I think Panasonic still makes good stuff, as far as I know…

      2. Same here with my Panasonic Plasma (sadly plasma’s are join the way of the Dodo).

        Samsung brand is permanently off my purchase list for all their transgressions and copying. Easy to buy other great alternatives. Many folks though have no moral compass that instructs them to boycott Samsung and are even surprised that you do.

    1. I do some custom construction and remodeling. I purchase electronics and appliances all the time and Samsung products have been removed from all my purchase decisions.
      I can’t remove Samsung “parts” from everything but I can keep from buying Samsung branded products and will continue to do so.
      Screw them.

  2. Everyone copies Apple.

    There are far more now companies leveraging their looks towards the phones of iPhone 4 to iPhone 5s — but larger screen sizes.

    iPhone 6 will blow them all away again.
    And all who seek a larger screen will finally be ever so happy.

    I still wonder, when is someone going to create
    the DEAD SIMPLE smartphone?

    A super simple smartphone that does it all – yet:
    – no view of its apps – so no buttons
    – everything auto updates
    – no games to download
    – no music files but plays radio or subscribed songs
    – maps, dialling, contacts, notes and browsing all done by siri
    – a phone that really is better than all the rest

    1. Totally agree.

      All these wannabes and copycats can try and mimic Apple’s innovations but only Apple products will have the Apple logo on it.

      And that’s THE one thing they can never copy – the Apple brand.

      1. On the contrary, you can see copy-cat products out there barring the Apple logo. One recently runs a skin of IOS7 yet is really Android and suggests the iPhone 6 size and design. Including a Apple Logo.

        This type of working mock-up MUST STOP, as it harms the Apple brand.

  3. MDN take is great, still, what is far worse about coping Apples look, are three missing factors.

    1) Samsung was under contract to produce iPhone – a partnership that should have forced Samsung not to copy Apple at all – not in any way. Yet they did, knowing well all components internally. I think this is a illegal bridge of trust on Samsungs part. Apple should be able to sue them for far more.

    2) Apple offered exclusive rights to IOS to Samsung, however they declined to use iOS. Knowing behind Apples back they would obtain Googles Android for nothing. Thank Google for that.

    3) Google, created its Android OS. To date its closest clone of iOS and the most accepted handset operating system freely distributed to mostly Asian makers. Google is a trader of America innovation. Granting such a free gift to compete with Apple, and used to by other countries to rob our banks and credit cards.

    1. sounds like you have no idea what you are talking about:

      1) Foxconn was under contract to assemble iPhone — Samsung designed and manufactured Apple’s ARM based APs until 2012 along with other major components of iDevices (eg, memory, displays). Here Samsung is accused of copying their physical design, not the underlying tech. Further, Samsung has been making mobile devices at least decade longer than Apple. Samsung beat Apple in touch-screen smartphone by a couple of years, eg F700 — though they were never as successful as Apple’s iPhone.

      2) Apple never licenses out their iOS to anybody outright. Period. You probably meant a handful of UI utility patents (eg, slide-to-unlock). Samsung and Apple agreed to drop all non-US lawsuits last week after most of Apple’s patents are either invalidated or completely thrown out of the courts around the world.

      3) sure, your xenophobic overture may have some appeal to Apple’s biased hometown jury, but Apple isn’t so patriotic when it comes to funneling its massive profit in offshore / Ireland subsidiary to avoid taxes or outsourcing most of its manufacturing jobs to Asian makers. Perhaps none of these copy-cat issues would have become a problem, had Apple kept manufacturing jobs here. Apple’s best defense? everyone else’s doing it.

  4. No court would ever support Apple for such things like chamfered edges or some similar design. Besides, most companies would pay the judge to put rulings in their favor. It’s what’s called protection money. So far, Apple hasn’t learned how to pay the right people for protection. Apple needs to get a little closer to the politicians so things will go their way if they have any problems with patents and stuff. Smartphones are big moneymakers and Apple throwing a million dollars here and there could help Apple immensely. Being honest can only take a company so far.

    1. yeah – the court system does not understand design and the protection of its countries efforts in innovation – the law stiffles the entire process – slow as a snail

  5. They may have copied the design but they cleaned up Apple’s awful rear design and sides. Clean lines with the plastic antennas on bottom and top. Just beautiful. If iPhone 6 looks like the dummies floating around with all ugly lines around it, the Samsung Alpha wins hands down!

    1. John, John, you gotta stop taking the money from Samsung to post here.

      What we’re doing here is laughing at Samsung.

      It is a big major corporation that doesn’t seem to have an original idea, except to refine the ‘Asian copycat’ formula. Worse yet, a Chinese copier beat them to the copy first, so Samsung is losing out on against 2 competitors and down 20% on profits year over year.

      Simple! Samsung’s copycat routine is hurting Samsung.

    2. John, that’s your opinion, and you are entitled to say so. However, in my opinion, people don’t want a plastic backing on on a phone with a metal frame.

      Apples, rear design is not awful, besides most people cover it with a protective case. Honestly I don’t – it adds bulk to the phone and less contact grip. The bare naked device in the human hand feels amazing – handle your phone with care.

      Lastly, 700 USD plastic phone seems a rip off don’t you think?
      Still, drop a plastic phone, and the bounce factor and impact rating on plastic is honestly better than aluminum – here hoping the new metal material from Apple comes. And at a reasonable price to consumers. Liquid Metal casing – no added protectors required.

      Nevertheless, one thing I must say about Android is this.

      1) I do enjoy mounting the device to a Mac, and seeing it a a hard drive – being able to access in a familiar and easy way to all my files.

      2) I do like a larger screen.

      3) I wish Apple, Like the iMac, put an external SD slot on its phones. iTunes is a clunky mess compared to mounting an Android phone. And if security is the issue as to why Apple will not implement a SD slot — then they best figure out a way.

  6. So let me guess, Apple was the first to ever use a metal band/edge on phone. Also, if and when Apple introduce a phablet in the Fall, will they be following anyone? Or did they invent that too? We already know they introduced the rectangle. I am asking all of this as an iPhone owner who is tired of all of this childishness. We need to stop letting letting elementary school kids write these articles.

    1. Okay I understand your misunderstanding Justice007.

      Don’t try to over simplify these matters, regarding curved corners and rectangular shapes… yes those are rather childish. But important in court to first establish the basis for Apples defence.

      Again, Apple talks about the complete product as software and hardware are inseparable. However the point has not yet been justifiable as defence.

      IMO – if a true competitor were to innovate on a smartphone they would create a phone that does not use multi-touch but for example voice commas or eye commas only… no apps… say a simpler smartphone. However, even Windows followed the basics of Apple iOS.

      Innovation and Invent are two completely different things… okay.

      Apple may innovate on a Phablet yes.
      Example an iPad mini that has real telephone capabilities.
      Sure Samsung may have done that first like their SmartWatch – but Apple will do it RIGHT!

      Please understand the difference.
      Apple did not invent the Smart Phone… iPhone was build on many innovations that the industry had already started to provide consumers. Yet Apple studied the landscape and put together software based on OSX at a scaled down version, and implemented better than anyone else an OPERATING SYSTEM with an ECOSYSTEM and a HARDWARE DESIGN to complete a fully admirable and impressive product that took the world by storm. Thats Innovation… not inventing.

      All products today are copying the look and feel of Apple. And typically use Android the OS that is the only competing OS to IOS which isn’t the hand makers work. Appel does it all – except assemble its own… that is contracted out to be down by Apples competitors – who get first look at the up coming design and who are most likely the reason for leaks on new products.

      1. Yet another childish post full of nonsense. Get a life. Your life currently seem too dependent on this. Find something other than a phone to add value to your life. I hope that is possible.

    2. In actual fact, Apple was the first to use a full metal band around the perimeter of the phone that was also the frame and antenna. Justice700, you are confabulating innovation with invention. They are not the same thing. It is not childish for a company like Samsung to rip of the design elements of its competitors.

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