Apple arrogance exposed by iPad undesign

December 13, 2011

The Apple iPad is king. For the moment. But Apple’s dirty tactics in fighting its competitors are unjustified.

Apple really wants to hold onto its position at the head of the tablet market. The problem it faces is increasingly usable Android tablets entering the market, all cheaper and more customizable than the iPad. So it’s fighting dirty, insisting all other tablet manufacturers have somehow copied the design of the iPad. Like petty thieves.

The biggest crook is, in Apple’s eyes, Samsung. The Galaxy Tab does indeed look very much like an iPad. Of that no one can deny. But then could it really have looked any different?

Thomas Baekdal back-engineers an iPad, or as he calls it, undesigns an iPad, in a truly brilliant article. He argues that every design feature which the iPad and Galaxy Tab share, and which Apple is insisting Samsung remove, is just the natural state of being for a touchscreen tablet.

The size, the shape, the corners, the color, and the thickness are all pre-determined in order to give the user the best experience possible. As he concludes, “You can trademark design, but not simplicity.” Which is all Apple has really demonstrated with the iPad, stripping the form factor back to its natural state.

This is not only the best explanation for why Apple is wrong to accuse Samsung of copying, but also the best debunking of the myth that Apple is somehow the masters of hardware design. Steve Jobs was clearly a visionary, and alongside Jonathan Ive and others he managed to produce some great-looking products. But there was no big trick to what they achieved: they just let the products design themselves.

That is obviously genius in its own right, but it’s also nothing special. And it certainly isn’t grounds for Apple to sue left, right, and center in an effort to retain its number one spot.

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8 Responses to “Apple arrogance exposed by iPad undesign”

  1. Sue Smith:

    Lol, Dave Parrack you’re a moron.

  2. Félix Mejía:

    Well, you may say ANYTHING, all vendors tried tablets before, but failed. If iPad is the natural tablet design, why every manufacturer had to try and fail, and then wait in order to copy Apple’s design ? What you say about the product designing itself, and that it is nothing special, is an unfortunate comment.

  3. Jake Dodge:

    Here’s a quick future test to check whether Samsung is a copycat company. Right now, Samsung makes many successful models of HDTVs, correct? And their features and styling represent their own best efforts, correct? So when next year Apple comes out with its own HDTV, will Samsung’s styling and feature set change into a “slavish copy” of the Apple model? Or will Samsung *proudly* and *defiantly* continue to market as their flagship model HDTV sets that are instantly recognized as uniquely Samsung products? I’m not holding my breath . . .

  4. Jack:

    Thats not why they are suing. Samsung down right jacked the iPad 2 design. The other tablet makers didn’t. Lets take a trip down memory lane when Samsung introduced the first tablet they made. It was a 7 inch piece of junk and they knew it. Though it looked nothing like the first gen iPad. As soon as ipad2 came out they a few weeks later released the new tab that looked close to identical to the ipad2. They even made a statement saying how they couldn’t believe how thin apple was able to get the tablet. Apple suing samsung is what anyone would do if their art was stolen. It has nothing to do with undesign. They just tossed those shots in their on purpose saying what Samsung should make. The other companies have been much more original in design. Samsung are thieves.

  5. gunstar:

    Nice find Dave, well done.
    You show these iSheeps.

  6. gunstar:

    Look at Apples silly demands.

    Apple has told Samsung that, in order not to infringe on their design, Samsung should create a design with:

    Front surface that isn’t black.
    Overall shape that isn’t rectangular, or doesn’t have rounded corners.
    Display screens that aren’t centered on the front face and have substantial lateral borders.
    Non-horizontal speaker slots.
    No front bezel at all.
    Thick frames rather than a thin rim around the front surface.
    Profiles that aren’t thin.
    And the two really silly ones:

    Front surfaces with substantial adornment.
    Cluttered appearance.

    Yes, the Galaxy tab looks very much like the iPad, but they couldn’t really design it any other way.

    Apple can PATENT how iSheeps behave and obsess about the iDevices for all I care.

  7. gunstar:

    Only in America did I see these patent trolling Microsuck, crApple, Monsanto, DuPont etc. These American companies are the greediest monsters I have known. And the US Patent Office are co conspirators.

  8. PublicWifi:

    Here’s the problem: Generally speaking, when you buy an Apple product, you’re buying a status symbol. If you want a MacBook Air, they’re $1,300+ new. For $350-500 less, you can get a PC with a faster CPU (i7), bigger hard drive, more ram, etc… You can’t argue with me over this point. Macs: more money, less hardware.

    Point: People are tired of miniscule updates and upgrades released by Apple. The carrot on a stick will only get you so far, regardless of how vain the general public is. People want more for their money. Why buy an iPad2 for $600, when you can get a better performing tablet (due to additional hardware, more features, expandable storage, etc…) for less money?

    Apple is threatened by the increase of realistic, stable, and comparative competition.

    You cannot go from a 7″ tablet design, such as the first Galaxy Tab, to a 10″ design, without yielding to a common or pre-existing design. It’s common sense. No one will buy an 18″ long tablet. The same could be said about monitors. No one wants to buy a 30″ wide, 6″ high monitor. There’s a proportional increase in dimensions.

    Apple is suing based upon greed. Nothing more, nothing less. Sorry Apple, but market dominance does not give you the exclusive right tablet manufacturing. Decreasing profits cannot justify suing competitors in order to force a monopoly.

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