Samsung Copying Apple? What Copying?

Dan Lyons:

The latest example is on Daring Fireball, a blog penned by John Gruber, a hardcore Apple fanboy. Responding to news that Samsung just turned in a barnburner fourth quarter, Gruber wrote:

So Jony Ive leads the design team at the two most-profitable phone makers. Impressive.

This is typical snarky Gruber stuff. But it’s so arrogant and patronizing that when I read it was brought up short. Because I realized, this guy isn’t joking. Gruber and people like him really believe that Samsung just sits around making copies of Apple products. In their view, Apple is the fountain from which all creativity flows, and Samsung just follows behind, stealing their ideas.

Really? This is where Dan Lyons wants to go? That Samsung doesn’t copy Apple? That “Apple fanboys” simply claim that they do as a knee-jerk response to Samsung’s undeniable success in the smartphone market? Never mind all these remarkable similarities in packaging and product design, or the Apple app icons Samsung put in a store kiosk — it’s all just a big coincidence? It boggles the mind.

Nobody is arguing that every aspect of every Samsung product is a rip-off of an Apple product. Nobody is arguing that Samsung doesn’t have some products that are utterly un-Apple-like. But this is the first time I’ve seen anyone argue that Samsung isn’t blatantly copying at least some things from Apple. I’ve also never made nor seen anyone else make the argument that Apple is the only company doing original work. This is just another case where the person wielding the word fanboy is the one making the over-the-top head-in-the-sand unreasonable argument.

If you want to defend Samsung, don’t do it by arguing that they don’t copy Apple. Go with the “good artists copy, great artists steal” argument. Argue that Samsung may be shameless but they’re not stupid; that it’s no coincidence that the Android handset maker that’s selling the most phones and growing the fastest is the one most closely mimicking Apple.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012