“It’s Apple that copies us,” HTC says, in regards to the One A9


If you’ve been around the tech scene for some time, you’ll know that Apple is famous for starting the current smartphone revolution in 2007, that Android was birthed some time after iOS, and that Apple has been seen as the standard by many for what a good, premium smartphone is, even in 2015.

Well, HTC may want to challenge that notion, but the Taiwanese manufacturer finds itself in trouble with the latest One A9 smartphone revealed earlier this week. As is the norm with every Android smartphone, diehard iPhone fans (and even some Android fans) have resorted to claiming that HTC has “blatantly ripped off” Apple in order to craft a smartphone that will likely sell because of its “iPhone” design. HTC North Asia President Jack Tong responded at a Taiwan press briefing to the iPhone copy claim with, “We’re not copying. We made a uni-body metal-clad phone in 2013. It’s Apple that copies us in terms of the antenna design on the back.”

HTC does have a point about the One A9 but it finds itself in the same camp as Samsung with regard to Apple. Samsung’s Galaxy S6 speaker grille has been compared to Apple’s speaker grille in the same vein, even though Samsung implemented an identical speaker grille on its Windows Phone Ativ S back in 2012. Apple fans are quick to talk about things like speaker placement, headphone jack placement, etc., but there are only so many positions and ways to uniquely place these features onto a handset. I fear that many of the complaints about “some Android manufacturer copied Apple” are debates created for the purpose of mere chatter.

There are a number of manufacturers that do copy the look and feel of the iPhone, however, and there are a few (that shall remain nameless) that even implement the same wallpapers as those found on current iPhones and iPads (if you’ve seen the purple flower petal with the black background on a few smartphones, you’ll understand.). While imitation is still the highest form of flattery, each company has its own unique take on the market and doesn’t need to copy the look and feel of the iPhone. HTC hasn’t copied the iPhone with the One A9, Samsung hasn’t copied the iPhone with the Galaxy S6, but there are some manufacturers who do. To those, I’d say that customers want something unique and distinct from Apple. Not everyone believes that “A” is for “Apple.”

What do you think?

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42 Comments

  1. Angry Mobile Nerd
    October 23, 2015

    You’d think their PR department would have prepared a response prior to launch so Jack Tong wouldn’t have been left to his own wits (or lack of) to come up with such a crap response. The iPhone6 looks nothing like a HTC One M7 and you’d never mistake a M7 for a iPhone6, but this A9 certainly does look a lot like an iPhone6.

      • Sere83
        October 23, 2015

        Lol they literally dont look like eachother. Different camera/flash position and size and ratio, different logo position, different curve angle of the whole of the back, different antennae style that wraps around the top. The edges are totally different too, iphones are curved HTc M7’s are hard and plastic. This argument is a joke. Apples design is an evolution of the same design language they have had the whole way through.

        • balcobomber25
          October 23, 2015

          “Different camera/flash position and size and ratio, different logo position”

          Interesting because you say the A9 looks just like the iPhone 6 despite having different camera position and size as well as different logo position. Guess that argument only works when you want to prove your point?

          • G'n'T
            October 24, 2015

            Your honour, the defence rests. 5555

          • Sere83
            October 24, 2015

            lol this is a pointless debate, you are a complete joker. For a start the iphone 6 looks more like the first iphone than the HTC M7 so that automatically nulifies your argument completely. Secondly iphone 6 was almost certainly already in development and the blueprint already down when the M7 was realised as apple works on a 5+ year product cycle. Look at all the prvious iphones, the logo the flash the camera, the antenna, the buttons almost EVERYTHING in the same place, same design langauge. Name me 1 thing the iphone has in common with the HTC one M7 apart from a vaguely similar horizontal antennae and the fact its made of a similar material? The A9 on the other hand has the same angled corners, same flat back which the OBVIOUSLY changed to match the iphone as the m7/m8 and m9 always had curved backs. The camera and flash module shrunk from the M9 and changed shape and layout to match the iphone exactly, same protrusion too except they centrally alligned it probably for avoid lawsuits. They abandoned boom sound and stuck a speaker grill in the same place as the iPhone in a very similar style. They rounded the edges in exactly the same way as an iphone, again abandoning the M7/M8/M9 aesthetic. Im done even talking about it, its a joke this debate. You literally need a serious eye test if you cant see how bloody obvious it is, stop kidding yourself.

            • balcobomber25
              October 24, 2015

              So I was right those arguments only work when you want to make a point? Every tech blog says every phone copies iPhone, that is nothing new they have been saying that for years. Techblogs also think Apple invented the smartphone, if that’s who forms your opinions I feel very sorry for you.

            • Sere83
              October 28, 2015

              lol talk about arguments only working when trying to make a point. Pot calling teh kettle back or what. At least I gave a detailed explanation based on the actual design specifics, the only argument you have is that you personally think the iphone 6 looks a bit like the M7, completely discounting anything to do with the actual design, the whole history of apples design language, the original iphone 1 design or the huge weight of evidence and arguments against you that says its a straight rip…which it is. Even android fan blogs are saying it, don’t act dumb. As someone who always liked HTC its just sad that the company and people like you would even condone this. There is sailing close to the wind and then there is straight copying. This is the later and should not be condoned. Hope HTC steer clear of this cynical copying mentality and employ some proper talent for their next release.

            • balcobomber25
              October 28, 2015

              Apple was so inspired by the One M7 they not only copied the rear design they made it 4.7 inches with almost the same dimensions. What was the size of the M7 again?

        • Airyl
          October 24, 2015

          The Xiaomi Mi4 had even less in common with the iPhones, people still labelled that as an iPhone clone.

    • balcobomber25
      October 23, 2015

      You’d think you would actually look at the two phones objectively before writing such nonsense. The only difference between the 6 and the One M7 is the placement of the camera (although the Apple logo is exactly where the M7 camera lens is). Just look at the picture below.

      • Angry Mobile Nerd
        October 23, 2015

        oh great, it’s our resident “marketing” guy.

        Yeah I see the photo below. What they neglected to post were comparison photos of the front, side, top and bottom. I wonder why they didn’t post those? The photo also does a good job of hiding the curved back of the M7 VS the flat back of the ip6. The photo below only proves Apple may have in fact borrowed the antenna design as Jack Tong said.

        • balcobomber25
          October 23, 2015

          Oh great, it’s our resident “troll” guy. We only need to look at the back of it to see where Apples “inspiration” came from. No one is here saying it is a direct 1 to 1 copy just like the A9 isn’t a direct 1 to 1 copy of the iPhone.

  2. Joel Adames
    October 23, 2015

    OK Deidre now we are talking.

  3. lemsi_86
    October 23, 2015

    What i find shocking in this story is how a big brand with huge resources like HTC allow them selves to copy a design while other startups with limited resources can work on some original designs. It s a shame really

    • October 23, 2015

      WHy dont you go do some research before coming here to post utter crap.

      • lemsi_86
        October 23, 2015

        You know what i m going to take time to reply, just for fun…
        You know the latest iphone is always the reference that everyone compare any new phone this is a fact.
        I don t care if htc have done this design before apple, that s how the industry works…
        So for the reseaches you ask for, i work for 3 years now on the smartphone industry, i m not pretending knowing everything about but a little bit. so cheers

        • balcobomber25
          October 23, 2015

          So because Apple copied a design and that design is 3 years old, it now belongs to Apple for arguments sake?

    • Sere83
      October 23, 2015

      couldn’t agree more, such a lack of vision, innovation or design talent from HTC, just dont understand why they did it, they didnt have too, they have pinoneered a lot in the cellular technology field and had started a strong design aesthetic in the M7 and then they basically abandon it on the A9 and just clearly copied. Its laughable anyone is even trying to dispute it. Not really interested in their dillusions as clearly very little knowledge of HTC’s design history/evolution and the design process itself. Just sad to see a once great product and design focussed company losing their way.

  4. balcobomber25
    October 23, 2015

    I am not an Apple hater, I own two Macbooks and love them. Having said that though Apple has been stealing designs and ideas for decades. Steve Jobbs was not the great inventor everyone makes him out to be, what he was was an amazing innovator. He took other peoples ideas (like the computer mouse and the tablet) and turned them into something revolutionary.

    The entire metal phone design of this current generation was started in 2013 with the HTC One M7 (yes there were others before it, but this is the one that started the trend). The design of the One M7 was inspired by previous HTC phones all from 2009 (Legend, Hero and HD2). But the One M7 was what really kicked off the current trend, and since then everyone has copied their basic design. There is only so much you can do with metal to begin with. Plastic (poly carb) can be molded, shaped, polished and painted in endless different ways to give you different looks.

    • Tajwar
      October 23, 2015

      Finally someone that knows what he’s talking about came up!
      Thank you.
      So fanboy’s should just Chillax

    • Sere83
      October 23, 2015

      Absolute rubbish. Original iphone 2007, Curved aluminium unibody. HTC was making awful windows mobile phones which bore absolutely no resemblance to what apple did with the first iphone. HTC pioneered many mobile technologies and are an innovative company but HTC are smoking crack if they think they didn’t copy the iphone with the A9. Look at apples consistent design language evolution through its whole product line. Same camera/flash position, Same button positions, slight variation in materials and edge style but fully consistent. HTC one the other hand a huge multitude of styles. No consistency at all, their first unibody aluminium designs come in about 2010 with the legend and desire HD a full 3 years after the iPhone and bore no resemblance to apple products at all. With the M7 they start a different design language they carry through to the m8/m9, still very little similarity to any apple products. Then apple simply removes the centre of the black bars at the top and bottom of the iphone 5s design and enlarges the phone and returns to a similar curved edge feel of the original design with the Iphone 6. The only vague similarity to the M7 is the fact part of the exposed antennae lines go across the back, but he antennae shape wraps around teh top of teh 6 and is not the same at all really and the iphone 6 design as a whole bares hardly any resemblance to the M7 and is clearly an evolution of older designs. Then after the Iphone 6 HTc completely abandons the design language introduced in the M7/m8 and m9 and flatten the curve of the back, alter the corner angles, round the edges, alter the camera position, absondon boomb sound, stick similar speaker holes in the bottom basically to bring the design closer to that of the iphone. It is so damn obvious you would have to be an idiot not to see this. Apple may have used some of hTC’s innovation but their hardware in no way copies HTC and HTC are clearly plagiarsing the iphone 6 design with the A9.

      • balcobomber25
        October 23, 2015

        I am not an Apple hater either but I can clearly see the Iphone 6 looks more like an HTC One than anything Apple did before. Anyone who doesn’t think that is “smoking crack” as you said.

        • Sere83
          October 24, 2015

          Lol, just laughable. Look at the picture and try and tell me with a straight face that the iphone 6 looks more like the the HTC M7 than the A9 looks like the iphone 6. You’re completely delusional. The A9 is a total rip of the IP6 the IP6 is clearly not a rip of the M7

  5. Mujahid Abbas
    October 23, 2015

    And people say: good artist copy…and great artist steal….Apple being great artist here.
    there are some Apple fanboys, who are always trying to prove that Apple never copies, no matter how many arguments u give….

  6. MaxPower
    October 23, 2015

    it’s a phone for God sake:
    rectangular with rounded corners.

    a triangular or hexagonal shaped phone won’t happen.
    This story of copying the design is getting old.

    • balcobomber25
      October 23, 2015

      Apple fanboys are unlike any other in any segment.

      • King
        October 23, 2015

        Yup. I won’t be surprised to hear if they said rectangle was a shape created by Apple. And the design greats made the corners to ensure these rectangle didn’t hurt anybody.

      • MaxPower
        October 23, 2015

        true, and don’t get them started with Steve Jobs the messiah

        • balcobomber25
          October 23, 2015

          Jobbs was a fraud and ruthless and shrewd businessman but he knew how to play to a crowd, which is why all the iSheep think he is the greatest man in the history of technology.

          • BotondKisKovacs
            October 23, 2015

            Not a fan of the apple ‘innovations’ but you have to give credit to Jobs for one game changing thing, the invention of computer fonts. Not saying he didn’t have some other good ideas but this was the one with most impact.
            As for the iPhone, I can’t say it didn’t bring some new stuff but most of it was borrowed ideas/technologies. Even the slide to unlock feature is a few years older technology from a palm type device from Norway I think.
            Anyway I don’t think that copying is a bad thing. Different people come up with better solutions to many problems. Combining those solutions is how you can make better products but herding people into brainless masses of faithful consumers only serves business and not progress.

            • balcobomber25
              October 23, 2015

              There is nothing wrong with copying every one does it in every sector. The problem is Apple and more specifically their fans like to play the game of calling others out for copying but not themselves.

              As for your other point, Jobbs didn’t create fonts, typefaces have been around for centuries. Times New Roman for instance the most popular font was created in 1930, Courier New was invented in 1955 for IBM typewriters. Much of what Jobbs did was build off of Post Script fonts which were introduced by Adobe for the Apple Laser Writer. Jobbs revolutionized the way we use fonts, but he didn’t invent them.

            • BotondKisKovacs
              November 2, 2015

              I don’t have anything against copying I just hate when they try to make it look like everything was their idea and start suing competition for it.
              As for the fonts I meant “usage of fonts on computers”, by no means would I put Jobs in front of mister Gutenberg who I believe would most likely qualify as the inventor of fonts.
              Apple helped with the popularization of the computer mouse as well though it isn’t their invention.

              To be honest in any category of devices I would rather choose something else than Apple but I see how they are a force that can manipulate the mindset of consumers and make certain technologies under or overrated just by implementing them or not. NFC is/was a super useful feature as well for a few years but the consumers didn’t pay any attention to it until Apple implemented it.

              I don’t quite understand this western Apple-centric view of technology. If apple doesn’t have it in their devices it seems irrelevant no matter how good and useful it is. On a related not it’s strange how for example Japanese are also very devoted Apple fans although their own technology is at least 10 years ahead of everybody else. Mobile payments and QR-codes have been in use for decades in Japan and they’re only now seeping into mainstream usage in the west.

            • richardwicks
              October 25, 2015

              Not a fan of the apple ‘innovations’ but you have to give credit to Jobs for one game changing thing, the invention of computer fonts.

              That was Adobe. Adobe was a spinoff from Xerox Parc. Apple licensed proportional fonts from them. Microsoft produced TrueType and made them available free for reuse.

          • October 24, 2015

            I’m no iSheep, but I still believe he was one of the most crucial things to happen to tech.

            • richardwicks
              October 25, 2015

              He absolutely was not.

              Bill Gates commoditized computers. The reason you can buy a $100 smart phone is because of him. By providing a ubiquitous operating system, he forced competition in the hardware
              market.

              Linus Torvalds is the reason you have the Internet you do today. He started the work on Linux to make Unix essentially free. This made it very inexpensive to deploy services on the Internet. Google runs on top of Linux.

              Kernighan and Ritchie created C, it’s the foundational language that was the first cross platform low level language ever. This language is used today, and will probably be used for decades to come.

              What did Steve Jobs do? The interface was taken from Xerox Parc for a Mac, and it was Steve Wozniac that did the actual work. He was a marketer, and that’s it. He’s the most over-rated person in the tech sector today.

              But to be fair, he was an excellent marketer. I think it’s fair to say he was the best marketer in tech in the last 2 decades, easily.

            • balcobomber25
              October 25, 2015

              He absolutely was but he wasn’t an inventor in any sense of the word. He was a great innovator, he took others peoples designs and made them into useful products. The MP3 player, tablet and smartphone all existed before iProducts but he made them everyday objects that people need. We wouldn’t be on this site right now if it wasn’t for him. My only gripe is when people make him out to be something he is not.

  7. greg
    October 23, 2015

    Apple has depended from everybody since the beginning of time:
    1.-Borrowing money from Microsoft to save them from bankrupt
    2.-Copying anybody else desings and ideas
    3.-Manufacturing their Cpus from Samsung
    I can´t deny the quality of their products , but to say they are the first ones,innovators,etc, thats BS , and the prices of their products are really CRAZY

  8. Jim Shortz
    October 23, 2015

    Yawn…..who cares

  9. careeste
    October 24, 2015

    I owned some great htc phones:cha cha ,2 htc m7 and now I have the old m8.I think that taking inspiration to do something better is good for the sake of progress. I don t care who copies who and sometimes i find it better than the original.I like more the meizu take on apple design than the original.The software is nicer too ,for me. Le tv le one pro it seems to me the best htc phone. Huawei mate s is a htc one max on the back but it s a good thing to improve a good design and take it to higher levels.And that s what kinda Htc did:take the design from iphone 6 and make it…worse.I think 4 from 5 people will say that a9 is a i6/s copy and it is so .Sadly htc is the goophone of A list with this one.And it s meant to be a copy this lower priced iphone with android ,for publicity , controversy and hoping for succes. A9 it s a bluff from htc but i m afraid it is born dead.The label of a clone will dig the grave deaper im afraid.For me it s sad to see such desperation in their design language. It hurts my eyes every time i see the a9 front and the back wiil remain forever just a apple tribute.I m purely subjective but is my right to be so.I guess I m just dissapointed as a htc fan but i have a feeling that i m not the only one.

  10. Mrinal
    October 25, 2015

    My toaster is rectangular with buttons on the side.. it has a metal ‘unibody’ design.. i guess its only a matter of time before people say that my toaster ripped off the apple iphone design..

  11. October 31, 2015

    HTC, just… Just stop.