Did Apple Steal the iPhone’s Design From Sony?
Did Apple steal the iPhone’s design from Sony? According to Samsung, they did, as they allege Apple industrial designer, Shin Nishibori was directed to create a “Sony-like” design after an article featuring an interview with Sony designers was distributed internally throughout Apple. Samsung asserts this proves the origin of the iPhone’s design is not from Apple, but from Sony. Samsung goes as far as pointing out the design Nishibori came up with even featured Sony’s name “prominently emblazoned on the phone design”. In a deposition, Nishibori stated the “Sony-style” design he created eventually led to the iPhone’s design. Read the full statement below.
“Right after this article was circulated internally, Apple industrial designer Shin Nishibori was directed to prepare a “Sony-like” design for an Apple phone and then had CAD drawings and a three-dimensional model prepared. Confirming the origin of the design, these internal Apple CAD drawings prepared at Mr. Nishibori‘s direction even had the “Sony” name prominently emblazoned on the phone design, as the below images from Apple‘s internal documents show..
Soon afterward, on March 8, 2006, Apple designer Richard Howarth reported that, in contrast to another internal design that was then under consideration, Mr. Nishibori‘s “Sony-style” design enabled “a much smaller-looking product with a much nicer shape to have next to your ear and in your pocket” and had greater “size and shape/comfort benefits.” As Mr. Nishibori has confirmed in deposition testimony, this “Sony-style” design he prepared changed the course of the project that yielded the final iPhone design.”
Note: The article referenced in the statement a Businessweek interview with Sony designers in 2006