Samsung announces 'next evolution' of smartphone design — the 2012 iPhone 5!

If I'd fabricated this story back on April 1, 2013, I'd have been called an idiot. (Hell, I probably still will today.) Yet, here we are, August of 2014 and Samsung has just announced the iPhone 5... er... the Galaxy Alpha. According to Android Central:

After a short flurry of leaks, Samsung has this morning taken the wraps off a new metal-clad Android smartphone, the Galaxy Alpha. Boasting a metal frame and a 4.7-inch display, the Galaxy Alpha represents a departure from Samsung's predominantly plastic-focused lineup, with a squared-off design furnished in more premium materials.

Tragically only the band is metal so while it looks just like an iPhone 5 from the front, the back is still Samsung plastic... I'd quote the classic Cordelia Chase line — "Oh please, like shame is something to be proud of?" — but Samsung was making real progress towards their own, distinct product line and design language and it's hard to consider this anything other than a massive backwards misstep.

HTC has shown they can make metal phones that look nothing like the iPhone. Nokia has shown they can make plastic phones every bit as good looking as metal. So why make an iPhone clone, and why do it in 2014? Where's the pride in that? Where's the Samsung-shaped dent in the universe?

My guess is that, pride be damned, Samsung felt it needed to get out ahead of a bigger screen iPhone by putting something nearly identical on the shelves as soon as they can. That way it removes visible differentiation and rides iPhone affinity. Unfortunately, it'll also confuse consumers and robs them of variety.

But it also feels incredibly short sighted. Samsung has proven time and time again they can quickly copy Apple design. What they can't copy is Apple's overall product experience. They can't copy iOS 8, and that is what many people have been waiting for on bigger iPhone-class hardware.

Samsung has real problems. Low margin Chinese phones have been battering them on the bottom end of the market and Apple still owns the high end. Samsung probably sees the iPhone 6 as an oncoming freight-train. And it is.

But retreating back to industrial duplication feels both short-sighted and ultimately self-defeating. Hopefully the upcoming Galaxy Note 4 returns Samsung to better form.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Samsung announces 'next evolution' of smartphone design — the 2012 iPhone 5!


And if I remember correctly that was to Xander of the "Scooby-Gang". I like how they insult then imitate. I was glad to see on TV not the screen-size advert in the coffee shop but for washer/dryer. The ad they have within the airport says that alot of people love and use iPhones.

Samsung seems to have an uncontrollable addiction to copying Apple. This new Samsung phone has a very similar design to the iPhone 5/5s, with squared metal (probably not aluminum but a cheaper metal) chamfered edges and cuts. The backside of the phone is plastic, but you won’t see that cheaper difference when the phone is in someone’s hand or face-up on a flat surface.

And that would still be the wrong lesson to take home. Plastic is fine. Some people won't like it (I don't) but if the utility and experience is good enough that shouldn't matter. The Moto X isn't exactly made of a high grade material but it has good software enhancements and a smart design. My iPhone feels better but I'm still sort of jealous that my fiancé has a X and I don't.

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Even Rene said plastic is fine; Nokia does it fine too.. It's just that Samsung's DNA isn't innovation. It's copy/paste production efficiencies. They may and do mix'n match some things from different competitors, but .. ahhh well..

I honestly thought they were onto something with the Note 3, I've been tempted more than a few times.. but their overall company ethic and tactics make me cringe so I avoid them.

Why would you be "sort of jealous " of your fiancé having a Moto X? You have the better deal with both the software and hardware.

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How does he have the better deal with both software and hardware? Does the iPhone have widgets? Does the iPhone have more customization? Can you use a different keyboard? Does the iPhone have voice recognition when the screen is off that is trained to your voice? Does the iPhone have an HD screen? Does the battery last a day and a half with heavy usage? (Except with Plants v Zombies. That game destroys batteries.)

Hopefully it will be able to withstand the rigours of everyday life, unlike the iPhone 5, which got scratched even with a case on it.

Scratches are an indication that it is unable to withstand the rigors of everyday life? And here I was thinking still being perfectly functional was enough...

If it had a case on it, then there must have been something inside the case to scratch it. We're blaming the phone for that, are we?

A phone with a metallic finish will always scratch easier. That's the price you pay for having otherwise much higher durability. You can literally toss the iPhone 2-3 metres (6-9 feet for all Americans out there) into the air and as long as it lands on its metallic back or edge, you won't even see a dent. At worst, the edge might chip a bit, or if you land on the screen, you'll just see a massive shatter.

But yeah. You're trading scratch prevention for durability and premium feel. As IMO that's worth it.and I'm willing to bet the same will apply to the Alpha.

"You can literally toss the iPhone 2-3 metres (6-9 feet for all Americans out there) into the air and as long as it lands on its metallic back or edge, you won't even see a dent. "

A friend of mine begs to differ. He never uses a case (which I ridicule him all the time about) and when removing it out of his pocket it slipped and fell on a corner. Dented it. While the device is nice looking, its not nearly as robust as you make it sound.

Well, my brother and I both don't use cases (and are ridiculed for it by friends. Deja vu :P ). And I have actually seen him do exactly what I described up there.. He dropped it while lying on the sofa, grasped at it, ended up just throwing it 2 metres up and it landed. Not even a scratch. Admittedly it was a hardwood floor, still, quite durable.

Also, I have dropped my naked iphone from a table that's at least 1 metre up (so pocket height) and dropped it twice, once edge first and once screen first, on a really hard tile (I'm not an architect, don't know the exact material) and it didn't even scratch or dent.

What material did your friend drop it on? How well do you think a plastic phone would fare in such a drop, considering how it messed up the metallic phone?

Exactly... I carry my space-grey 5S naked since day one and it doesn't have a single scratch on it. Why? Because I've never ever dropped it (why people keep dropping their $700 pocket computers I'll never know) and because it goes in my left pocket where nothing else ever goes. Simple.

Because plastic phones don't scratch? All phones get scratched if you let them. Something getting scratched or not depends on the hardness of the material. That's why diamond cannot be scratched or cut by anything other than diamond - it's the hardest material known. Metal, including aluminum, is harder than most plastics, therefore, even though it get scratched, it's still more scratch proof than a typical plastic phone. The reason you see the scratch moreso is probably because you're talking about the black iPhone 5 where the anodize scratches off. The white one or the space grey 5S do not scratch nearly as easy. Plastic scratches easier, but is usually the same color on the inside, so it's not as visible, but it is scratched. Ever look at the back of someones shiny Galaxy S4 who doesn't use a case? It's a scratched up dull looking ugly mess.
Metal phones are much more durable than plastic phones because metal is a stronger harder material. This debate has gotten so silly since people formed camps, it's like everyone forgot basic materials science since they were kids.

Sooo diamonds can be cut actually. Without diamond. Weirdly enough diamonds only resist force well along certain planes, but you can cut between planes. If you head over to the Game Theorist channel on YouTube he has a video where he talked about the effectiveness of Minecraft diamond armor and he goes over this point. (I don't remember enough to tell you about it myself, sorry, but it's worth a Google)

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Except with a higher camera, a bigger battery, a bigger screen and the whole fingerprint scanner but you know defintely an iPhone 5. Lol smh.

I also didn't know Apple used plastic for the back of its metal phone man that's crazy Samsung copied that too.

The article is about the design. Your specs comment is irrelevant. The plastic back comment is valid. But still, why the sudden switch to metal?

Because enough of their customer base asked for it that's why. Lol, I can't believe the nonsense coming out of the blog sites now when they were all saying when the s5 came out that it needed to be metal. They took the same design cues from their previous models and just made it metal now everyone's screaming foul play? I'm convinced the cool thing now is to hate Samsung no matter what they do and I don't even prefer them, but man was this article hypocrisy at its finest.

but it doesn't look like looks identical to samsung galaxy s2 with a metal body ...are we going to call every phone with rectangular shape and a metal body an iphone copy cat?

You clearly can tell it looks like an iPhone 5. Metal on the border? What happened to the back panel.... ?

You do know the Galaxy S2 was largely based on the iPhone design.. right? They even lost the 2 court cases because of that.. lol

So saying it's identical to S2 doesn't do anything for your argument.. haha!! Apple didn't target S2 individually, appl3 sued the whole samsung line up with 10 samsung products included in law suit. And reason was because among other things, apparently apple felt entitled to the word "rectangle". the only resemblance S2 and iphone had was they were both rectangular know kinda like how phones should be.

Yes because their phone was also rectangular in shape, lol. I'm sure if the inventor of car tires put a trade mark on the word "round tires" then every tire maker would be losing battles in courts

@ Rene Ritchie.. If that's your logic, where is your article about how the iphone 6 looks like the HTC One? A clone of the iphone 6 was shown to people in the street and many thought it looked like an android, more specifically the HTC One.

The next iPhone hasn't been revealed. If it indeed looks like the leaks though, it will have more than a passing resemblance to the HTC One M7.

Again, this is probably why Apple signed those industrial design agreements. Don't want HTC having any legitimate complaints for copying their designs do we...?

I love my HTC One M8. It is premium looking and feeling. The Galaxy Alpha is a joke. I am sure the iPhone 6 will be awesome, especially with iOS 8, which we know is amazing from Apple WWDC.

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It doesn't look like an iPhone. What are you talking about? If you mean because it is a rectangle with rounded corners, then yes, I suppose you are right.

The SGS5 is the exact shape of this new phone, no one complained about that looking like the iPhone, now they make a new phone that is the same size as their SGS3, 4.7 inch screen, wrap it in a metal banding that everyone was screaming they wanted and everyone is screaming foul. You can only build a certain style phone when you try to make a very thin phone, that is why the HTC doesn't look anything like the Samsung, the HTC isn't nearly as thin. I like the design, no iPhone owner or potential owner is going to buy a Samsung Android device by mistake thinking their buying a iPhone. Just my Opinion.

Exactly. All they did was add a metal band around the edge and all the sudden it's copying the iPhone? I'm holding my iPhone right here and do not see the resemblance.

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Exactly. Companies aren't going to ignore what people what. And if people want metal edges, you better believe they are going to put metal edges on their devices.

Does it mean they are copying? In my opinion, Samsung copied the idea of the iPhone. Period. But it doesn't mean people need to bash them. The iPhone set the precedent, and companies just can't 'ignore' the competition. They have to adapt and improve to keep their customers!

its not bad looking and 4.7 is perfect size.if it were running stock android i might be tempted but yuky touchwiz no spank you

Know what's crazy? Samsung copying old Apple designs, and being called out over it by Rene.

What will be even crazier than that? It will be if the leaks of the new iPhone was actually correct and the new iPhone looks like the HTC One (M7) from 2013.

Guess maybe that's why Apple signed an industrial design agreement with HTC...don't wanna be sued for the same thing Apple may end up doing.

Again, just hypothetical. Maybe the leaks are WAY off base and this comment will be completely wrong. Guess we'll see soon.

iPhone 6 looks like an iPhone.

I think HTC One looks great, but I prefer having variety in design because if I don't want an iPhone, I don't want an iPhone.

The screen ratio, the grove in the metal for grip on the sides. They could take the Samsung logo off this and anyone with a little common sense could see the big design differences between the two before you even grab the phone and feel that back or notice the camera placement. In all honesty it looks like a small Note 3 with metal around it, but you don't hear people saying the Note 3 looks like an iPhone. Could we say the same for the upcoming iPhone 6 HTC One inspired design or will we chuck it up to the agreement between the two?

Historically — and legally — that hasn't been the case.

Or have we already forgotten the judge holding up the Samsung tablet in court and Samsung's own lawyer not being able to tell them apart?

you mean the same way that if you put two car tires from different brands beside each other you probably can't tell which brand made which tire? does that mean one copied the other or just that tires are all round?

LOL, nice analogy strawman argument there. So your point is that literally everything in the world looks like everything else. With your logic, you would argue a BMW looks just like a Chevy because they both have 4 wheels and 6 windows, LOL. Samsung loses these battles in court because they do copy Apple, and they don't even hide the fact that they want to be Apple. Could they have come to create their toys to look like Apple products by accident? Sure, but they don't do it by accident. Have other companies made similar looking stuff before Apple? Sure, but Apple didn't copy those companies directly. It was never argued, never litigated, never proven. Samsung follows Apple at every turn, and fails doing so, like with their joke of a "mee-too" fingerprint scanner in the S5 which hardly works.
Now I'm not saying there's really anything wrong with this. I don't care if they copy each other, let the best product and best company win. When Apple copies Samsung with split screen multitasking on the iPad, I won't argue they didn't. So lets stop the BS and the constant arguing and semantics of what copying means and prior art and all that nonsense.

well all tires ARE round aren't they? no I I didn't mean everything in the world looks the same but when it comes to certain things, there will be doesn't mean they are copying each other..metal frame was something that all android users were demanding from samsung gave in to customer requests not copying apple...every rectangular metal framed phone is going to have similarities to any other rectangular metal framed phone..common sense, no?

The people used in the Apple v Samsung cases were idiots, largely American (which I am so don't confuse it) and more than likely iPhone users themselves. I find the lawyers for Samsung were in a losing fight the moment it started (let's not even start with them being idiots themselves) so of course they were going to lose. No way was an American company going to lose a fight on home court especially when you have the President as a 6th man coming off the bench (which should never be the case).

I don't fault Apple for this, they did with what they were given what anyone of would do, I blame the system. Its hard to find unbiased people in court battles and with Apple the chance of finding someone who didn't know who they were or own their products was damn near impossible.

I'm saying all this to say: people are stupid. I don't use the court case as a definitive answer to whether Samsung copied as Apple will always be strong in the hearts of Americans as it should, but that bias is what makes it's court battles all the more ridiculous. This Alpha still looks nothing to me like an iPhone of any sort, but if you are going to say that be prepared to say the same of the iPhone 6 HTC One looks if it indeed looks like all the leaks have suggested.

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I believe that happened in the U.K. courts.

I appreciate your feedback, but I think maybe you're not looking at this fairly? Samsung had a BlackBerry clone in the BlackJack. Pattern establishes context.

Again, you can like or love them as a brand, but that really has nothing to do with anything else.

Forgive me if i got the origin wrong but my statement stands correct. Again, Samsung isn't my cup of tea. My main point was that it seems no matter what Samsung does they're put down. The issue on hand was the stale state of its design. They're trying to address that so how about instead of bashing a company you applaud their attempt (no matter how similar you think it may be). You don't see this type of Company bashing on any other site in the Mobile Nations. I know it gets you page clicks, but the true journalist shouldn't go for the petty guaranteed bait. Shoot even The Verge was able to talk about this phone without a mention of Apple and that's damn near impossible coming from that site.

I'll say this, it's great you've actually taken the time to reply that goes a long way with me as a reader. Even though I never tie myself to a Brand or OS, that tells me you stand behind your work (even if I think it's a bit hyperbolic).

That's because Samsung is a corrupt company which does copy Apple and other companies, makes offensive low class commercials making fun of people and their love of Apple products, the same love they wish they had (I never saw anyone camping outside of Best Buy for the next Galaxy phone). Just Google "Samsung corruption". Google "Samsung copies Dyson". Like Rene said, it's a pattern and Samsung deserves to be pissed on because they are an unethical company that only knows how to make negative attack ads. And don't even bring up the I'm a Mac and I'm a PC commercials...because in those commercials, Apple NEVER attacked PC users, the actual people, never made fun of them. The older guy in the glasses represented the PC itself, the young actor the Mac. They were the devices, not the users, and users were never made fun of like the tacky Samsung ads.

Rene, your argument is silly. Everyone pays attention to details on different things differently. For example, not everyone can tell a Chevy pickup or Ford pickup apart at first glance. I can usually tell them apart from half a mile away in pitch darkness just from the headlights! But show me a Timex and a Rolex, and I won't know which is which. If the judge held up a Dell computer monitor, and a LG computer monitor, you really think a lawyer is going to be able to instantly tell which is which? Come on.

A lawyer was there to defend a specific product. He couldn't even recognize said product he was attempting to differentiate. The product he spent all the time and effort learning about - a product of which he no doubt had oodles of time with.

Yet he couldn't tell the difference.

Forget the joker Rene. Samsung has wholesale given up on doing anything original. If they could get away copying iOS 7 or 8 they would. And to think they make such innovative TVs and other appliances. But let's rip off Apple every design even if we go backwards. They obviously don't have any confidence on their design team.

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I thought Samsung got sued as well for stealing television technology and ran the company bankrupt due to legal fee. All they do is copy, paste and delete. Fortunately that's not been the case with apple :))

So, the basis for calling this phone "metal" is that they've exchanged the el cheapo plastic band for a metal one, keeping the el cheapo plastic backing? Big deal. And I'm sorry, but this battery seems week. I am tired of the trend of phones having to be thin, I want a battery that will LAST!

Did you know the Alpha will be shipping with Android L, oops, I meant iOS 7, on it?

(The x copied y is a tired old argument, especially as far as software is concerned)

And it's worn out in hardware too. That's pretty much my point. We haven't really seen anything "fresh" as of late. Outside of the soon to be BlackBerry Passport, and possible Fire OS. In my opinion to say the least. But the Alpha looks like a smaller Note 3 to me. And in no way like the 5. Unless having having metal sides is the one thing you see. And explain L being 7, because feature wise it's not, and design wise it's just white and flat like 7. And 7 is flat like Windows8. Sooooo

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It is worn out, we're seeing nothing ground breaking at all. The closest thing I can see to being ground breaking is the biometric passwords that seem to be the new fad and possibly ubiquitous computing.

And really? You can't see how L is 7 feature wise?

1. Material Design (obviously). No getting around this. Flat design, layers of depth, only achieved through shadows instead of semi transparent blurred backgrounds.
2. Lock screen notifications and banners. Been there since iOS 5.
3. Android Auto is just CarPlay brought to you by Google.
4. Android TV and the changes to Chromecast basically take AirPlay and Apple TV and put them together.
5. The ability for the phone to act as Bluetooth peripheral has been there on iOS for a very long time.

The only new thing I can think of in L that wasn't done before was the location and proximity based unlocking.

Note: the same applies to iOS 8 too. I can count like two features they have that Android doesn't already. I'm pretty sure both OSes are focusing on parity of features now that they have established their basics.

And yes, iOS 7 borrowed heavily from Windows Phone. I can see that. And android borrowed heavily from iOS 7. iOS 5 borrowed many Android features. And the original Android borrowed many iPhone OS 2.0 features. That's exactly my point. The x copying y is a tired argument when everyon does it.

Well, at least we both agree on this. And that certain articles come off as fanboyish because of the x stole from y

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Yes, they can come off as fan boyish. Although this IS iMore, like, it has "i" in the name. XD

The only way the Alpha looks similar is from the sides, where the build is same. Otherwise, the only similarities I can see are the phone being rectangular and having a physical home button unliked most Androids, which really aren't massive similarities.

I do agree with Rene's implication that calling a tried and tested formula as "the next evolution" is wrong, but then that is something Apple does with every iOS. XD

Rene, they made pretty clear that this was their new design language. I'd be very surprised if the Note 4 didn't look like this but larger.

There are leaked pics of the upcoming Note 4 out already and it will have the metal sides without the protruding bumps on the corners.

I think you are right on the money, Rene. This is Samsung trying to create a "Samsung iPhone". In my opinion, this is not a "premium" phone from them. Lower resolution screen, no SD card, lower MP camera without OIS, and likely shorter battery life. While it may end up being a good phone, It was created specifically to try and pull people from the iPhone; not to exhibit any design breakthroughs.

I can see it now, after the initial launch, Samsung will drop the price to $99 on contract so when unknowing people go into their local mobile phone store, they see two devices that look the same but one is $99 and the other is $199 ("Why buy an iPhone when you can get the same thing from Samsung for cheaper?" Except its not the same.).

It reminds me of those cheap no-name tablets that always come out around Christmas time. They are just there to try and suck a little profit off of those who actually want an iPad or Galaxy Tab or Kindle Fire. Ugh, Samsung needs to find some pride in their products instead of just trying to make a jab at competitors.

I will buy the phone that doesn't say Samsung. I've owned them and the only thing reliable about them was the hardware failure. I've owned 3 Galaxy devices personally, am stuck with one professionally, all had hardware failure and faults after a year (the work one has been repaired 7 times since October for soft keys not working, radios failing...). Yesterday we had 4 customers come in for help with their phones, all of which need repair just after a year, and all 4 were Samsung. None of them were dropped, one randomly shut itself down into a boot loop even Odin couldn't connect to, two had softkey failure, third was yet another battery randomly rapid depleting (the most common).

Compare that to the numerous Apple devices I've owned over the years and not one technical glitch. Even my original launch iPod touch still works and holds a charge for days.

So personally I don't care if Samsung clones Apple to try to right their listing ship, if the name Samsung appears on the phone and it has touchwiz involved and the iPhone is quadruple the price, I'll
buy whatever isn't Samsung.

I think your mindset is what Samsung is failing to understand. They can try to implement Apple's ideas into their products, but if they can't do it reliably and cheaply, then what is the point?

I can personally attest to this from having a couple samsung products myself (laptop and galaxy s3). Both broke down and slowed within a year, and the laptop in particular never got used to full capacity. I wasn't even 20 gigs in before the audio jack and charging current stopped working on that one. And this was one of their latest laptops too :(

On the Apple side of things, I bought a MBP 2013 w/ retina last year and also my first iPhone (4). Although I've since switched to the 5s, the Mac has held up swell, so good and fast and I haven't had any problems with it whatsoever, at least none worth mentioning. I never did upgrade my iPhone 4 to iOS 7 either, so that still runs as smooth as the day I first bought it. Needless to say, Apple rules in performance and overall quality in the product experience and they've become my favorite since switching from android and windows. Not even counting design (I'm being generous), Apple is light years ahead of Samsung in quality and performance across all product lines. Samsung really needs to get focused if they wanna survive. A couple years ago many of us thought that by this time, Samsung would've taken over the market completely and left Apple with only scraps. But ironically, Apple has retained their position and continues to dominate as top dog, while Samsung seems to only be getting by. They have the team of talented individuals and they have the marketing, but they've lost direction. Too busy copying and following other companies instead of just developing their own style and identity. I doubt they even know who they are anymore.

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They do also Tanks, Guns, Burj Khalifa sized buildings, Empire state sized preludes, Semis for iPhone, Displays for iPhone......

Even for iMore, I am surprised with how hypocritical and flawed this story is. I mean, seriously? So what!!! If Apple came out with a phone with a plastic back (like Samsung) there wouldn't be any rumbling going on here, oh know wait, they DID! And if Apple was planning to come out with a large screen phone (like Samsung has for AWHILE), nobody would be getting upset. In fact, they'd be writing stories about mockups every day! But as soon as Samsung offers what people want to see in their phones, all the Apple Fanboy Steve Jobs wannabes get all upset and write rants about Samsung's 'copycatting'.

The reason I come to this site is to learn about quality Apple News and Events by writers who know what they are talking about. I am a avid Apple Fan, and I want to be able to keep up with the news. Sadly, these kinds of stories are a let down for me, and many other readers. I know I don't have to read these stories, but they should not be the top headline on this site either. This story is just someone's rants about metal edges and shapes of phones. The headlines should be for important news stories: especially ones that have to do with Apple, not Samsung!

I seriously hope someone understands what I am trying to convey, and hopefully I will be able to continue to read articles on this site without having to ignore this fanboy 'copy-cattish' crap (and no, I am not a Samsung fanboy or a troll).

Apple made a phone with a plastic back. It was the iPhone 3G in 2011.

You can like Samsung. You can even love Samsung. What you can't do with any intellectual honesty whatsoever is claim their designs aren't depressingly copied from Apple.

I deeply apologize if that makes you sad and I understand if it makes you angry. Reality is hard.

But look at these pictures and let me know, honestly, what you think:

Rene ~

I do not disagree with the fact that Samsung copies a lot of what apple does. Touch Screens, Fingerprint Scanners, etc. The iPhone revolutionized the cell phone world, and that is why I use an iPhone today (3GS, with a plastic back ;-) ). This is not the reason I am upset: I totally agree with your opinion in this article.

What I am upset about is the fact that this site's headlines feature articles which do nothing but bash Samsung. I come here for Apple news, not Samsung news! And like I said before, I know I do not "have" to read the articles, but I'd rather not see them in the headlines front and center.

I'd also like to apologize if I came off a bit harsh. I was just trying to explain how I felt that people end up bashing Samsung like crazy. The reason Samsung copies Apple is because Apple is THE BEST, and I'd much rather have that message conveyed than a hate-fest.

I get that. I mean, I want to love Samsung. I love HTC and Nokia. I just want Samsung to make products I can love.

The Note series is the closest. This feels like a huge step back.

And like it or not, Samsung reverting to copying Apple is Apple news.

Same here. I would love Samsung to make better, more unique products.

And yes, I see your point. Samsung's copying of Apple is Apple News.

The note would look just like this if it had metal it would just be bigger. All thwy did was replace the plastic sides with metal.

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Rene, don't kid yourself, you will never love Samsung even if it cures cancer, that's because your career and your paycheck is based upon writing praising apple articles (regardless of how ridiculous you sound) and bashing the are the editor in chief of a fan boy club

an article by the same heavily biased person? lol..yes that really proves it. There are only several shapes you can make phones...rectangle, round edges etc etc...just claiming samsung s3 copied its designed from a 2009 webOS phone just because they both have round edges shows how desperate this guy is in making anti-samsung articles

Oh don't get me wrong. Rene is heavily biased towards Apple, and it is quite obvious he is desperate for a Samsung bash, regardless of the importance or facts. This why I am disappointed in Rene and iMore.

It is quite obvious Samsung has copied Apple more than a few times, but I don't need articles from Rene bashing them every time Samsung makes a new device.

And you'll owe me a cookie when you publish your next article bashing Samsung because they copied Apple (again). You don't see these kinds of articles on Android cites very often, and that is because most people don't want to read them, and also due to the fact that Apple doesn't really copy any of those vendors ;-) .

(Anyone who likes Apple already knows Samsung is a copier. No need to state this each launch)

How am I biased? What did I say that was factually incorrect?

Maybe you're biased so my normalcy looks biased from your point of view?

(I conducted the Samsung interview at CES last year, I think my creds are above reproach here.)

Your bias is very obvious. Now do you have the 'creds' and facts to be biased. Of course! But you are biased. Period. For starters, anyone who works at a website named "iMore" and loves Apple products is going to be at least a little bit biased towards Apple. Otherwise, you would be working at Android Central! Hey, even I'm biased towards Apple! I've been a customer for a long time and I love their products, and I will continue to do so.

I understand that you don't like Samsung due to it's copying of Apple. And I respect you and your 'creds'. I really do. But Samsung has to keep up with the competition. You can't expect them to just ignore anything that Apple does. They need customers. And sadly, the only way they can get more is by implementing Apple's ideas into their products. Why? Because Apple's ideas are superior to theirs. Period.

Now is what they're doing honest? No. Is it understandable? Hell ya.

Long time reader, but first time commenter. You are VERY biased whether you choose to see it or not. Almost every article I read with your name on it, whether it's bashing Samsung or not, will state somewhere in the title how (insert company's name here) actions will not hurt Apple, or means nothing to Apple. I remember when the Nintendo Wii U was released, you reviewed it and made a comment that stuck out like a sore thumb. You referred to the console as having an "iPad-like controller". That controller looks NOTHING like any computing tablet, MUCH LESS an iPad. What I read there, was the most absurd and biased comment, basically stating that Nintendo was also copying Apple by having an "iPad-like controller". I'm not a fan of either platform because I own products from both, but reading articles like this is really souring my milk. Regardless of where you say your sources come from, I don't recall ever reading an article on AC that's this biased.

First off, doing an interview with Samsung does not make you strictly unbiased; you work in the industry. I'd imagine anyone in your position who refused to do an interview like that would potentially be risking their job and any credibility they may hold as a journalist. The bias we're referring to is nothing so obvious as snubbing a competitor for an interview (which, again, I don't think we ever would have seen, because regardless of your personal feelings, at the end of the day your job is to cover the industry). That's what it ultimately comes down to: personal feelings, about these companies and their products. A writer must be considered biased when his personal feelings start to creep in on his professional life.

We all love tech. We all enjoy seeing and experiencing all the new products that come out. I believe you when you say that you like the HTC One... but that does not strictly exclude you from having a bias.

A bias is not neccessarily attributable to incorrect information either; even if the above article does get all the facts right, again it is not neccesairly free of bias, because it is an opinion piece as well, and every time you, Rene, put your opinion on paper, your bias shows a little more.

For what it's worth, there are plenty of statements here I would contest, like this one - "Unfortunately, it'll also confuse consumers and robs them of variety." First off it starts by predicting the future, but I'm not going to dwell on that. You say this will cause confusion? If someone goes into an AT&T store to buy an iPhone and accidentally walks out with this, then I would say they really didn't know what they wanted in the first place. You also say it robs consumers of variety... Apple only has a few nearly identical iphones available, so basically no variety there... So if Samsung making this is robbing consumers of variety, then Samsung is responsible for variety in smartphones? I mean, if the android sector is the only area bringing variety to the table, and Samsung puts out a phone that looks like it's already been done before, then somehow they're letting consumers down? Cuz all I ever hear about is how all Samsung phones look the same, so this is a departure from what Samsung has ever put out before. Android buyers now have a small form-factor premium build handset, and iPhone owners converting to android have a similar handset to what they're used to... that's variety for consumers! Either way, that thought is just laughable to me, that Apple offers essentially no variety among their iPhones, but when another manufacturer creates a device that looks similar to those very iphones, THAT manufacturer is flogged for not offering variety! That's not only bias Rene, that's hypocrisy, and it strips you of your credibility.

If Samsung can't come up with any original ideas, implementing Apple's is the next best thing.

And Apple has done the same thing. Notifications, large screens, etc.

You've got to feel sorry for Samsung, they think by copying the iPhone, they're providing their customers with an equivalent product. So,so sad. Design is so much more than what something looks like.

They can design all they want: their build quality is very hit-or-miss. Until they fix that, they are losing valuable customers.

I think the reasoning behind this move is obvious here, and exactly what Samsung says it is. They need to project the idea that they have a "premium" phone, and premium means metal.

It's sad that they hove so close to the iPhone 5 design, but that's just a reflection of how Samsung's design group works. I'm not disagreeing with the author that this is all sad, pathetic and stupid, but there's no mystery why they did it.

Well stated. People want the cleanness and uniqueness of Apple products.

So Samsung is simply copying Apple in order to try to get more customers. Will their strategy work? I hope not. It would be ashame to see Apple losing customers to knock-off products.

I like the look of it too lol. It looks so much cleaner and well designed than the others.

Now will I be buying it? Of course not! Samsung build quality is crap, and they copied Apple.

I said "oh god" and cringed when I read the title. Lol.

But seriously, strictly from a design standpoint, the Alpha looks very, very similar to an iPhone. And even apart from the design, you can see how it takes many bits of Apple into the phone. It's not a matter of childish debate or opinion anymore, it's simply clear.

*Android Central wanted him to write his opinion...* and I agree with him slightly. Although I think it's more of a Note 3 mini, Samsung does not have a design spot in this world. Even BlackBerry has it's design standouts, and Samsung has.... What exactly? You only know a Samsung phone when you see one because there are enough of them out there to id them. I want them to make the Note line unique and there own. Because there is nothing in a Samsung phone that I desire, software nor hardware cut it for me. On another note I'm in the market for a new phone and the Z30 caught me eye. Because it's different.

the story of blackberry alone shows "different" doesn't mean crap. You have to give what consumers want..and by looking at market share, you can tell that Samsung has done hell of a good job. heck we wouldn't be having these samsung vs apple discussions if Samsung wasn't doing so great

Why are there so many samsung apologists on iMore? Thanks for the article Rene, i appreciate a honest, factual article from time to time.

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Every phone that is 4.7 and under that is square all look alike. Every phone company tries to make thin phones, design can only go so far when you think thin. What makes a phone is the software. Android and Apple are completely different. This new Samsung phone has strong specs and IMO is a perfect size for a hand held device. Samsung Galaxy S3 is also a 4.7 inch device so Samsung made that size long before Apple had, the Samsung S5 is the same shape as this new phone and no one said anything about that shape. For this phone to be called a copy is crazy, all phones these days look the same, look at the new Korean phone company, they also have a new phone that is the same size and shape. I own a iPhonje 5S and iPad mini, I don't look at phones like that. I don't see Android Central putting out articles claiming Apple just copied Android by building larger screen devices after Apple swore that larger screens were dumb. What about all the software that Apple has taken from Android, notifications, the list goes on. Lighten up, after so many years all phones are thin, squareish and Samsung has always had a home button. My new phones will be the iPhone 6 and the Note 4 to replace my iPhone 5S and my Note 3. Smile Rene it isn't all that bad. Is it?

Exactly. Companies are trying to appeal to consumers, and to do this they make phones with the right screen size and the features buyers want.

Apple has copied. Samsung has copied. Everybody copies. It's nothing new, and in my opinion it is nothing worth writing an editorial for each time.

Apple now copies a lot of Android look at the notification bar... The swipe to close an app... Rene is an Apple fanboy

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To be honest, I don't care if Rene is a fanboy. I just want him to stop publishing this stuff everytime he thinks Samsung copied Apple :-)

Both companies have copied and will continue to copy each other. This is not new news.

Yeah... Everybody copies everybody... And change a thing or two to make it their own.. That is part of innovation... We have so much Choices now that.... Innovating is quite difficult... not impossible.. Step by step but please stop this "copy" bashing

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Thank you. Finally one person who isn't a inconsolable fanboy in these comments.

Arguably, copying is the only way to innovate nowadays, like you said. One could argue Apple was copying when they started making computers, because IBM already was. One could argue Apple was copying when they made the iPod because other companies already were. One could argue Apple was copying when they made the iPhone because other companies already had phones. Do we argue like this? No! So we shouldn't be doing this in editorials every month either.

Innovation is almost impossible today without copying to some degree. Nowadays, we take what is out there, and new features, and hope that people like and use it more than before. This is all that happened today. Samsung took what people liked in the iPhone, and added better specs to it. To me, that sounds like a smart business decision.

In all honesty this looks more like a mini Note 3.. I don't like Samsung products but I have to say it's getting a bit much reading these articles on iMore. Not really why I follow the this great site. It's not like theres articles on Android Central talking about how the leaks of the iPhone 6 look like the HTC One.

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iOS8 is the point. If it wasn't for that, I would have bought an HTC One M8 or LG G3, but just can't bring myself to go back to these horrible OEM skins on Android.

Plastic is okay on budget and midtier phones. Not okay when you charge top-tier prices for mid-range specs, bloated unremovable crapware, and buggy software

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It looks like a s5 with metal sides. Note 3 with metal sides, s4 with metal sides. No one ever said they look like the iPhone. There are differences in its design Ie the top and bottom sides are curved and have a bigger chamfer. If there was ever going to be someone to write this article it was always going to be you. The tech crowd was asking Samsung to go metsl, if the s5,note or s4 were ever to be made out of metal this is how they would have looked cause all thats different from this and the previous Samsung phones is the plastic sides have been replaced by metal. Chamfered edges yes definitely apple started that trend on phones so if apple didn't do that then it wouldn't have had the chamfered edges but would apple be making a bigger phone or a possable note size device or a ipad mini if others didn't do it's 1st?. Good ideas, good design are copied. Chamferd edges look nice with metal. Rings, watches etc have been doing it for ages. Let's stop with these petty articles. Everyone copies everyone . If those iPhone 6 leaks are real they have those bands on the top and bottom like Yeh one m7/m8, You don't see an article about that. Seriously meta sides thats all it, lumia 930 has metal sides it's just not chamfered.

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Samsung is a waste. Not only does it look like an iPhone. They thinned it down and put a 4.7" screen on it. Not a 5.0 or even like their present phones. It has to have a 4.7" screen ahead of the rumored iPhone 6. Now you'll hear the trolls yap that Apple copies too. Bullshit. Samsung's smartphone division is sad and pathetic. Fucking shameless they are.

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As an android fan I wanna bash Rene but I respect him so much and he is so fair and down to earth on most topics I just can't do it. But I do agree that this in my opinion looks different enough to have a hard time saying the two look alike. I love the design of the iPhone and if I likes the software more (which iOS 8 is tempting) I would be all iPhone but I just don't like the software that much lol anyway I think it's different enough all around since iPhone is all metal and this has a plastic back and an amoled screen so yeah...

This is exactly what I and The Waz himself wanted. "Put android on the iPhone." This is probably the most interested I've been in a samsung phone since the Galaxy Nexus. I love the look of the Alpha and am really hoping the price point is low enough to make it worth buying off contract. Just because it looks like an iPhone isn't a complete knock. It's the one thing I've been wanting for a long time.

don't get me wrong but this is does not look like an iphone 5 it looks just like a Samsung Galaxy S II with less plastic. Is like if i say that the most popular renders of the iphone 6 showed a phone copied from a Lumia 925.

The innovation /evolution we need in smartphones is not in the cosmetic vanity of their appearance ? Also The note has always had a metal band , and plastic is better for the transmission of signals ? Most peoples metal glass iPhones I see are knackered - scratched - cracks on back and front, and finish rubbing off to reveal metal, if they operate without a case, I've kept my iphone in a case since I bought it, it would not have survived otherwise, thereby making its cosmetic design appearance rather pointless as they are not fit for this world without protection, my Samsung note 3 on the other hand has faired better with its default removeable/replaceable plastic back as designed, the form factor of phones is pretty much a set design for everyone, no one should be copying apple as apple have got it wrong, physical home buttons are a waste of possible of screen area and liable to failure. Nexus have got that right. The real issue isn't cosmetic appearance, its UI and software and OS and syncing. You would have to be an idiot journalist to think otherwise ?

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Samsung has been shamelessly copying other peoples stuff for decades.

I first noticed it in the late 70's when I worked at a camera store.

I will never buy their crap.

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Samsung has been shamelessly ripping off apple for years and if they made a good phone that was INNOVATIONAL then that would truly be something that was newsworhty

When i showed the pic of the alpha to my girlfriend (who doesn't know anything about phones) she started to laugh, she understood that samsung was clearly copying apple. i mean come on its the same chamfered edges, and thats what normal people see, people that doesn't read this type of things simply see on the alpha de edges of the iphone... And the plastic cover, well, not to classy, if you wanna go metal, go all the way...

i think it actually looks really nice, ive been having android envy lately as my friend dunks his phone in a glass of water then changes the channel with it, i also like how he turns on his flashlight straight from his pocket just by double pressing the volume button, one of the things ive loved about iphone since the iphone 4 was their design. That and their vast amount of apps, but that gap is also closing and i really feel like this iphone (5S) might be the last one for me.

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The only thing this shares with the iPhone is a metal band and that it doesn't have an SD expansion slot. Other than that? What?

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Not the 2012 iPhone 5. More like the 2011 Galaxy S2 with the iPhone 5's aluminum outer frame and chamfered edges. Thoroughly uninspired and unoriginal. No thanks. I'll pass.

Oh, I can see it now. Alpha = A(n) Iph(one) a(ye)? Obviously the L is not an i, and there's no question mark, but I think this is a fine example of Samsung teasing our friend in Canada... Probably. ;)

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In that case 4.7 inch of the iPhone 6 is also a copy. This site is full of Samsung haters including the writers. What a joke