Samsung has announced a new API for developers to help manage event tickets, boarding passes, memberships, and coupons. Samsung Wallet will be a new application which brings all of these types of content into one place. Time and location-based push notifications will help users get a hold of the ticketing information.
If that sounds -- and looks -- familiar, it's because Apple already announced it back in June of 2012 as Passbook.
It's not the first time Samsung's copied an Apple product, it's probably not even the hundred-and-first, though given their bolder, more authentic releases over the last year, it did seem to be something they were growing out of. Apple isn't adverse to copying features from Android either, though historically they haven't been as consistent or blatant about it.
Like with black slab designs I'm pretty much over any obsession with who's copying who, but I do think this smacks of laziness and a lack of pride.
I'm happy for Samsung users that they'll get to enjoy a feature that's been nifty, if limited so far, on iOS 6. But it shows Samsung really doesn't give a shit. Passbook is certainly not the only way to tackle a digital wallet, and it may not even be the best way. By relentlessly copying, Samsung isn't moving the technology forward. They're not raising the bar. They're not making a wallet interface and experience so good anyone is begging for Apple to copy them.
I own a Nexus 4 and Nexus 7, which have LG and Asus designs, and Google software, and I'm currently waiting for an HTC One (love HTC). I have little interest in Samsung products, and it's mostly because of stuff like this. And I want to have interest in Samsung. I want a better Samsung.
Obviously Samsung's making all the money in Android these days, and their upcoming Galaxy S4 will no doubt be an unprecedented hit, so they probably don't care.
But they really, really should.