With the announcement of HTC’s new “hero” – the HTC One A9 Aero – a wave of reactions followed outshouting that the company’s handset looks a tad familiar with Apple’s iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.
From the curved aluminium chassis design and round corners, to the antenna cut-outs and camera design, the resemblance is indeed striking.
Yet, heads and tales are two different sides of the same coin and in order to further analyse the ground base of such resemblance between the two smartphones, we need to flip the coin so that we can see both sides.
AndroidCentral made a clear point in its initial preview on the A9 where it read:
“Ask HTC and it’ll tell you the A9 is an amalgam of many of its previous designs. The subtle brushed texture present on the back of the device can be traced back to the M8, while the polished sides mirror those of the M9. HTC’s being doing plastic antenna lines in metal phones since the M7. And the raised, centrally-placed rear camera? Kinda reminiscent of the China-centric One E9 from earlier in the year.
And yet show the A9 to the average person on the street and they’ll tell you it looks like an iPhone 6 or 6s, pointing out the overall shape, antenna lines, camera design, tapered glass edges, LED flash design and port placements. It’s a disservice to call the A9 a straight-up clone of the iPhone — and HTC would likely find itself in hot water even if it were — but there are undeniable similarities.”
Coming in a different size – which is probably the biggest difference – the HTC One A9 measures 145.8 x 70.8 x 7.3mm, so it comes at a noticeably bigger and thicker size than the Apple iPhone 6S, whose dimensions measure at 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm. Both feature a metal body with a flat rear and rounded edges while they also share plastic strips from top to bottom.
The camera is also one more difference. The One A9 has been designed with a centralised camera whereas the iPhone 6S features the main camera on the left side.
And while the list of similarities could get really long, the two companies seem to be having an argument on who is copying whom.
HTC from its side supports not only does the company not copy Apple, but it’s actually Apple that’s copying HTC. Surprising statement as it may sound, the company executive Jack Tong stated at a press briefing at the Taiwan launch of the One A9:
“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. The A9 is made thinner and more lightweight than our previous metal-clad phones. This is a change and evolution, and we’re not copying,”
Tong also added that the Taiwanese handset maker was first to release a metal uni-body smartphone nearly three years ago.
And talking about the past, paying close attention to the smartphones that both companies have released within the last three years, one could spot a few more suspicious similarities.
More specifically, there are some reviews and critics that hold fingers against HTC’s J Butterfly (released in Japan, as known as DROID DNA here in the USA), and Apple’s iPhone 5. The two devices were released in December 2012 and September 2012 respectively.
Ultimately, making a phone that look alike with a rival flagship, is not a very smart idea – unless the company is attempting to replace the iPhone with a more affordable clone – and considering that HTC has proved its smart and strategic policies, it would be kind of injustice to accuse the company of stealing a certain design.
HTC fans will argue that the Taiwanese tech firm had announced this handset a few years back. And Apple fans will argue that the design was still inspired by the younger iPhone series.
Yet, we need to take under consideration that the two handsets share nothing else than the exterior design. So it could be just as well, that they are targeting totally different consumer groups and therefore, they happen to follow quite similar design guidelines.
In any case, this argument is not going to settle anytime soon so either pick a side or grab a sit in the first row to watch any of the two companies plotting the next hit.
TNX Poll: Who copied the other?
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