Emerging Technology

Samsung accuses Apple of copying its gold mobile phones, but the PR stunt backfires

Andrew Sadauskas /

Samsung has taken the audacious step of accusing Apple of copying its gold mobile phones in a recent post on its official blog.

Initially, Samsung claimed that it released a gold-coloured version of its Galaxy S4 in Middle Eastern markets on September 8, two days before Apple released its highly anticipated gold iPhone 5s smartphone.

Despite photos of the gold iPhone leaking months before Apple’s official release, Samsung claims the gold smartphone was its innovation first, using the hashtag #8before10 on an official Facebook post.

The claim was followed by an official blog post in which the company listed a number of gold or copper coloured mobile phones it had released over the years, with some as far back as 2004.

In a footnote, the blog post points out that not all of the devices were available to consumers, with some only released in selected markets.

Unfortunately, the company left the blog post open for comments, with many users subsequently pointing out the design similarities between the old Samsung featurephones and equivalent models from Motorola, Nokia and BlackBerry.

“Nice examples of when Samsung used to copy Motorola’s RAZR, Nokia’s slide phones and the Blackberry Pearl (or is it a Vertu). So how’s their Dyson ‘inspired’ vacuum cleaner working out?” one commenter said.

“Essentially, Samsung just demonstrated to everyone that they are copying Apple again. All those old golden prototypes and limited phones were failures. This time, they hope to ride on Apple’s wave (again),” another reader states.

The blog post was also lambasted by a number of Apple websites, with AppleInsider describing the blog as “laying bare a decade’s worth of unsuccessful attempts to build a massively popular gold phone, while indirectly pointing out Apple’s ability to generate voracious demand for such a device in mere days”.

The furore came as the Boston Consulting Group gave Samsung the second spot on its 50 most innovative companies list, ahead of third-placed Google, but behind Apple.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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