Samsung Galaxy S4: The Emperor Needs New Clothes

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The recent courtroom tussle between Apple and Samsung proves one thing at least – Samsung needs a trade dress of its own. This at least is according to ZDNET, which reckons smartphones are starting to look like identical but unremarkable twins with no distinct trade dress for either.

Samsung Galaxy S4 needs a new design philosophy

When Samsung unveils its Galaxy S4, or the Note 3, or a Nexus 5 next year, these items must have their own trade dress that differentiates them from the iPhone brand. A judge has ruled that Samsung has flouted Apple’s copyright and so now Samsung will have to develop its own style if it wishes to avoid any more legal tussles. It seems that Samsung copied Apple for a while after seeing how well the iPhone sold, but it’s time for the Koreans to stand alone.

The company could do this by choosing unique casings or colours, or by decorating the faceplates of phones. Anything that the current crop of Samsungs, or any other smartphones for that matter, don’t have right now. Customers need to be able to look at a phone and instantly think “Samsung” just like how they are being labeled as Apple knockoffs right now. It’s believed that Samsung has copied 13 or more Apple patents, putting a number of its devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Note, in jeopardy.

One patent in particular, the D305, relates to the well-known grid of squares on a black background that Apple uses to lay out its apps on its homescreens. This is Apple’s trade dress, so other companies need to change the grid, or change the shapes of the app icons. If Samsung and Google can come up with a new design, then Android handsets will have their own style and this sorry matter will fade into history.

What do you think? Should the Samsung Galaxy S4 revolutionize the smartphone just like the iPhone did in 2007? Or should Samsung continue on with its business of concentrating on hardware and let its designs evolve with the way of the smartphone industry?

Alex customizes his cars and smartphones like its going out of fashion. Jumping between Korean and American, not only does Alex provide in-depth reviews but he usually hangs on to the models for some “real world testing” weeks at a time.