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Ive slams Apple copycats and their ‘anonymous, poorly made objects’

Published Mar 17th, 2014 2:49PM EDT
Apple Jony Ive Interview
Image: Apple

So, you don’t think Apple is taking its patent fight with Samsung personally? If you need more convincing then check out The Times’ interview over the weekend with Apple design boss Jony Ive, who unleashes blistering criticism of companies whom he thinks have shamelessly copied Apple over the past several years, particularly in the realm of smartphones and tablets. Although The Times’ interview is behind a paywall, Macworld has pasted some choice quotes from it in which Ive lashes out at companies who release “anonymous, poorly made objects” that he says rip off Apple’s designs but don’t come close to matching their quality.

Ive didn’t just spit fire at purported Apple copycats either but at the people who buy their products.

“We’re surrounded by anonymous, poorly made objects,” Ive said. “It’s tempting to think it’s because the people who use them don’t care – just like the people who make them.”

But if the people who create these “poorly made” devices don’t care about quality, Ive insists that the opposite is true for Apple engineers who put “years of investment, years of pain” into creating the best products in the world.

“[Apple engineers] care about things that are thoughtfully conceived and well made,” Ive said. “We make and sell a very, very large number of (hopefully) beautiful, well-made things. Our success is a victory for purity, integrity — for giving a damn.”

Remarks like these are a reminder of why Apple wants to squeeze every last dime out of Samsung — it sees itself as the vanguard of innovation and design and it doesn’t want any other company to benefit from its success. And unlike Microsoft, which has been content to grow fat on Android patent royalties, Apple has shown no signs of being willing to compromise with “copycat” companies. Just last week we learned that Apple is asking that Samsung pay a whopping $40 per smartphone as a condition for licensing just five patents, a demand that would almost guarantee that Samsung would never be able to make a profit selling smartphones again.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.