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HTC exec responds to iPhone copycat claims: No, Apple copied us

Oh, HTC. Ever since a series of leaks revealed the company’s new HTC One A9 smartphone, just about everyone who’s seen the new handset has said the same thing: it’s an iPhone 6 clone. A picture is worth a thousand words and just look at the photo above — both of those sleek smartphones were designed by Apple, but only one of them was actually made by Apple.

There are some big-time HTC fans who have come to the company’s defense, but now HTC has decided to speak for itself as one brave executive swallowed his pride to defend his company’s new smartphone.

DON’T MISS: I wish the iPhone had copied HTC instead

Speaking at a press briefing attended by, HTC North Asia president Jack Tong denied allegations that his company cloned the iPhone with its new HTC One A9 handset. “We’re not copying. We made a unibody metal-clad phone in 2013. It’s Apple that copies us in terms of the antenna design on the back,” Tong said.

There is no disputing part of Tong’s claim. HTC did indeed begin making unibody metal phones long before Apple did. Here’s what they looked like:

Those are all fantastic phones with gorgeous designs, and it doesn’t take an expert to see the common design elements that appear on each model, from the 2013 HTC One M7 straight through to this year’s HTC One M9. The shape of the phone, the way the back contours to the hand, the sloping back that leads to flat edges… these are all themes that run through HTC’s One phones from start to finish.

And let’s take a look at the front of each phone:

Again, look at the design elements these phones have in common: The shape, the dual speaker grills and so on.

Now, let’s take a look at Apple’s iPhone 6s:

And the HTC One A9:


Look, HTC, no one is disputing the fact that Apple copied certain design elements from your phones. It’s not the first time Apple has done it, and it won’t be the last. All smartphone makers take cues from rivals. The difference — and frankly, it’s absurd that we even have to point this out — is that the HTC One A9 copies just about every design element from the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s. Not just one or even a handful… all of them.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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