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

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:07PM EST

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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 Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.