It’s not the worst press conference mistake we’ve seen at CES this year, but Samsung revisited a classic during its keynote last night: copying Apple’s work, continuing a seemingly endless pattern of Samsung (and other companies) cloning Apple, intentionally or otherwise.
In this case, Samsung presented an icon for facial recognition that is almost indistinguishable from Apple’s Face ID icon. As iMore indicates, they’re not exactly the same — the lines all seem a bit thicker and closer together, and the corners are perhaps a touch less rounded — but we’re basically looking at Apple’s Face ID icon, which is seemingly slightly adjusted to fit in with the art on the rest of the slide.
Left: Apple’s Face ID icon. Right: Whatever Samsung decided to do.
The icon came up about 50 minutes into Samsung’s press conference — titled, for whatever reason, “Age of Experience” — while H.S. Kim, head of the company’s consumer electronics division, was talking about its investment into cybersecurity. “We’ll stay ahead by investing in identity protection and secure access to your favorite websites and mobile apps through Samsung Pass,” Kim said. The icon was up for all of 15 seconds.
This seems like it was probably a mistake on the part of whoever made this portion of the slideshow. Samsung doesn’t appear to use this icon in its software or packaging; its actual facial recognition icon appears to be an outline of a face, which looks kind of generic.
That would make for the second major error of the show. Yesterday, AMD appeared to reveal details about the upcoming Xbox Series X before admitting that it had used a fan-made render of the console and had not, in fact, shown new details about what ports the machine will include.
There’s a long history of companies borrowing, often very directly, from Apple. Samsung is the most infamous, having been involved in a pair of years-long lawsuits over claims that it had copied the iPhone’s design. More recently, the clones have largely come from Chinese brands. There was a wave of notch copycats after the iPhone X came out. Xiaomi last year almost completely ripped off Apple’s dynamic wallpaper and Memoji avatars, and Huawei and its sub-brand Honor have also taken a crack at versions of Apple’s AirPods.