'How else would you do it?'
I just got done reading the article on Samsung's background of IP theft. There were a few more details I haven't heard but the main point was nothing new. However, this article went into a depth I haven't heard before and it truly disgusted me. They actually had employees eat documents while security stalled investigators outside. Anyway, good read.
But it reminded me of a point I've wanted to make many times before. Every time I read these articles detailing the willful infringement of Samsung people come out in the comments with the same defense. That Apple's implementation was so obvious that any similarities are there because 'how else would you do it?' Or that visual similarities are unimportant and add nothing to the value of a product.
This is simply wrong and outside of Samsung many others figured out a way to design unique devices that were competitive with the iPhone. Before those, almost no small screen devices looked similar (LG Prada being an exception). The point I'm making is the basic visual impression.
What's frustrating and what this demonstrates is that it's not hard to develop alternatives. Sure some are obviously worse, but many prefer the others. Samsung could have chosen to innovate on top of Apple with both hardware design/function and software design. Windows Phone proves there are extremely different options available, Android stays closer but still is different. Samsung chose to change Android to more closely match the iPhone.
We should be behind companies that take risks to give us truly varied options. Those of us on this site who understand what goes into the creation of these devices should despise the tactics Samsung uses and refuse to buy them, while also telling friends and family to avoid them. There are better options from better companies that have made great devices without copying 'obvious' design choices by Apple. If Samsung had chosen a different path, we as consumers would have better devices from all parties.