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IPhone Has An ITwin, Made By LG

Jason Lee Miller
Staff Writer
Published: 2007-01-11

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It didn't take Cisco long to slap Apple for a severe case of hubris in launching a product with the same name as a Cisco product. It also didn't take Engadget long to notice that Apple's version looks strikingly similar to an LG phone that recently won the International Forum Design Product Design Award for 2007.

The specs of LG's KE850 have yet to be released, or mentioned on the company's product pages, or even talked about at IFD's design award webpage. Winners of the award are to be announced in March. The only article about it appears to be written in Hungarian.

But back in December, Engadget and Gizmodo both found photos of this wicked-looking touch-screen phone damn near identical, physically at least, to the iPhone. Engadget was quick to post a side-by-side comparison. iPhone is a bit prettier in terms of graphics, but the resemblance is uncanny.

Meanwhile, over at Gizmodo, there's an active mission to figure out which manufacturer makes the iPhone. LG isn't on the list of possibilities. If LG isn't the phone maker, it brings up a web of questions.

Did Apple steal from LG? Did LG steal from Apple? Is it just a case of parallel development? Is this why Apple was so eager to unveil it six months before launch, even ahead of FCC approval, even at the overshadowing of Apple TV? Are the specifications different enough that this is just unfair speculation?

We won't know until LG releases it, or responds to reporter request for comment, which they haven't. Neither has Apple, for that matter.

But somebody's got some 'splainin' to do somewhere. Apple's already shown a blatant disregard for trademark law. It's not far-fetched that Apple may disregard patents on design, too. Or maybe there is no US patent on LG's phone yet. Answers are unclear.

But intra-industry cannibalism isn't unheard of. Samsung just got slapped with a lawsuit from Research In Motion after releasing the BlackJack, similar to BlackBerry Pearl, with a similar name.

Samsung may have released the BlackJack knowing that lawsuits are a part of business these days and would make enough money from it to cover any legal concerns, and still turn a profit. Apple could have done the same thing with iPhone - plus Apple's legal team isn't exactly a shabby one.

More to come if LG or Apple feels like talking.


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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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