Phones before and after iPhone

One of the reasons why I personally prefer Samsung to iPhone

Pre iPhone samsong 

The pre-iPhone days

The bulk of Samsung's pre-iPhone offerings for the U.S. market were bar-type phones, sliders and flip phones such as the BlackJack (center) and D900 (right). They came in the same familiar shapes being produced by most cell-phone manufacturers.

The F300 (left), which boasts two LCD screens one on each side -- was included by Samsung in its trial brief in a graphic purporting to demonstrate Samsung's early-stage touchscreen design. However, the 2006 phone has no true touchscreen capability, only the ability to scroll by swiping your finger along the edges of the sensor button.

Apple's big move

The iPhone was a game-changer when Steve Jobs announced it in January 2007. It was the first major touchscreen phone to reach the mass market, and its distinctive design made it an instant hit with critics and consumers.

Apple's claim in the patent trial now underway in San Jose, Calif. is that Samsung ripped off the iPhone's "trade dress" -- its patented outer shell and menu design. Among the attributes that Apple says constitute the iPhone's legally protected innovations are "a rectangular product with four evenly rounded corners"; a flat, clear surface covering a display screen; and, when the device is on, "a matrix of colorful square icons with evenly rounded corners."

Samsung's new smartphones 

Samsung Phone
In the months after the iPhone's debut, Samsung brought a slew of new touchscreen phones to market. In June 2008, one year after the iPhone went on sale, the Korean manufacturer announced the i900 Omnia (left), a five-megapixel cameraphone which one reviewer called "technically more advanced than Apple's creation."

The first entry in Samsung's now well-known Galaxy line of mobile devices was the i9000 (right). Released in June 2010 for the Asian market -- and in June through September in the U.S., under the variant names Epic, Vibrant, Fascinate, Captivate and Mesmerize -- it was a direct competitor to the iPhone 4. It quickly distinguished itself among other high-end Android phones, earning the number-two spot on Time's list of the top 10 gadgets of 2010.

"Samsung once sold a range of phones," Apple said in its trial brief. "Now Samsung's mobile devices not only look like Apple's ... they use Apple's patented software features to interact with the user."

Samsung's F700

Samsung Phone
Samsung has what it hopes will be ace up its sleeve: At least one iPhone-like device, eventually released as the F700, was registered in South Korea prior to the iPhone's debut, according to Samsung's trial brief.

The F700, announced in February 2007 -- one month after Jobs' iPhone reveal -- has a large touchscreen and a slide-out keypad. It ran a proprietary Samsung operating system called Croix.

Apple originally included the F700 in its copying allegations, but later dropped the model from its complaint after Samsung established its prior, independent creation, Samsung said in its court documents.

On the drawing board

Samsung Phone
Samsung has produced in-house art as evidence that it was considering a number of touchscreen designs in the months before Apple's big reveal. One of these became the F700.

"Samsung independently developed the allegedly copied design features months before Apple had even announced the iPhone," the company said in its brief. "It did not switch its design direction because of the iPhone."


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