FORTUNE -- The biggest drama on the first full day of Apple v. Samsung -- the high-stakes patent infringement case being played out in a packed San Jose federal courthouse -- was the release to the press of information Samsung's lead attorney had literally begged the judge to allow into evidence. ("What's the point of having a trial?" he said in open court when his umpteenth motion was denied.)
The story Samsung was trying to tell the jury was that before it unveiled the first iPhone, Apple was pursuing a design inspired by Sony's (SE) aesthetic -- a line of reasoning that has been transformed in hot fires of the blogosphere into proof that Apple "copied" Sony's design.
Here's the iPhone creation story Samsung wanted to tell (taken from an unredacted Samsung legal brief):
Right after this article was circulated internally, Apple industrial designer Shin Nishibori was directed to prepare a "Sony-like" design for an Apple phone and then had CAD drawings and a three-dimensional model prepared. Confirming the origin of the design, these internal Apple CAD drawings prepared at Mr. Nishibori's direction even had the "Sony" name prominently emblazoned on the phone design, as the below images from Apple's internal documents show:
Soon afterward, on March 8, 2006, Apple designer Richard Howarth reported that, in contrast to another internal design that was then under consideration, Mr. Nishibori's "Sony-style" design enabled "a much smaller-looking product with a much nicer shape to have next to your ear and in your pocket" and had greater "size and shape/comfort benefits." As Mr. Nishibori has confirmed in deposition testimony, this "Sony-style" design he prepared changed the course of the project that yielded the final iPhone design.
There are a lot of problems with that story, starting with the fact Noshibori's design (pictured above) didn't change the course of the iPhone project, and he never said it did. Apple has released sketches of a near-final iPhone design (see left) that pre-date his CAD drawings by almost a year.
But let's go back to the first sentence of the excerpt. The article that was circulated internally at Apple, Gruber helpfully points out, was a 2006 Businessweek interview with the designers of the product shown at the top of this piece. It was not a phone at all, but a Walkman -- the NW-A1200 -- that according to Businessweek represented for Sony a new, cleaner, less cluttered design aesthetic.
And what inspired that new aesthetic? Of all things, according to the Sony designers, an Apple iPod.
Apple wasn't copying Sony, dear bloggers. Sony was copying Apple.
With two taps of a sword, Jony Ive becomes Sir Jonathan
FORTUNE -- Britain's Princess Anne does the honors, then she and Apple's (AAPL) senior vice president for industrial design have a nice long chat.
BELOW: A 2:24 ITV report includes a brief interview with Ive and footage of him and the Queen.Philip Elmer-DeWitt - May 24, 2012 12:25 PM ET
On the day of his knighthood, a rare interview -- and rarer photo -- in The Telegraph
FORTUNE -- It's perhaps fitting that Shane Richmand's long profile of Jony Ive in Wednesday's Telegraph begins with a tour of London's Covent Garden Apple Store in which nobody except one staffer recognizes Apple's (AAPL) senior vice president for industrial design -- arguably the second most powerful employee in the world's most valuable company.
Steve MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 23, 2012 10:31 AM ET
Two reasons: Jobs' birthplace and, reportedly, a speaking invitation he blew off in 2009
The news that Jonathan Ive, Apple's (AAPL) chief wizard of industrial design, has been made a Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE) and should henceforth be addressed as Sir Jony, raises once again the question of why his boss and closest collaborator was never so honored.
According to a story that surfaced in the British press 10 months MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 31, 2011 8:24 AM ET
But CEO Cook, according to Walter Isaacson, is Apple's new decider-in-chief
One of the questions that lingers at the end of Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs is who at Apple (AAPL) is going to make the thousands of product decisions -- large and small -- that used to be made by Jobs himself.
The issue is especially problematic because no one at Apple has the power or authority that its co-founder MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 10, 2011 11:46 AM ET
Apple's chief designer is the highlight of the "Celebrating Steve" special event
This 80-minute film, shot live on the Apple campus Oct. 19, was posted Sunday night, disappeared for half a day, and reappeared Monday afternoon. It features a tribute from Tim Cook, a rare public appearance of Bill ("The Coach") Campbell, a speech by Al Gore and performances by Norah Jones and Cold Play.
But for me the most touching part MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 24, 2011 4:30 PM ET
Fortune profiles Jeff Williams, Apple's senior vice president for operations
As Steve Jobs stepped back from his role as Apple's (AAPL) larger-than-life frontman, a handful of senior executives emerged from his oversized shadow: Jony Ive, the soft-spoken industrial design wizard. Phil Schiller, the self-effacing marketing chief. Scott Forestall, the boyish head of iPhone and iPad software. And of course Tim Cook, the man who really ran Apple, now elevated to CEO.
In MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 14, 2011 6:11 AM ET
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"I am TechCrunch and TechCrunch is me." -- Michael Arrington (The New York Times)
* David Carr over at The New York Times looks at TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington's path to becoming a venture capitalist and how his latest move -- Crunch Fund -- further complicates TechCrunch's editorial MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Sep 6, 2011 3:30 AM ET
It was a wheel that revolved around Steve Jobs. How will it change under Tim Cook?
One of my favorite elements in Adam Lashinsky's How Apple Works -- the "inside" story that created a sensation when it appeared in the May 23 issue of Fortune but was made fully available online only last week -- was the organization chart assembled by Fortune's graphics team under the guidance of senior research editor Doris MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 29, 2011 7:51 AM ET
A profile in the Daily Mail blames it on an assignment to design a toilet
Lots of new details about the man it calls "the most successful designer on the planet" in Rob Waugh's long biographical profile of Jonathan ("Jony") Ive in Sunday's Daily Mail, starting with the toilet design that drove him out of England:
"The manner of his departure for the U.S. is particularly galling to Clive Grinyer, who MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 21, 2011 6:51 AM ET
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