Design Icon: Apple Inc.

by . October 3rd, 2012

Apple is now considered as the most valuable US Company of all time. With its stocks and revenues at an all-time high, the Cupertino company has undoubtedly proven that it is not only one of the most talked about businesses in the market but also one of the most profitable.

But the successes of Apple were not caused by its product’s superior performance over the competition or their affordability. Instead, the company remained focused on developing products and services that have a premium feel and slick design. Because let’s face it, majority of consumers nowadays pay a premium on good looks and style.

In fact, Apple’s product designs have been so successful that they have become a source of inconvenience as competitors (at least according to Apple) have copied them multiple times in the past; and have cost the company billions of dollars in terms of revenue loss and legal expenses. To prove my point, here are a few examples of Apple products and their look-alikes.


MAC OS X and Windows Vista

Among the last three OS releases of Microsoft, it was Windows Vista that received the most negative feedback. Even though it was a better looking system than its predecessor Windows XP, a lot of people were dissatisfied with its performance. Moreover, people tend to notice a number of design and UI similarities between Vista and its closest competitor – MAC OS X.

Although Microsoft denies any allegations that it copied the design aesthetics of Apple’s MAC, the arrival of Windows 7 in a seemingly hushed manner gave consumers a hint that Microsoft is trying to redeem itself with a proper OS that has a different look and feel than that of MAC.



The Apple iBook and Laptops from Ego

The early parts of the 20th century was the heyday of the candy colored Apple laptops and desktop computers. The iBook for example was one of the iconic products of that decade. Unlike the boxy profile of most laptops nowadays, the iBook looks like a clamshell with curved edges and of course the candy colored body.

Surprisingly, this curved clamshell design is also present on products of another laptop manufacturer. Dutch luxury laptop manufacturer Ego creates devices with the same design shape but with more exquisite materials of course.


MacBook Air and the Ultrabooks

A new breed of ultrathin and ultraportable laptops is slowly gaining popularity today. The forerunner and trendsetter in this race is Apple’s MacBook Air. Its very slim and tear shaped profile has become the industry standard in which other similar devices are measured.

Nowadays, every major computer manufacturer produces an ultrabook or slimbook in an attempt to overthrow the MacBook Air.


Mighty Mouse

Before the Magic Mouse came, Apple was bundling its iMac line of computers with the Mighty Mouse. The mouse was sold from 2005 to 2009 and featured a host of functions not seen in most mice of that day. The mighty mouse was later renamed as just “The Apple Mouse” due to trademark problems with another device that uses the same name.



MAC OS dock and Stardock’s Objectdock

The clean and uncluttered user interface of the MAC OS has long been envied by PC users. This clean look cannot be achieved without the help of a sweet and nifty feature once only found in Apple’s operating system – the MAC OS dock.

For Windows users, Stardock’s Object dock similar dock provides the same look and feel of the dock in Apple’s operating system.


Ipod Nano and the Nokia Lumia 800

The 7th generation iPod nano was just released a few weeks ago and it has once again been reworked from the ground up (at least in the looks department). Features-wise, it basically has the same features of the previous generation with the exception of the bigger screen and a iphone-like home button.

The Nokia Lumia 800 on the other hand has received rave reviews and various design awards due to its out-of-the-box styling. When the iPod nano was announced back last month, a lot of Apple fans noticed its resemblance to the Lumia. We’re not sure whether or not Apple copied Nokia but one thing’s for sure. Apple recognizes good design when it sees it.


iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S

Perhaps the most talked about incidence of design copying was that of the iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones. The companies’ feud over patent infringement and design copying went on for months until the US court finally reached a decision a few weeks ago.

However, the battle is not over as both companies are still at each other’s necks and filing numerous  cases to halt the production and selling of the competitor’s product.

So there you have it everyone. Are you an Apple fan? Are there any Apple products that you consider as well-rounded product in terms of design? Tell us by leaving a comment below. You can add us up on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or subscribe to our blog for more design news, features and inspiration.