New iPhones, new Galaxies: Who’s the Bigger Copycat?

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David Pogue: Apparently, a lot of people hang their identities on what phones they carry. An iPhone person might feel personally affronted when a Samsung Galaxy gets a great review, and vice versa. Apple and Samsung just introduced their new fall 2018 smartphones, and it’s clearer than ever: all smartphones have pretty much the same features. Therefore, it strikes many people as searingly important to remember which brand had those features first. OS Features: Apple invented the touchscreen phone as we know it. The original 2007 iPhone brought us multitouch (pinch to zoom), an on-screen keyboard, auto-rotate, lists that scroll as though with momentum, and the apps-on-a-Home-page design that we all use to this day. Not surprisingly, then, Apple wins this category, having introduced 13 ideas, compared to Android’s 10 (and Samsung’s 1). The screen is the first thing you notice when you turn on a phone –how big, bright, and gorgeous it is. You can read the full review here. The final verdict: Apple leads the invention category, with 44 innovations, according to our calculations. Google’s Android comes in second, with 31. And Samsung brings up the rear with 12 innovations. Now, if you count the number of times each company is listed as a Follower in the spreadsheet, you discover that Apple also seems to have stolen the most ideas. In part, that’s because I’m pitting Apple against Google/Samsung (its phones use Google’s software). As a result, no feature ever lists Google and Samsung as innovator+follower, or vice versa; they’re always a single team.

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