Nope, Hewlett-Packard Doesn't Copy Apple at All

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) is used to having rivals imitate its designs, whether it be Motorola Mobility's (NYSE: MMI  ) iPod nano-esque MOTOACTV or any number of frenemy Samsung's numerous attempts to be like Apple. Of course, Sammy's on the receiving end of handfuls of patent infringement suits all over the world as a result.

Even some of iconic PC maker Hewlett-Packard's (NYSE: HPQ  ) laptops bear an uncanny resemblance to Cupertino's offerings, heeding Apple's lesson that industrial design is of paramount importance. HP has just unveiled a new thin and light Ultrabook offering, the Envy Spectre XT, and like many other Ultrabooks, it looks an awful lot like a MacBook Air.

When asked about the obvious resemblance and the potential legal implications, HP VP of industrial design Stacy Wolff replied:

I would go back to the TC1000 [tablet PC] from about 10 years, and that's a tablet. I think if you look at the new Spectre XT, there are similarities in a way, not due to Apple but due to the way technologies developed. Apple may like to think that they own silver, but they don't. In no way did HP try to mimic Apple. In life there are a lot of similarities.

Source: Engadget.

So naturally, the similarities are just a kooky coincidence.

Well, here's Samsung's VP of design Lee Minhyouk with a similar acknowledgement of the serendipity, responding to criticism over the Galaxy smartphone lineup a few months ago.

As a designer, there's an issue of dignity. [The Galaxy] is original from the beginning, and I'm the one who made it. It's a totally different product with a different design language and different technology infused. I've made thousands of sketches and hundreds of prototype products [for the Galaxy]. Does that mean I was putting on a mock show for so long, pretending to be designing?

Source: Slashgear.

There you have it. It's all just a big misunderstanding, and everyone's design philosophy is just naturally converging, so some similarities are inevitable. That's just life. C'est la vie. Case closed.

Sources: HP, Apple. HP Spectre XT (top) vs. Apple MacBook Air (bottom).

Sources: HP, Apple. HP Spectre XT (top) vs. Apple MacBook Air (bottom).

Beyond smart devices, there's another technological revolution in 3-D printing happening that will transform industrial manufacturing as we know it and will make designers lives much easier. That's why you should check out this free video report that names the three companies leading the way.

Fool contributor Evan Niu owns shares of Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2012, at 10:40 PM, applefan1 wrote:

    Stacy Wolff is in denial. Using the TC1000 and "silver". Excuse me Stacy. They are looking at the COLOR. We are looking at the overall design. Unfortunately, HP left out the Thunderbolt connector. Oops. Aren't keeping up to date with the latest and greatest...

    HP, your problem is that you aren't really doing anything that innovative. You still have to rely on Microsoft for the Operating System and you have to wait until Apple comes out with something cool to do your own take off. Next thing you know HP will tell us that this is the first time they have ever seen a MacBookAir, since they don't go into Apple Stores. It just sounds like DENIAL, plain and simple. Common amongst thieves and criminals.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2012, at 8:05 AM, JimmyZangwow wrote:

    As if Apple first thought of a thin laptop...

    Sony VAIO - 1999. They beat Apple by like what, 9 years. Point is, everybody copies good ideas. Even Apple.

    Agreed that HP has problems though. Nothing new coming out of there that isn't just "more of the same".

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2012, at 8:55 AM, CluckChicken wrote:

    So other then color of the outer case what makes them look alike? They look nothing alike closed or open.

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