Lenovo has just announced their S90 “Sisley” smartphone, which might look familliar to anyone who has been paying attention to tech news reporting during the last year. Lenovo’s new smartphone is an iPhone 6 with the speaker grille from the iPhone 5S and, of course, Android. Lenovo is one of the top smartphone vendors in China, and a big enough company that Apple will take notice. Lenovo could have made a mistake greater than even Samsung’s copying with this one. What were they thinking?
Lenovo’s new smartphones don’t even follow the same design language of their previous models. This design is directly copied form the iPhone 6. It has the curved edges, the same location for the camera (Lenovo typically chooses the center of the phone), the same speaker grilles that were found on the iPhone 5s, fitted for the iPhone 6 body, the same antenna breaks, and even the same thickness. Make no mistake, Lenovo didn’t “copy” the iPhone in the same way that Samsung did, that is, taking heavy inspiration from Apple’s design. In this situation, Lenovo directly ripped off the design of the iPhone 6, increased the screen size to 5 inches, and slapped Android in it. Most Android phones have smaller bezels on the top and bottom of the screen, since they don’t need the space for a Touch ID sensor. Lenvovo didn’t even change that when copying the iPhone.
Lenovo didn’t stop with the design of the phone. They even copied the marketing material Apple is using for the iPhone. The same angles angles in the photos are the same and Lenovo even used similar wallpapers. Lenovo even used the same “exploded lens” view to market the camera on the front of the device that Apple uses.
Lenovo is certainly making themselves a prime target for a lawsuit. This might seem like a foolish move, but they’re protected by lax copyright laws in China, the only location they’re selling this device. Lenovo is a Chinese company, and the Chinese govement would try to prevent a foreign company, especially an American one such as Apple, from winning a lawsuit against a Chinese company. A successful company like Lenovo can rely on the bias of the state for some protection. Xiaomi has been copying Apple successfully for some time now, and Apple has yet to sue them. Other Chinese companies such as Lenovo ae now following suit. Could Apple be powerless to stop their Chinese imitators?