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Samsung Opens New Apple Store In Australia 154

Posted by samzenpus
from the imitation-is-the-sincerest-form-of-flattery dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Samsung opened its first retail 'Experience' store in Sydney, Australia today and its design and ethos, even in the most generous light, bear an uncanny resemblance to those of the Apple Store. Now, to be fair, Samsung’s corporate color is blue and there are only so many ways you can design a retail experience. That said, it seems difficult to look at Samsung’s store and not immediately be reminded of Apple’s understated chain of brick-and-mortar retail stores which, at the time it debuted, was considered pioneering. And it’s awfully hard to imagine that the similarities between the two won’t further bolster Apple’s allegations that Samsung is a 'copyist.'" This comes on the heels of both companies claiming the other is "anticompetitive" during Tuesday’s summations in the Apple-Samsung trial.
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Samsung Opens New Apple Store In Australia

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  • by Bongoots (795869) * on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:01AM (#41106249)

    To be found at the Sydney Morning Herald website: http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/store-wars-samsung-apple-gadgets-at-10-paces-20120823-24njn.html [smh.com.au]

    The link in TFS is lacking any detail. Go to the above.

    • by jhoegl (638955) on Friday August 24, 2012 @05:18AM (#41106773)
      Microsofts store in Scottsdale Az looks like this as well.
      So... who cares?
      • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday August 24, 2012 @05:35AM (#41106821) Journal

        Some far older stores look like this. Hell, a make-up department in Bijenkorf Amsterdam (big rounded white curves, lots of light, big displays) (dutch department store) looked like this long before Apple became cool again.

        There really are only so many designs and layouts you can think off. Even only a few colors. You could for instance color your store yellow but everyone would go insane. Yellow is NOT a good color for interiors. And entire range of the spectrum OUT of the question.

        • While i do agree with you in general, last i looked Yellow-Beige was actually very nice from a design standpoint(of course, usually it is done wrong and can look like someone urinated all over your house...)

        • by timeOday (582209)
          You know what bugs me more than the Apple fanboyism is the nationalism. It's (supposedly) not just Apple drawing imitators, but "The Chinese" copying 'Merka (yes, I know Samsung is actually S Korean). Meanwhile the companies themselves are aggressively playing all sides, outsourcing, and lobbying for ever-lower taxes, which they already mostly avoid by setting up shell companies in Bermuda.

          OK, fine, that's all rational for them to do. But can we quit rooting for certain companies as the "home team" now

    • by Raumkraut (518382)

      I was amused to see that, judging from the pictures in the Sydney Morning Herald article, Samsung was the first to implement tables with rounded corners.

  • Apple store? Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by exomondo (1725132) on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:05AM (#41106265)
    These are starting to get a bit far fetched, it [allthingsd.com] doesn't exactly look dissimilar to the telstra shops [stratel.com.au] for example...or many other retailers for that matter.
    • by z0idberg (888892)

      Telstra store was my first thought also.

    • by Pikoro (844299) <init&init,sh> on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:48AM (#41106445) Homepage Journal

      Looks like a standard Japanese cell phone shop to me. Nothing innovative there.

      • by Rary (566291)

        Didn't you know? If Apple did it, then they invented it, even if they invented it decades after others did it. That's just how it works.

    • by popo (107611) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:02AM (#41106489) Homepage

      Yes, hadn't you heard? Apple has a design patent on Scandinavian minimalist furniture. Sweden and Denmark are currently scrambling as Apple's lawyers gear up to take on Scandinavia for design infringement.

      Also, Apple has just filed a patent for the use of "tables". No store shall be allowed to use "tables" to display product without paying the Apple tax.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2012 @05:10AM (#41106741)

        Also, Apple has just filed a patent for the use of "tables". No store shall be allowed to use "tables" to display product without paying the Apple tax.

        That's a lie. The patent only covers tables (and small tables, aka tablets) with rounded corners.

    • by Xest (935314) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:57AM (#41106701)

      Samsung has had stands like these in various UK shopping centres pop up for years, well before Apple even opened it's stores.

      The Sydney store just looks like a shop full of the sorts of stands Samsung has always had, so calling it an Apple store is a bit of a joke. If anything it would suggest Apple copied Samsung's style of popup stands, but it wasn't even just Samsung.

      In shopping centres in the UK these sorts of stands have been commonplace for other vendors too, it's not something unique to Apple. Even Sony's stores dating back quite some years in major shopping centres here in the UK tended to look like this. It's a style that many mobile phone shops have used for well over a decade also.

      The only unique thing about Apple stores is, that they have Apple logos plastered around in them, the airy layout, style of furniture etc. was never either new or unique to Apple.

      What next? Walmart copied Apple because Walmart stores have doors and Apple stores do too?

      • by Canazza (1428553)

        Hell, forget Samsung's stalls, the first thing that popped into my head was that it looked like every other mobile phone outlet in the UK. The O2 store, Vodaphone, Virgin Mobile, Phones4U, Carphone Warehouse, Orange.

        They've been doing that design for ages.

      • by punit_r (1080185)

        Only one media outlet is reporting this story about Samsung store as being inspired by Apple --- AllThingsD !

        If one were to look at the coverage of the Apple-vs-Samsung legal court case, AllThingsD was visibly biased in favor of Apple. A simple glance at the comments section of AllThingsD will be enough to figure out that their primary audience is also Apple Fans. So, this title by them is just pandering to their audience. I have a feeling that the 'anonymous' submitter to /. is also an editor of AllThingsD

  • Really? (Score:1, Redundant)

    by acehole (174372)

    While their experience store is a dig at apple I don't think they've gone as far as branding it an apple store.

  • They really should have called the Smart Tutors the "Samsung Smart Guy". Psst: it's from Conan! On a serious not, I understand that two wrongs don't make a right, but after the whole rounded corners thing, I don't see how this is wrong.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Not a big fan of Samsung or Apple but apple store reminds you of expensive "boutiques" that sell jewelley or other fashionable stuff.

    My earliest rememberence is early 1990's !

    who copied what again? and don't say it's an electronic store with genius people!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "who copied what again? and don't say it's an electronic store with genius people!"

      Flat surfaces with rounded corners. Those tables are infringing.

    • Not a big fan of Samsung or Apple but apple store reminds you of expensive "boutiques" that sell jewelley or other fashionable stuff.

      Exactly. And this is part of the reason why I'll never buy from boutique brands such as Apple, because the tend to charge boutique prices too.

  • by powerspike (729889) on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:08AM (#41106275)
    Already Checked the store out.

    If you run up and down george st (where it is located), you'll be amazing at how many of the tech stores look very similar in layout (esp all the mobile phone stores).

    hell even some of the food stores (mainly cupcake!) are using similar layouts now as well.
  • Troll bait :-) (Score:5, Insightful)

    by giorgist (1208992) on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:12AM (#41106293)
    Troll bait title if I have ever seen one :-) Its a company retail outlet, it looks no different to the Sony store down the road. G
  • Out of spite (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SpaghettiPattern (609814) on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:18AM (#41106323)
    Out of spite I'd be happy to move into an Apple store to order a Samsung and to claim Apple's store is copying Samsung's. Just to get the equivalent of a bar fight started but then in a techno-ip setting.
  • by zrbyte (1666979) on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:25AM (#41106369)

    Tesco stores look remarkably similar to Wall-Mart.

    • by Grayhand (2610049)

      Tesco stores look remarkably similar to Wall-Mart.

      I feel a great sympathy for the British people. I knew there was a reason my ancestors left. I guess we just didn't go far enough.

  • by LSDelirious (1569065) on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:35AM (#41106397)
    an scruffy balding asian dude with glasses in a black turtleneck and jeans
  • How can Samsung open Apple Store!
  • by bytesex (112972) on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:43AM (#41106433) Homepage

    And every convention stand has prior art.

  • by thegarbz (1787294) on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:50AM (#41106451)

    It just dawned on my how much Apple's store looks like every single mobile phone store in Australia, with the exception of the "3" stores and their former neon coloured changing lighting which made your eyes bleed, but even they are now Vodafone stores so there goes that resemblance.

    The only thing that makes this look at all like an Apple store is that an article about it brings out trolls and fanbois who post on slashdot.

  • It's the lesser known post malum ergo propter malum fallacy.

  • If samsung just had admitted to imitating a succesfull buisiness model and design at the start of all the fuss instead. No shame in that to my opinion.

  • by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:54AM (#41106463) Journal

    I'd have to say that the Microsoft stores are far more similar to Apple stores than this one is. It looks to me like a fairly generic "gee whiz future" kind of styling.

    -jcr

    • It looks to me like a fairly generic "gee whiz future" kind of styling.

      I think I saw an Apple Store in Logan's Run, next to The New You.

  • copy (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Tom (822)

    Of course it's a copy, that much is obvious. And there are other ways of designing a retail outlet.

    That said, most of them are copies. Everyone looks at everyone else and checks on what works and what doesn't. Most supermarkets look so much the same that if I blindfolded you and dropped you inside of one, you'd have trouble telling which one it is. Same for most clothing stores, hardware shops, etc. etc.

    Because while there are many ways to do it, there is always a rather small number (often just one) that t

    • Re:copy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Hognoxious (631665) on Friday August 24, 2012 @05:10AM (#41106743) Homepage Journal

      Because while there are many ways to do it

      I'm obviously not as smart as you, because I can't think of any. I suppose they could hang the products from the ceiling and make the floor a massive trampoline.

      Care to enlighten us by naming, say, ten alternatives to having stuff on tables & shelves?

      • Care to enlighten us by naming, say, ten alternatives to having stuff on tables & shelves?

        Walmart - you aren't looking at the products, you're looking at the people.
        Target - Red. It's so red.
        Best Buy - glass cases with no one around to help you.
        An old Sears - dingy florescent lights, old linoleum, socks.
        Baskin Robbins Ice Cream - Ice Cream!
        A car parts store - the smell of long chain monomers and old oil.
        Dunkin Donuts - Cops and Donuts.
        A Sony Store - dark, brooding, empty. Think a museum of small, scary things.
        AT&T Store - Bright Orange! Thousands of different gizmos on shelves, racks, the

      • Let's see, you gave one:

        2. Pile everything in the corner
        3. Have no demo models at all
        4. Have a single catalog with pictures of the merchandise on a pedestal at the center of the store
        5. Put that pedestal in a corner
        6. Have pictures of the merchandise hung on the walls
        7. Have a single giant screen that rolls through a video presentation of the merchandise
        8. Have models hold/display the merchandise
        9. Have a single large conveyor belt, like a luggage returner at an airport, displaying the merchandise.
        • I gave one that was intentionally stupid. How about yours? The intentional part, I mean.

          Though I could go for #8, depending...

          Sure, they are almost certainly BAD layout ideas

          Ask your mom for for a cookie.

          but that was his point.

          No it wasn't.

          While there are lots and lots of bad ways to it, there are only a very small number of GOOD ways to design such a store.

          He claimed that the design was a copy of Apple's. It isn't, any more than a hammer is a copy of any other hammer, because hammers are used for hamme

      • by Tom (822)

        Care to enlighten us by naming, say, ten alternatives to having stuff on tables & shelves?

        Strawman. Tables & shelves isn't the point, a specific design and layout is. If you want 10 alternatives on how to design a shop interior, go and visit your local shopping street, you'll find that most brand stores do have their own designs that, while they share some things (like shelves) with competitors, they are designed and arranged in specific ways that make them a) unique and b) recognisable.

    • by w0mprat (1317953)
      Erm no, it's contemporary interior design language, common shop fittings, and there are only so many ways to lay out shop floor for maximum wallet-lightening effect. It's just conventional looking. The interior has to be minimal to draw eyes to the small gadgets on display and emphasis any other product messages in store. Etc. You converge on stores of certain kinds looking similar and having similar floor layouts. It's not just the way it's done, it's what you need to do to have your store appeal to custom
    • Of course it's a copy, that much is obvious.

      And the Apple Store "theme" is a blatant rip-off of the much older and still present Bang & Olufsen stores - which also made products very "Apple like" well before Apple even thought of a phone. If anyone's copying, it's Apple and Samsung ripping off B&O.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    How's the prices? Still gouging Down Under like always?

  • by DMiax (915735) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:10AM (#41106513)
    Samsung's tables have rounded corners.
  • i seem to remember Sony stores opening long before apple stores...

    • i seem to remember Sony stores opening long before apple stores...

      But no one ever went into them, so it doesn't count.

  • There was even footage:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YciM_54HzZk [youtube.com]

  • by LordLucless (582312) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:43AM (#41106657)

    The broad, rectangular wall displays.

    Little known fact - not only did Apple invent rounded rectangles, they invented the regular kind too

    The airy, spartan layout and open floor plan

    And open plan architecture

    dedicated customer support desk

    And customer service

    A group demonstration area.

    ...demonstrations

    Clean lines.

    ...cleanliness

    Blue T-shirts for all store employees.

    ...and the colour blue.

  • If what you want is an apple, all trees look like apple-trees.
  • by aglider (2435074) on Friday August 24, 2012 @05:49AM (#41106865) Homepage

    This thing is going far beyond any reasonableness.
    Samsung is not adding an apple logo on their product. This is a fact.
    "SAMSUNG" is clearly different from "APPLE". This is a fact.
    There are not many choices to "design" a touch tablet/smartphone:
    - they have to have a rectangular shape (triangular? Pentagonal? Irregular?);
    - sharp corners are not viable, so they have to be more or less rounded;
    - thickness cannot be increased just to look different;
    - icons are a de facto standard in GUIs.
    Also these are facts.
    99.9% of users can read and can tell an Apple product apart of a Samsung one. This is a fact.

    So, finally, what's Apple protecting? The shape? The corners? The proportions? The icon shape and colors? The concept design of a store?
    Or are they concerned about their customers not being intelligent enough to distinguish two different brands?

    Ah! All this is frivolous and needs a good quantity of crack to go on!

    If I was Apple, I would rather sue the pletora of Chinese companies manufacturing and selling touch smartphones which are clearly designed and packaged to mimic Apple products.

    • by aglider (2435074)

      For the curious ones, just try google for "fake iphone" [google.it]!

    • by mveloso (325617)

      Actually, you're wrong. There are lots and lots of ways to design tablets. Just because you can't think beyond Samsung doesn't mean other people can't.

      The basic shape of a tablet is somewhat dictated by the shape of the screen. However, look at the kindle/nook/kobos. Do they look like iPads? Not really. Do they work like iPads? Not really. Are they rectangles with rounded corners? Yep. Is Apple suing Amazon for violating trade dress? No.

      Why do you feel sharp corners aren't viable? Why rounded and not, say,

    • by Rary (566291)

      - they have to have a rectangular shape (triangular? Pentagonal? Irregular?);

      Pfft. There are other designs [officetally.com].

      • by aglider (2435074)

        ... and who's going to buy something that won't display a picture, a web page or a video at full resolution?
        Ah!

  • by prefec2 (875483) on Friday August 24, 2012 @06:21AM (#41107017)

    Honestly, I've seen many retail stores lately having fun with getting not a new phone. They all look like that. Beside, t-mobile is pink (magenta as they call it) and ohters are green or orange. Now when Samsung is blue then that fits that logic. Apple stores also look like any other store. They have this "We are sooo fancy" design. If they start fighting over shop design then they have become totally crazy. Oh wait ...

  • by w0mprat (1317953) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:24AM (#41107253)
    Sony stores opened long before Apple Stores. First Sony Style store opened in the early 1980s even. There were many Sony retail stores worldwide before the first Apple store in 2001.

    Apple directly took the idea of opening it's own one-brand direct retail store from Sony.

    Now get off lawn etc etc
    • by tgd (2822)

      Sony stores opened long before Apple Stores. First Sony Style store opened in the early 1980s even. There were many Sony retail stores worldwide before the first Apple store in 2001.

      Apple directly took the idea of opening it's own one-brand direct retail store from Sony.

      Now get off lawn etc etc

      And before Apple were Gateway stores. Arguably the first Apple stores were a lot more like Gateway stores than the old Sony stores.

    • by Nemyst (1383049)

      The first thing I thought when I saw the pictures was "Hey, this looks a lot like the Sony store we have 20 minutes from here!"

      Non-story if I've ever seen one. As long as you want to make a more boutique store look (as opposed to the more warehouse style of Best Buy), you're bound to have similar store design in this day and age.

  • The Bose stores and lots of others are like this. I hope the Samsung stores have an actual dedicated cashier area so that I can get in and get out efficiently. Sure, I might want to play with the stuff sometimes, but not every time and not all damned day.

    I guess it's interesting to watch the two large companies go at it and all, but let's not make it into something it's not.

    Is Samsung copying Apple? Yes and no... I think it's partly natural evolution of its marketing as its brand grows in popularity and

  • by itsdapead (734413) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:55AM (#41107401)

    Wake me up if Apple actually try to claim that this new store infringes their IP rights.

    Even then, it's not a case of "did they copy" but rather "did they infringe any valid, enforceable, copyrights, patents or trademarks" because it is completely bloody obvious that anybody designing a new consumer IT retail store would take a few leads from what the most successful international chain of consumer IT retail stores was doing.

  • It also looks like a T-Mobile store. Maybe T-Mobile should sue both Apple and Samsung since T-Mobile stores looked like that before Apple opened any stores..

  • Apple store is designed as a modern museum.
  • I'm pretty sure Apple invented stores.
    The patent i think describes a place, indoors, where you sell stuff.

  • Samsung can expect a new lawsuit from Apple after copying the "look and feel" of Apple stores. I say that as a joke, but I'm sure at this very moment Apple's lawyers are looking into the possibility of securing IP that covers elements of their store layout.

    Apple has taken technology from something that only geeks used to something that is fashionable, but the fashion industry is driven by trends. Right now Apple is setting many of these trends, but it can't stay that way forever - trends are fickle by
    • Samsung can expect a new lawsuit from Apple after copying the "look and feel" of Apple stores. I say that as a joke, but I'm sure at this very moment Apple's lawyers are looking into the possibility of securing IP that covers elements of their store layout. Apple has taken technology from something that only geeks used to something that is fashionable, but the fashion industry is driven by trends. Right now Apple is setting many of these trends, but it can't stay that way forever - trends are fickle by nature and someone else is bound to come up with something people want more. It will be very interesting to see how Apple and its fans react when Apple is no longer the trendsetter.

      On a related note, the fashion industry cannot patent their designs. This was done deliberately, and the result is obvious. The fashion designers who do good work are not only surviving, they're thriving.

  • In both cases, the Spartan look is born of cheapness, not coolness. Sparse fixtures and display cases don't cost much.

    That the product turned out hot was the bonus.

    • Wow, you've never been around designers, have you? It takes thousands of hours and much money to develop stuff like that.

      You simply don't realize the cash, angst and determination needed to spend your life in a Starbucks. And remember, MacBook Pros aren't cheap these days. Besides, they just bumped the price on Prilosec.

  • This comes on the heels of both companies claiming the other is "anticompetitive" during Tuesday’s summations in the Apple-Samsung trial.

    I'm pretty sure all publicly traded companies are anticompetetive by nature. Except where they are forced to behave otherwise by a government. It's the only option unless a company is privately controlled and decisions can be made on a basis other than what is going to make shareholders the most money.

  • But Apple fans had never been to a Sony store before Apple stores became popular, i guess?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... the only one who find strange that Samsung opens an Apple Store instead of a Samsung Store?

  • by TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) on Friday August 24, 2012 @10:39AM (#41109373)

    Samsung is one of the few companies willing to tackle Apple on in terms of style. While I agree that Samsung blatantly ripped off Apple with their first Galaxy phone, they have pretty much branched away from Apple's designs and started setting trends for the "rest" of the Android market.

    So, get over it. Apple is a trendsetter and people will follow those trends in their product and design. Its absolutely retarded for Apple to produce a hit product and then expect the rest of the world to not match it's design trends. Design trends have been a staple of the retail marketplace for hundreds of years. Its the reason why all cars look the same in a given generation, its the reason why all homes look the same in a given generation. Its the reason why movies look the same in a given generation, its the reason why music sounds the same in a given generation. You make something that everyone else likes, other people will match and expand on that design.

    Everybody is ripping off everyone else. Apple should be flattered and even have their ego inflated to epic proportions given the fact that everybody wants to copy their designs and bring their own flavor to it. If Apple wasn't a paranoid little prick, worried about losing their market share to the sheer weight of potential of their competition, they would enjoy the fact they are defining a generation of mobile devices. They are at the top of the food chain but are too busy trying to piss on everyone else to enjoy it.

    Apple needs to get over it and I hope the Apple vs Samsung trial rules in Samsung's favor just to smack down the smug, little biatch that Apple has become, worried about stupid people that might confuse one set of rounded rectangles for another while at the same time rising to the most profitable company in history. I mean how insecure do you have to be to have 600 BILLION in market capital and still feel inclined to crap out petty irrelevant lawsuits.

  • by PPH (736903)

    Do you mean Samsung will require customers to make an appointment to speak to a store employee? Even if all they did was to pick up a headphone or adapter cord from the display and they just want to pay for it and get out? But they've got to wait their turn behind some moron who can't find the 'Any' key on their new MacBook?

    Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

  • Samsung is so desperate to be successful Apple that it's totally copying Apple. It should be flattering, because Samsung is following a path to success that's worked. It's sad, because as the saying goes, they're skating to where the puck was, not to where the puck is going. Samsung used to be accused of copying Sony back when Sony was worth copying. Go figure.

    It could be that Samsung, at some level, has no idea that it's copying Apple so blatantly. I know that a large percentage of the public believes that

  • I recall thinking how similar the Apple store was to the Sony stores in the area (Novi, MI) when they first came out and thought Apple was ripping off Sony.

  • Apple shops remind me very much of the plainness of an Ikea store, so why haven't Apple sued Ikea?

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