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The Macalope Daily: Copy cat spat

The Macalope | Sept. 12, 2012
Editor’s Note: The Macalope Daily is an exclusive benefit for our Macworld Insider members, but is being made available to all Macworld readers for a limited time. To learn more about this and other features, visit our Macworld Insider information page.

It was a banner day for innovation on Monday as HP announced the Spectre all-in-one desktop, which totally doesnt look like an iMac, shut up, shut up, SHUT UP.

Oh, PC OEMs. Will you never learn?

No? Didnt think so.

Heres the thing: Apple doesnt have a lot of different computer hardware designs at any given time. Right now it has the Mini, the iMac, the moribund Mac Pro, and the MacBook line, which has several variations on the same theme. So when you copy an Apple design, its pretty noticeable. You only have a few to choose from.

Now, the Spectre isnt an exact copy of the iMac, which, of course, leads to people bemoaning us dumb Apple fanbois who think everything is a copy of an Apple product, including toasters because theyre made of aluminum LOL stupid fanbois.

The Next Webs Matthew Panzarino called it like he saw it, though:

HP Introduces New Apple iMac

And, oh, the hissy fits that were thrown in the comments! Is there some sort of finishing school these commenters go to in order to learn how to maximize the hissy of their fits? Is there some kind of rigorous training program? Because thats a lot of hissy for one fit.

From the top angle picture, its hard to argue that the Spectre doesnt look almost exactly like an iMac. The side angle, however, does show that the Spectre looks slightly crappier and therefore less like an iMac.

The touchpad mouse, though & give the Macalope a break.

Look, its not like HP doesnt have a history of this. One need look no further than the cutting edge design of the hi-lariously named HP Envy.

Apologists for ripoffs like this contend that its just the natural evolution of computer product lines, but if thats the case it seems that the designers of the other lines HP announcedthe Envy 20 and 23 and the Pavillion 20are playing in the wrong gene pool. Because while its an all-in-one desktop, it doesnt look at all like an iMac. Personally, the Macalope thinks its design cues came more from exercise equipment, but it does put the lie to the idea that Apples designs are somehow the only conceivable option.

Face facts, people. Companies are copying Apple designs. In a sub-argument about whether sites that report on these product announcements should be pointing out the design influence, Joshua Topolsky says the reason The Verge didnt in this instance is because its obvious people rip off Apple. It is not news.

Well, its apparently news to the people who commented on Panzarinos post.

It might not even be a dumb thing to copy Apple. Samsungs done OK doing it. (Well, up until the whole court case thing, anyway.) Its obviously lazier than coming up with a nice design of your own, but at least when you copy an Apple design you know youre starting from something people like.



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