Apple and Samsung’s ongoing legal dispute is serious business, which is why it’s kind of funny to see the two tech giants engaged in a petty argument over who has the thinnest smartphone.
Yep, Apple likes to tout the iPhone 4 as the thinnest smartphone on the planet. And why not – the device is 24% thinner than the iPhone 3GS so it’s certainly a point worth noting. A quick hop over to Apple’s iPhone page reveals the following:
When creating iPhone 4, Apple designers and engineers didn’t start with a clean sheet of paper. They started with three years of experience designing and building the phones that redefined what a phone can do. iPhone 4 is the result of everything they’ve learned so far. And it’s all contained in a beautiful enclosure a mere 9.3 millimeters thin, making iPhone 4 the world’s thinnest smartphone.
Apple’s flair for the dramatic aside, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received a complaint about Apple’s claim and decided to investigate. And just which smartphone was alleged to be thinner than the iPhone 4? Why the Samsung Galaxy S II, of course. You know, the same smartphone Apple claims copies the look and feel of the iPhone.
Now Samsung’s Galaxy S II is, in fact, thinner at its thinnest point than the iPhone 4 (8.71 mm vs 9.3 mm). But whereas the depth of the iPhone 4 is consistent, the Samsung Galaxy S II is contoured such that it’s thickest point measures in at 9.91mm.
Consequently, because the iPhone’s thickest point is thinner than the Galaxy S II’s thickest point, the ASA ruled that Apple can freely advertise the iPhone as the thinnest smartphone on the planet.
“Apple pointed out that the Galaxy S II had prominent bulges at the top of the device,” the ASA’s ruling reads. “Apple said consumers would not be interested in the thinnest part of the device, but in its overall measurements, as these would, for example, affect whether the device could fit into a pocket or purse.”
And so the ASA agreed and summarily dismissed the original complaint.
So yes, we can’t deny that this is a pretty meaningless victory, but it’s a victory nonetheless and the latest in a string of rulings in favor of Apple as it exercises its legal muscle across the globe in its patent lawsuits against Samsung.