Samsung yesterday presented its Samsung Pass feature yesterday. Like Apple’s Face ID and Touch ID, this allows your face or fingerprint to log you in to things like e-banking services.

But the functionality wasn’t the only thing like Face ID: Samsung blatantly copied Apple’s icon…

You can see above Samsung’s presentation slide on the left, and Apple’s Face ID icon on the right. The two aren’t just similar, they are virtually identical. The rounded corner edges, with the straight sections removed. The vertical eyes. The J-shaped nose. The proportions of the smile.

Samsung can’t even use Xiaomi’s unconvincing excuse here for its Apple clones.

If you have two similarly skilled designers, it makes sense that they would reach the same conclusion. It doesn’t matter if somebody else has reached the same conclusion.

When you’re designing an icon to represent a face, vertical eyes are not the obvious choice for Samsung to have made.

As John Gruber noted, the design was a very specifically Apple one, as it was a throwback to the Finder icon used on the very first Macintosh way back in 1984. That’s why the vertical eyes.

Especially egregious given that Face ID’s ‘face’ isn’t just some random smiley face — it’s clearly drawn from the Finder icon, which itself draws from Susan Kare’s brilliant original 1984 Mac startup icon.

They might as well use an apple with a bite out of it, too.

You can see here the obvious family resemblance.

Macintosh and Face ID icons

Business Insider observes that it’s especially odd to steal the icon for the slide.

The facial and fingerprint recognition icons actually used by Samsung Pass appear to be different (though the fingerprint icon still looks much like Apple’s Touch ID icon), so it wasn’t clear why the slide included these particular icons.

Apple’s icon is a registered trademark, so things could get legally awkward for Samsung.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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