Originally Posted by bartfat
You can make it entirely metal. You can make it have different designs on the side. You can place the buttons whereever you want. There are lots
of different ways. Think of the different ways people distinguish picture frames. It's the same concept, there's tons of ways to get creative with the shape, despite it being in a "rectangle" format. They'd just rather not experiment, however, because they're betting that people will associate it with an iPad if it looks similarly. And no, no tablet currently looks like an iPad. The Android 3.0 tablets are the closest things that come close to imitating Apple's interface, and they don't look anything like it. The actual hardware on the other hand...
And so their business logic goes something like this:
Step 1: Copy Apple and the black frame as opposed to coming up with some new cool design that doesn't have a matte black or white
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Profit!!
1. Designs on side? No. Because if you're looking at a display, the last thing you want is some design distracting your eyes from what's on the screen. Current screen tech needs a border both to make the device functional, and because you want something to hold that doesn't cover up the screen.
2. volume buttons and the like are experimented with different places. Heck, the Xoom put it on the back right next to the camera. Problem is, that doesn't work. The best place for a power button is somewhere along the edge or sides. This is a pretty common theme in ALL electronics, not just tablets/phones.
3. As for the shape, what do you think they would do? Give it a triangle back? that makes it a pain to hold. Make the back have a more rounded look? This increases the bulk, and makes it harder to rest on a surface..
The fact of the matter is, is that ALL that is required for a device to be considered "Like an iphone" for the general consumer is the following:
1: It is a touchscreen
2: It doesn't have a physical keyboad.
That's it. And sometimes that second point isn't even a requirement because they'll think it is an iphone with a keyboard. Yes, this is how most consumers think. They will know it's "not an iphone" because of the lack of the logo (usually) but they'll refer to it as the "Motorola iphone/ipad" just the same.
That's not to say that Samsung is innocent here. Touchwiz (at least up until the latest version) is a direct attempt to mimic iOS look and feel, and the GalaxyS line is pretty much a parroting of iphone design. That being said, Apple's also going after devices like the Nexus S, the Transform, etc. Devices that don't really look like an iphone device AT ALL besides that they are touchscreen smartphones and they come in black (or white)
IMO, webOS mimics the look and feel of iOS a lot more than stock android does, and yet HP/Palm are seemingly both safe. For that reason alone Apple shouldn't get the Nortel patents. They're using their current patents (even ones that have merit) to go after potential threats first and formost, and not just anyone who violates them.
As for on topic.. I think this is just a delay tactic by samsung, or they may possibly be doing this to try and point out just how crazy patent law gets, hoping that popular opinion will turn against it.