Apple reportedly paid $21M to use Swiss Railway clock design

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A report on Saturday claims that Apple paid some $21 million to license the iconic clock-face used in its most recent iOS 6 mobile operating system, a design made famous by the Swiss Federal Railway's train station clocks.

Clock
Left: Apple's iOS 6 clock. Right: the clock design owned by SBB.


According to global news agency AFP (via CNET), Apple reportedly agreed to pay a "lump sum" of $21 million to the railway service, known as SBB, for rights to the clock design seen in iOS 6 on the iPad.

The original clock-face was designed by SBB employee Hans Hilfiker in 1944, and has been recognized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the London Design Museum as an iconic example of 20th century design.

It was reported in September that SBB found Apple's use of the design objectionable, and said the two companies would "talk about" reaching some sort of agreement. The Swiss rail service denied reports that it was demanding compensation, and instead said it was proud that a company such as Apple chose to use the design.

"It's not just about exchanging money, rather drawing up a contract stating where the logo can be used, under what conditions and for how long," SBB spokeswoman Patricia Claivaz said at the time.

In mid-October, it was announced that the two parties had reached an agreement, though the terms of the deal were meant to be kept secret.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 97
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member


    Pathetic!

  • Reply 2 of 97
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member


    That's an irresponsible use of company money, they should have just changed the app.

  • Reply 3 of 97


    Originally Posted by ascii View Post

    That's an irresponsible use of company money…


     


    Hoo boy…

  • Reply 4 of 97


    If that's true, that's just a waste of money!  I would just change the clock face.  How many of us actually use this feature?  It sounds like Apple got caught using protected property and just want to pay a lump sum to avoid being sued...  What a waste of $21 million.  Maybe this is the reason why a certain executive is on his way out???

  • Reply 5 of 97


    Now THAT's some clock!


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  • Reply 6 of 97
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zeromeus View Post


    If that's true, that's just a waste of money!  I would just change the clock face.  How many of us actually use this feature?  It sounds like Apple got caught using protected property and just want to pay a lump sum to avoid being sued...  What a waste of $21 million.  Maybe this is the reason why a certain executive is on his way out???



    I don't know why they decided to change the clock just for the iPad. Why not just leave it the way it was and still is on the iPhone?

  • Reply 7 of 97
    This is completely irresponsible. What the fu** is the Apple management team thinking?
  • Reply 8 of 97
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post


    Now THAT's some clock!


    /


    /



    Yeah they argue tooth and nail for $1 per iPhone for Motorola's important cellular patents yet give more than $2 per iPad that will be sold this quarter for a clock face. Makes no sense. They should have just apologized and changed it back to the original design.

  • Reply 9 of 97
    irelandireland Posts: 17,548member
    Great design costs. This is what separates Apple from every other company. They pay for stuff like this because it matters. It may not be obvious, or it may not matter to you, personally, but it matters in the bigger picture. It speaks volumes for the brand, to me.
  • Reply 10 of 97
    Most famous paintings aren't worth that much. I can't comprehend how Apple can justify $21 million.
  • Reply 11 of 97


    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

    Great design costs. This is what separates Apple from every other company. They pay for stuff like this because it matters. It may not be obvious, or it may not matter to you, personally, but it matters in the bigger picture. It speaks volumes for the brand, to me.


     


    GOOD, at least one other person gets it.

  • Reply 12 of 97
    irelandireland Posts: 17,548member
    mstone wrote: »
    Yeah they argue tooth and nail for $1 per iPhone for Motorola's important cellular patents yet give more than $2 per iPad that will be sold this quarter for a clock face. Makes no sense.

    It makes no sense to you. But you aren't Apple, you don't know why they think this is important. The Moto case is completely irrelevant, and the $2 per iPad figure? Where did you get that from?
  • Reply 13 of 97
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Hoo boy…



    Well, you know, how many hours of software dev on OS X could that have bought? 100 guys for 2 years?

  • Reply 14 of 97


    This is something that deserves to be in the Guinness World Records.

  • Reply 15 of 97
    ireland wrote: »
    Great design costs. This is what separates Apple from every other company. They pay for stuff like this because it matters. It may not be obvious, or it may not matter to you, personally, but it matters in the bigger picture. It speaks volumes for the brand, to me.

    Couldn't agree more.

    Some people will never get Apple.
  • Reply 16 of 97


    Yes, pathetic.


     


    You know, my daughter is in high school. She told me some people can't even read a clock. They are so used to digital.


     


    Also, besides copying the design (which is total FAIL), it's too complicated. It should be simpler. Or something innovative and different.


     


    Thankfully, Ive is in charge now and will turn things around. 


     


    Forstall is a bozo.


     


    P

  • Reply 17 of 97


    Originally Posted by ascii View Post

    Well, you know, how many hours of software dev on OS X could that have bought? 100 guys for 2 years?


     


    Money ? best software in the world. You're not thinking in the right terms.

  • Reply 18 of 97
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post



    Great design costs. This is what separates Apple from every other company. They pay for stuff like this because it matters. It may not be obvious, or it may not matter to you, personally, but it matters in the bigger picture. It speaks volumes for the brand, to me.


    Analog clock face is passé anyway. I'm surprised Apple is using that outdated symbol as it is. When you ask the guy on the street what time it is he pulls out his cell phone and the digital time is exact, not some approximate minutes past the o'clock.

  • Reply 18 of 97
    irelandireland Posts: 17,548member
    ascii wrote: »
    Well, you know, how many hours of software dev on OS X could that have bought? 100 guys for 2 years?

    100 guys for 2 years to do what? Throwing people behind development at Apple might bring about worse products, not better.
  • Reply 20 of 97
    mac-user wrote: »
    This is something that deserves to be in the Guinness World Records.

    Why? Under what heading? "Company spends 0.00408% of market cap on design it wants"?
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