Invalid Arguments: Samsung Copied Apple’s Fingerprint Scanner

There’s a world wide consensus that at every turn, left or right, Samsung is not only taking notes from Apple, but copying Apple in every way, shape and form possible. The courts believed it so and showcased the belief by awarding Apple the sum of 1 billion dollars on grounds of patent infringement. The people believe it with comments regarding the Samsung Galaxy S5 with readers saying “Meh…..boring samsung. Cant just keep the size increasing. All you do is copy apple and make some money out of it.” The journalist believe it, too; Zach Epstein of BGR has a piece entitled “Is Samsung about to take yet another page out of Appleā€™s playbook?

Do I believe it too? To an extent, yes I do believe that in certain aspects Samsung is in fact copying Apple. However, when it comes to the fingerprint scanner, I firmly believe that Samsung isn’t copying Apple. In fact, I firmly believe that Apple is the one who took the fingerprint scanner idea from Android.

Depending on what you consider to be a smartphone, the first smartphone running a popular mobile operating system to actually implement the finger scanner was constructed by the hands of Motorola.

Atrix 4G Fingerprint Scanner

Atrix 4G Fingerprint Scanner

In 2011, 3 years after Android was first released, Motorola released the Motorola Atrix 4G. The Atrix featured a Nvidia Tegra 2 AP20H, 2 core processor @ 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9, and, you guessed it, a fingerprint scanner. The Atrix 4G was launched almost 3 years before Apple released the iPhone 5S with fingerprint capabilities. Going back even further, the first (dumb) phones to have a fingerprint scanner came out in 2007 at the hands of Toshiba.

For everyone that is going out and saying that Samsung is blatantly copying Apple on the fingerprint argument is only doing so under the implications that Apple has implemented the fingerprint scanner first. I will admit that Apple is probably the first to make it mainstream, but credits must be given where credits are due; Motorola is the first to put a fingerprint scanner on a smartphone. My argument isn’t that they implemented it properly, as it is obvious that Apple’s implementation is far better and we will have to wait to see how Samsung’s works out but my argument is that, as far as smartphones go, Motorola was the first. Period.

This is typically of Apple and their lovers. For Apple, waiting until the technology develops before implementing a feature is how they do things over in Cupertino. As a result, I believe that Apple is not actually innovative but take the ideas of others and improve on them. For the Apple lovers, when Apple does something they believe it to be the first of their kind because they don’t follow other products. They cause themselves to be blind until it suits them best not to be.

So what have we learned?

  1. The first phone to have a fingerprint scanner was made by Toshiba
  2. The first smartphone to have a fingerprint scanner is the Motorola Atrix 4G
  3. Motorola put Toshiba’s idea on a smartphone
  4. Apple copied Motorola
  5. Samsung copied Motorola
  6. Everyone copies. Deal with it.

About the author

Tristan Thomas

Currently studying Information Technology at Georgia Southern University, Tristan uses Tech Analyzer as a venting outlet for how he interprets the technological world around him.

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