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Latest post 11-02-2011 9:03 AM by Jeff. 32 replies.
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  • 10-24-2011 11:30 PM

    Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    We all know that Apple stole the click wheel from B&O's Beocom 6000 (B&O admitted 'dropping the ball' on that one). But I think I've found another instance of Apple stealing from B&O. Below is a pic of an old B&O remote control that is currently for sale on ebay:

    Notice anything familiar?? (hint: look at the top left 2 keys)

     

    Now, take a look at Apple's loading icon:

    Anyone else see it????

    My B&O: 2009 Catalogue and Pricelist

  • 10-25-2011 1:32 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    Haha, that is good. 

    Might be that Apple had a look at BEO. It is known that Jobs was a big fan of BEO. 

    Beo Time, A8, EarSet3i, EarSet2, BC2, BC6, BL3, BL11, Apple TV1, BEO Ballpen, BL2000, BL3500

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    Thank you

  • 10-25-2011 2:36 AM In reply to

    • Yendys
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    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    Very cool find

    BV10, AvantDVD, BS3000, BL8000, BL6000, BL4000, BL3500, BeoPorts, BC9300, BC7002, CX100s, C75s, Beo4s, BC6000s, LC2s, A9, A8s,

  • 10-25-2011 5:48 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    Perhaps rather than "stealing" this was a case of a design element being used because it was just in the mind of the apple person, who used/saw B&O products for some time.

    There are some things that are hard to design completey uniquely -  and a wheel, be it an icon, control or an actual wheel is a good example. 

    That design also looks a bit like the BBC clock design of the 70's. 

    Imagine if every car made was deemed to be a rip-off of the 1st Model T by Henry Ford....just because it used wheels..... after all, they are round, ones, at each corner, with an axle.....its so obvious.   plus, there was a seat for the driver.   ALL cars are derivative. !!

    The wheel on the bcom 6000 ( maybe even the MCP) is said to be the inspiration behind the first ipod wheels.... maybe, but either it was just round and a similar size, or Apple did enough differently behind the scenes for it not to be theft ( or did B&O not register the mechanism fully, to prevent "theft"  ?? )

    Either way, you can hardly blame apple for adopting (legally) the best options aavailable for design elements.

     

  • 10-25-2011 6:53 AM In reply to

    • Michael
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    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    The loading icon was also used on a reel to reel player my dad had in his office once. That might have been pioneer. 

     

    Interesting find jon especially in the light that apple thinks that android is operating on stolen ideas. 

  • 10-25-2011 11:09 AM In reply to

    • Jeff
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    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    It always amuses me when Apple accuses any one else of stealing ideas, considering Apple is based almost entirely off ideas stolen from Xerox PARC and others themselves.

    The whole Apple vs. Microsoft argument basically boils down to who managed to more successfully develop ideas stolen from Xerox.

  • 10-25-2011 12:41 PM In reply to

    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    Quite uninformed comment there, Jeff. You might want to code up your history quotient a touch. The Xerox Parc canard's getting boring - the real story is a lot more telling, and interesting.

    Having someone using the spokes of a wheel, or the hour bars of a clock as a rotating count-down seems too obviously generic to be called imitation or theft. But I'd say that Apple's present generation of devices has borrowed extensively from the B&O expression that Jacob Jensen created and David Lewis therefore hated. Ive's also been known to be a great fan of Braun design, as evidenced in more instances than one.

    BTW - the wheel for the dial actually comes from a Braun transistor radio, which predates both B&O and Apple.

     

    Here's a first hint, Jeff:

     

    The closest thing in the history of computing to a Prometheus myth is the late 1979 visit to Xerox PARC by a group of Apple engineers and executives led by Steve Jobs. According to early reports, it was on this visit that Jobs discovered the mouse, windows, icons, and other technologies that had been developed at PARC. These wonders had been locked away at PARC by a staff that didn't understand the revolutionary potential of what they had created. Jobs, in contrast, was immediately converted to the religion of the graphical user interface, and ordered them copied by Apple, starting down the track that would eventually yield the Lisa and "insanely great" Macintosh. The Apple engineers-- that band of brothers, that bunch of pirates-- stole the fire of the gods, and gave it to the people.

    It's a good story. Unfortunately, it's also wrong in almost every way a story can be wrong. There are problems with chronology and timing. The testimony of a number of key figures at Apple suggests that the visit was not the revelation early accounts made it out to be. But the story also carries deeper assumptions about Apple, Xerox PARC, computer science in the late 1970s, and even the nature of invention and innovation that deserve to be examined and challenged.

    Snip ...

    there were actually two visits by groups from Apple to Xerox PARC in 1979. Steve Jobs was on the second of the two. Jef Raskin, who helped arranged both visits, explained that he wanted Jobs to visit PARC to understand work that was already going on at Apple. The Macintosh project had escaped the chopping block several times, and Raskin had tried to explain to Jobs the significance of the technologies it was incorporating. By showing that other companies considered this kind of work exciting, Raskin hoped to boost the value of the Macintosh's work in Jobs' eyes. Unbeknownst to Raskin, Jobs had his own reasons for visiting PARC: Xerox's venture capital arm had recently made an investment in Apple, and had agreed to show Apple what was going on in its lab.

     

    http://www-sul.stanford.edu/mac/parc.html

     

    Jobs never made a secret of his admiration for Dieter Rams, mentioning his work for Braun at a 1982 design conference he participated in, where he was asked to speak on the future of design. He owned both B&O and Braun products, and it was his veneration of Rams which led him to hire Esslinger as his head of design, when he got Apple to sign a contract with Esslinger, who would be in charge of Apple product design under Esslinger's "Form follows emotion" motto.

    1960:

  • 10-25-2011 5:12 PM In reply to

    • SWISS_2
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    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    That may be, but it did not stop Apple from then filing rather specious lawsuits over products they claim they invented and then patented.

    1. The "Soap Bar " lawsuit: Anything that looked or acted like a mouse was Apple's product and could not be used without royalties paid.

    2. The " Colour " screen Lawsuit. Mozaic had also been invented and patented, but again Apple claimed again it was an Apple invention and patent.

    There is a historical pattern of this most recently here in Europe regarding Samsung and Apple. It is clear if one wishes to read very long and boring legal transcripts that many Patent Jurists listen to the PR arguments presented in court, rather than actually reading the actual details of the patents themselves. That might be too long and difficult for them to do.

    Please do not take this as a crticism of Apple itself, which has clearly revolutionized our world in this Century. If B&O made the naive mistake of not making a patent registration, and Apple then did so later with the IPOD, that is a mistake B&O surely regrets. But it is more than refining an original product or component into a better one, as the Japanese were known for regarding quality.

    This is something else when one takes credit and claims royalties in court, for legal patents very strongly documented by other companies and their hard working employees many years before.

    One wonders what might have happened to the IPOD if B&O had actually registered and enforced a patent on the wheel control it originally came up with.  B&O missed the Ferry on that one sadly, but good for Apple and the IPOD.

  • 10-25-2011 6:10 PM In reply to

    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    soundproof:
    But I'd say that Apple's present generation of devices has borrowed extensively from the B&O expression that Jacob Jensen created and David Lewis therefore hated.

    I'm not so sure that Lewis hated the Jacob Jensen design. Confused One of the first audio products that Lewis designed -the Beocenter 2200 was very much inspired by Jensen. And f.ex. the Beosound 9000 looks like it could have been designed by Jensen. 

     

  • 10-25-2011 7:19 PM In reply to

    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    WOW!! I was just being 'tongue-in-cheek' with my OP!!

    It seems I've opened Pandora's Box LaughingLaughingLaughing

    My B&O: 2009 Catalogue and Pricelist

  • 10-26-2011 5:50 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    If Apple copied the "sunbeam" or "spinning wheel" icon from B&O, who did B&O copy it from? The mayans?

     

    That's really a symbol that has been around for almost forever in some form.

     

     

    -Andreas

     

    BLab5, BLab5000, BLab8000, BV10, BS9000, BS3, Beo5, Beo4, BLink1000, BLink5000, BLink7000, A2, A8, Form2

     

     

     

  • 10-26-2011 1:47 PM In reply to

    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    Steffen:

    soundproof:
    But I'd say that Apple's present generation of devices has borrowed extensively from the B&O expression that Jacob Jensen created and David Lewis therefore hated.

    I'm not so sure that Lewis hated the Jacob Jensen design. Confused One of the first audio products that Lewis designed -the Beocenter 2200 was very much inspired by Jensen. And f.ex. the Beosound 9000 looks like it could have been designed by Jensen. 

     

    I am.  Wink

     

     

  • 10-26-2011 2:58 PM In reply to

    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    1. Inventor of the GUI

    2. Inventor of the Click wheel

    3. Inventor of the most perfect and high-quality music codec

    4. .....

    5. .....

    Couple more and I'm sure you can get him canonized into the Roman Catholic (or Zen Buddist equivalent) Church.

     

    10

     

  • 10-26-2011 3:16 PM In reply to

    • Puncher
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    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    Mr10Percent:

    3. Inventor of the most perfect and high-quality music codec

    By what measure (or am I being stupid while you're being sarcastic)Erm???

    Generally speaking, you aren't learning much if your lips are moving.

  • 10-27-2011 4:04 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    I'm not on board with what 10% writes.

    Apple does have numerous inventions under its belt, but what they are extremely good at is to improve upon existing interfaces and placing them within relevant contexts that add value to the customer experience. Jobs was obsessive about the customer experience, just as Jensen was.

    Look at Jacob Jensen's products - most redefined the category they were in, not just through form, but through function that adapted to the user, and that was extremely sophisticated in relation to competitors' products in its category. These threads that home in on a little visual in an Apple product that may have had a twin on a B&O product are indicative of B&O's problem today - where it's the form/exterior design that is given precedence, over the unique customer experience delivered by the product.

    Jensen made the products under a very Apple-like marching order from management: make it the best in its category, and simple to use.

    Beolab 5000 amplifier - still an amazing product, simply out of this world when it was launched - so much so that Kubrick put it in Clockwork Orange, as something belonging in the future. And with features that are missing from most of today's amplifiers, though some are returning.

    Beogram 4000 - while B&O had simplified the setting up of a turntable with the ingenious ST-tonearms, there were still a number of manual, customer experience unfriendly steps to perform. Together with Pramnik and his team, Jensen and B&O engineers were able to surmount those, in another "out of this world" touch-panel equivalent. Tangential tracking, touch-panel interface, brilliant suspension system, astounding speed control.

    I'm not going to go through all the products - but B&O had Apple's spirit back then, and it translated into astonishing product/customer experiences. It was a given that B&O would apply remote controls, provide superior sound/image, interface all the peripherals through an analog hub.

    What Apple did, and B&O should have done, is to apply the same philosophy in the digital domain. But B&O was comfortable with having a significant portion of its customers locked in behind the Masterlink fence, and uncomfortable with innovating after Betamax - even making it company "philosophy" to stop trying to lead the way ...

    I hope Mantoni can kick-start B&O into embracing the future again. All it has to do is to emulate itself during the Jacob Jensen years and remember the customer friendly UI that B&O used to deliver. B&O now strangely insists on the furniture quotient of its product delivery (the cabinet makers regained power when Jensen left). The official site still states colors as a technical specification, and gives the size of the product before anything else.

    And the challenge of "interfacing" with B&O products, particularly together with other peripherals? It's been a ten year battle to get B&O products to do what customers want them to do, and now that they are it's translating into sales.

     

     

    Of course Jobs copied B&O - he seems to have copied everything the company did while it was successful: B&O used to be at the intersection between technology and the humanities; it led the categories it was in through intelligent application of integrated technologies and design; it created its own stores to have control of the initiate's product experience and create brand cachet.

    I don't know whether there is a copy on this site of the 7 CICs that B&O developed in 1971. They were the "Corporate Identity Components".

    Authenticity
    Autovisuality
    Credibility
    Domesticity
    Essentiality
    Inventiveness
    Selectivity 

    It's Apple's philosophy, down to the fingerprints at the end of the poster.

     


  • 10-27-2011 4:12 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    For those wanting a nice laugh. Point number 4 in the CICs is Domesticity. That paragraph ends with:

    "Our aim is also to harness technology in such a way that it becomes completely subservient, tame and familiar to man in his home environment."

    37 years later (!) you launch Beo5. And let's commiserate with the poor souls who had to enter the program-information from 400 CDs into their BeoSound 3200s, character by character, using a Beo4.

     

    If B&O had stuck to their own Corporate Identity Components ...


  • 10-27-2011 6:36 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    soundproof:

    I'm not on board with what 10% writes.

    Apple does have numerous inventions under its belt, but what they are extremely good at is to improve upon existing interfaces and placing them within relevant contexts that add value to the customer experience. Jobs was obsessive about the customer experience, just as Jensen was.

    Look at Jacob Jensen's products - most redefined the category they were in, not just through form, but through function that adapted to the user, and that was extremely sophisticated in relation to competitors' products in its category. These threads that home in on a little visual in an Apple product that may have had a twin on a B&O product are indicative of B&O's problem today - where it's the form/exterior design that is given precedence, over the unique customer experience delivered by the product.

    Jensen made the products under a very Apple-like marching order from management: make it the best in its category, and simple to use.

    Beolab 5000 amplifier - still an amazing product, simply out of this world when it was launched - so much so that Kubrick put it in Clockwork Orange, as something belonging in the future. And with features that are missing from most of today's amplifiers, though some are returning.

    Beogram 4000 - while B&O had simplified the setting up of a turntable with the ingenious ST-tonearms, there were still a number of manual, customer experience unfriendly steps to perform. Together with Pramnik and his team, Jensen and B&O engineers were able to surmount those, in another "out of this world" touch-panel equivalent. Tangential tracking, touch-panel interface, brilliant suspension system, astounding speed control.

    I'm not going to go through all the products - but B&O had Apple's spirit back then, and it translated into astonishing product/customer experiences. It was a given that B&O would apply remote controls, provide superior sound/image, interface all the peripherals through an analog hub.

    What Apple did, and B&O should have done, is to apply the same philosophy in the digital domain. But B&O was comfortable with having a significant portion of its customers locked in behind the Masterlink fence, and uncomfortable with innovating after Betamax - even making it company "philosophy" to stop trying to lead the way ...

    I hope Mantoni can kick-start B&O into embracing the future again. All it has to do is to emulate itself during the Jacob Jensen years and remember the customer friendly UI that B&O used to deliver. B&O now strangely insists on the furniture quotient of its product delivery (the cabinet makers regained power when Jensen left). The official site still states colors as a technical specification, and gives the size of the product before anything else.

    And the challenge of "interfacing" with B&O products, particularly together with other peripherals? It's been a ten year battle to get B&O products to do what customers want them to do, and now that they are it's translating into sales.

     

     

    Of course Jobs copied B&O - he seems to have copied everything the company did while it was successful: B&O used to be at the intersection between technology and the humanities; it led the categories it was in through intelligent application of integrated technologies and design; it created its own stores to have control of the initiate's product experience and create brand cachet.

    I don't know whether there is a copy on this site of the 7 CICs that B&O developed in 1971. They were the "Corporate Identity Components".

    Authenticity
    Autovisuality
    Credibility
    Domesticity
    Essentiality
    Inventiveness
    Selectivity 

    It's Apple's philosophy, down to the fingerprints at the end of the poster.

     

     

    GREAT Post !!

     

    I understand this is a B&O enthusiast forum but there is such a thing as constructive criticism and B&O needs some. This type of post and I hope it is read by B&O people/management or stakeholder is what will help push the company forward.

    I like B&O but I am far from a fanboy. I find it utterly bizarre that in these days and ages it is sooo difficult to interface B&O with other products. I also find the emphasis on style not on performance or function, disturbing as pointed so judiciously in the quoted post, colors and dimensions in specs.... I will quickly add that the last speakers from B&O are the real deal, witht he Beolab 5 seducing moore than an unsuspecting audiophile, yet try to interface it with anything non-Beo or anyhting purely digital .. Ohhhh!  the agony . B&O is missing the boat on the digital revolution. I do find the Beosound Encore a beautiful product but what does it do that a PC running the countless of free software PLus an iPad/any Tablet really don't do? Really? I can go for example on the rebadged Panasonic Plasma screen B&O sells for a brutal premium and that scarcely add any value to the original proposition, IOW what should I but the 103" Beovision rather than the Panasonic? could it be the moving stand ? SOmthing that amkes NO sense in my opinion once you go past 50 inch? I understand the emphasis on style but performance and function must be there and this is what Apple does regularly... 

    B&O can lead as proven brilliantly with the IcePower design .. They have chosen to follow in their consumer business .. this could come to be their downfall.. They are becoming more and more irrelevant with this direction ...

     

  • 10-27-2011 11:29 AM In reply to

    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    Mr10Percent:

    1. Inventor of the GUI

    2. Inventor of the Click wheel

    3. Inventor of the most perfect and high-quality music codec

    4. .....

    5. .....

    Couple more and I'm sure you can get him canonized into the Roman Catholic (or Zen Buddist equivalent) Church.

     

    10

     

    When you've revolutionsed the computer industry ( Apple 2 , Mac etc ) , the mobile phone industry ( iPhone / iOS ), the film industry ( Pixar / Disney ) , the music industry ( ipod / iTunes ), the publishing industry ( Desktop Publishing , iBooks ) , the retail industry ( Apple stores ) and the entire internet ( Tim Berners lee invented the whole thing on a NeXT computer - which morphed into os-x ) , get back to me 

    Whistle

  • 10-27-2011 11:58 AM In reply to

    • SWISS_2
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on 04-16-2007
    • Neuchatel, Suisse
    • Posts 552
    • Gold Member

    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    On the subject of good product invention, versus patent lawsuits filed by Apple, here is an example of how aggressive Apple can actually be:

    http://www.thelocal.de/society/20111026-38449.html

    Cease and desist order from Cupertino, California ?  I don't believe anyone would confuse the two companies. do you ? 

    There is a saying going around about sometimes being on the pointed end of the stick. This is the dumb end of the stick that picked up something in the street on a hot day. Get back to teamwork, invention, and innovation, Cupertino.

  • 10-27-2011 12:00 PM In reply to

    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    Flappo:

    Mr10Percent:

    1. Inventor of the GUI

    2. Inventor of the Click wheel

    3. Inventor of the most perfect and high-quality music codec

    4. .....

    5. .....

    Couple more and I'm sure you can get him canonized into the Roman Catholic (or Zen Buddist equivalent) Church.

     

    10

     

    When you've revolutionsed the computer industry ( Apple 2 , Mac etc ) , the mobile phone industry ( iPhone / iOS ), the film industry ( Pixar / Disney ) , the music industry ( ipod / iTunes ), the publishing industry ( Desktop Publishing , iBooks ) , the retail industry ( Apple stores ) and the entire internet ( Tim Berners lee invented the whole thing on a NeXT computer - which morphed into os-x ) , get back to me 

    Whistle

     

    I feel enriched - not!

    I think some people should get out more and get a life.

  • 10-27-2011 12:02 PM In reply to

    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    ie; you've got no rational reply so you rely on childish insults.

     

    Your avatar suits you well.

  • 10-27-2011 12:13 PM In reply to

    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    Excellent posts as always Soundproof! Yes -  thumbs up

    -Andreas

     

    BLab5, BLab5000, BLab8000, BV10, BS9000, BS3, Beo5, Beo4, BLink1000, BLink5000, BLink7000, A2, A8, Form2

     

     

     

  • 10-27-2011 12:18 PM In reply to

    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    I do agree that the JJ days were when BnO had some real product synergy , they really did cover all the bases. Why look elsewhere when they made superb LP players , amps , speakers , cassette decks , tv's, VCR's , the lot ?

    Now it's only the speakers and a few of the TV's that seem to really share the same cohesive strategy that bno once had.

    The transition from analogue to digital seems to have been the big problem for them . Oh , and the internet.

  • 10-27-2011 12:20 PM In reply to

    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    SWISS_2:

    On the subject of good product invention, versus patent lawsuits filed by Apple, here is an example of how aggressive Apple can actually be:

    http://www.thelocal.de/society/20111026-38449.html

    Cease and desist order from Cupertino, California ?  I don't believe anyone would confuse the two companies. do you ? 

    There is a saying going around about sometimes being on the pointed end of the stick. This is the dumb end of the stick that picked up something in the street on a hot day. Get back to teamwork, invention, and innovation, Cupertino.

     

    You may want to brush up on copyright law and trademark law, then. If you are to successfully defend your trademark, you need to show that you are policing your trademark.

    Apple Computers, which it was called then, paid USD 500 million to Apple records to be allowed to use the name Apple freely, also in contexts where music products were being promoted or sold. Apple has spent considerably more on protecting the trademark through the years, and needs to continue to do so, particularly now that they have dropped Computers from their name.

    Therefore, these lawsuits are necessities, to be able to demonstrate in a court of law that the company is protecting its domain -- if it fails to do so, when such instances have been brought to its attention, this fact can be used against it in other cases.

    It's a snake-biting-its-tail thing, and I'm sure they'd like to not have to bother. The law derives from the same property protection statutes that arise when someone doesn't fence in, mark or properly protect their property from trespassers - eventually, you may lose the right to possess your property, due to neglect.

    But if you're out to whip Apple, then it's a welcome reason to do so, of course.

  • 10-27-2011 12:31 PM In reply to

    Re: Apple & B&O: is imitation the best form of flattery??

    bayerische:

    Excellent posts as always Soundproof! Yes -  thumbs up

    +1 Yes -  thumbs up

    Beoworld's twenty-eighth ninth prize winner and fifty-first second prize winner. Best £30 I've ever spent!

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