There’s inspiration, emulation and then there’s just ripping off to the point of cloning a product. That’s what Huawei has done with the P9, which, at an angle, is literally indistinguishable from the Apple iPhone
At this point Huawei should be carving out a niche for itself in the smartphone market instead of pandering to a certain demographic. It scored a major victory last year by developing the Nexus 6P for Google so it shouldn’t revert to the practices of its inferiors just to make a buck. Look at the LG G5, it has a 16MP sensor sitting atop another 8 MP sensor. This feature, if rumors are true, is being copied by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) for the iPhone 7 ready to debut in September 2016. LG has really come in to its own while Huawei’s knee jerk reaction has been unoriginal.
The co-founder of IFixIt, Kyle Wiens, did a piece on wired in which he expressed his disdain about this feature. He stated that great artists do steal features from other artist’s best work but the pentalobe screw is a nuisance more than a great feature and Huawei’s decision to copy it is purely aesthetic and not at all functional.
The screw inhibits users from getting in to the device and is a problem for recyclers that break down a phone in to its components. While this might be a win for secure design, it’s a loss for Apple’s policy to make its products green. However, the battery in the Huawei P9 is much more easily accessible according to iFixit due to its ‘not tricky to carry out’ adhesive removal technique.
There are some features that differ including the smooth back that Huawei had the good sense to include in their phone. The camera bump in the iPhone 6 and 6S sets is conspicuously absent. However, the aluminum finish, the silver antenna bands and the chamfered edges all make the P9 a definitive iPhone clone.
And by copying Apple, Huawei has taken no steps forward and two steps back.