Apple accused of 'ripping off' student's iPhone app

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The company allegedly released an app with the same functions, a near-identical logo and the same name, a year after telling the developer that his app was rejected for “security concerns” and for doing things outside the official software development kit’s limits.

Greg Hughes, a third year computer science student at the University of Birmingham, developed an application called “Wi-Fi Sync” and offered it to Apple’s App Store in May 2010. The app was designed to sync iTunes libraries with iPhones over a wireless wireless network rather than via a USB connector.

After the App Store rejected his submission Mr Hughes put his app up for sale on the Cydia store, a rival to the App Store which sells software for “jailbroken” iPhones - devices which have had the usage limitations imposed by Apple removed. The app, priced at $9.99 (£6.07), has become one of Cydia’s top products, selling more than 50,000 copies since its release.

But this Monday, Apple unveiled its new iPhone operating system, iOS 5, with an inbuilt feature also called Wi-Fi Sync, which carries out the same wireless syncing function. It also has a very similar logo [see image above].

Mr Hughes told The Telegraph: “I was completely shocked. I’m in the middle of exams so the timing isn’t great."

"I’d been selling my app with that name and icon for a year. Apple knew about it as I’d submitted it to them, so it was surprising to see that they had pinched it for iOS 5.”

He has taken legal advice and says he intends to pursue the matter further.

“At the end of the day you have to stand up and defend your work,” he said.

Before his app was rejected, Mr Hughes he received a personal call from an App Store representative called Steve Rea, who said that the app was excellent, but had security issues and went beyond the functions specified in the official iPhone software development kit.

“They did say that the iPhone engineering team had looked at it and were quite impressed,” Hughes told The Register. “They asked me to send my CV for after I graduate.”

Wi-Fi Sync was Mr Hughes’ first app release and has funded him through his final year of university. He intends to take up app development full time when he graduates.

For its part, Apple is fiercely protective of its own intellectual property. It recently accused Samsung of “slavish” copying of the iPhone and iPad designs.

And as The Register, a technology news website, points out, it recently sued a student who sold kits allowing iPhone 4 users to convert their black phones to white, it sued Amazon for calling its app store Appstore, and last year it sued HTC for infringing copyrights.

Steve Jobs, the CEO of the company, said at the time: "We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."

Apple declined to comment.

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Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/8565673/Apple-accused-of-ripping-off-students-iPhone-app.html

Quite unsurprising… Apple stealing ideas. :lol:

But I am surprised. Could apple be really that stupid, stealing and going against not so known Mr. Hughes ? I am sure Hughes should have no problems defending himself if he has pre-registered or patented the app to himself before presenting it to apple.

I heard when his app got rejected, he got request for his CV from Apple. But he didn't pursue it. Strange guy.

But, Apple has stole a "lot" in this iOS update. The biggest one was of course Android notification bar.

[quote=“rnathbatra, post:3, topic:14759”]

But, Apple has stole a “lot” in this iOS update. The biggest one was of course Android notification bar.

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Which iOS version has the notification bar ?

^ iOS 5 has a notification centre. Just search for "Apple copies Android" and you will get a zillion results. :)

LoL now steve , thats not cool.. :P

It seemed to be a fake news :-S Why apple would do such a stupid thing :/

Apple is facing another suit against him for Icloude. Apple just give name to its new product Icloude but this name is already in use in USA namely Icloude communications.

[quote=“zed2, post:8, topic:14759”]

Apple is facing another suit against him for Icloude. Apple just give name to its new product Icloude but this name is already in use in USA namely Icloude communications.

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=/

^ There is no need to point it out like that. English is not our first language. I just upvoted zed2. You could have said it in a polite manner as well.

[quote=“careerspk, post:7, topic:14759”]

It seemed to be a fake news :-S Why apple would do such a stupid thing :confused:

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Its not fake. Search for it on Google.

[quote=“rnathbatra, post:10, topic:14759”]

^ There is no need to point it out like that. English is not our first language. I just upvoted zed2. You could have said it in a polite manner as well.

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lol i thought this was polite… =P

[quote=“rnathbatra, post:5, topic:14759”]

^ iOS 5 has a notification centre. Just search for “Apple copies Android” and you will get a zillion results. :)

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So Apple finally realized that a Notification Bar (just like in Android) is necessary. Did they also figure out how to add a SD card slot :P

I am against using SD card as a main storage. Its a pain to manage the memory in Android since there is so less. Typical Android phones come with an internal memory of 256 MB or less. This should be at least 512 MB. SD card has an optional thing is good but internal storage is much better for apps in terms of performance and smoothness.

Which iOS version has the notification bar ?

The upcoming iOS 5 has notification centre. I have also mentioned it above.