Artifacts, Not Process
Over at The Verge there’s a post on the nearly 40 iPhone and iPad prototypes revealed in Samsung trial.
MG Siegler responds:
Let me reiterate my stance that I think it’s fascinating that Apple wants to win this lawsuit badly enough that they’re letting all this previously confidential information get out.
I think Apple is super pissed off they have to reveal all these prototypes, but you know what? It doesn’t matter. And it gives their competition no advantage moving forward. This is because all of these prototypes are artifacts of the creative process, not the creative process itself.
It’s same thing as getting access to the sketchbooks of Da Vinci. Yes, you’re looking at the work of genius, but this in no way helps you create a masterpiece. I would even go as far as saying it’s like getting the source code to a program or website—unless you’re smart enough to know how to work with the code, it’s useless. Marco Arment argued this point in Episode 85 of his Build & Analyze podcast (around the 68-minute mark).
So Samsung and everyone else in the world now has access to old Apple hardware prototypes (rejected ones, I might add), but they’re not getting access to Apple’s creative process for innovation.