Samsung is right to take inspiration from Apple’s iPhone design – here’s why

 The Samsung Galaxy S24 and iPhone 15 Pro on a yellow background.
The Samsung Galaxy S24 and iPhone 15 Pro on a yellow background.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 and Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus are two of the best Samsung phones we’ve ever tested, but there’s no denying that their respective designs are more iPhone-like than perhaps any other Samsung phones that came before them.

Serial industry leaker Ice Universe recently shared a 10-point list of all the ways Samsung’s Galaxy S24 series supposedly “imitates the Apple iPhone,” and while I think it’s a little strong to outright accuse Samsung of copying Apple, a side-by-side comparison of the Samsung Galaxy S24 vs iPhone 15 suggests the Korean giant did at least have Apple on its mind when drawing up the plans for its latest flagship phone.

And honestly, why not? If I were Samsung, I’d continue to keep a close eye on the iPhone 16 rumor mill while developing the Samsung Galaxy S25, and the latest intelligence suggests that the Galaxy S25 will indeed follow the iPhone 16 Pro by sporting a slightly larger screen.

In the replies to that aforementioned Ice Universe post, another prominent Samsung leaker, Revengus, responded that “ultimately, Samsung has only one option: to be a fast follower and emulate Apple.” Do I agree with that statement? Not entirely. But I certainly think that continuing to follow Apple’s lead is the best option for Samsung at this present moment, not least because customers in the latter’s own home market are defecting to iPhone in increasingly large numbers.

Let’s break down the figures. In July 2023, The Korea Herald reported that Apple’s share of the smartphone-owning young adult market (that’s 18-29 year-olds) had risen by 13% to 60% in just one year. By contrast, Samsung’s share of the same market fell to 32% during the same 12-month period. At the time, Samsung controlled just over two-thirds of the Korean market as a whole – and that’s no doubt still the case in 2024 – but Apple’s stock continues to rise among arguably the most important demographic in any country.

The situation is similar for Samsung on a global scale – more Android users are switching to iPhone than vice versa – but I’ve used the Korean market to illustrate that the company is losing touch with the young'uns on its own patch.

A preference for Apple’s cleaner, arguably more aesthetically pleasing design philosophy is only one reason behind this multifaceted phenomenon, but it’s one that Samsung can respond to – and has been responding to – with its new and future products.

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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra beneath an iPhone 15 Pro Max
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra beneath an iPhone 15 Pro Max

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Samsung Galaxy S24 hands on handheld back straight
Samsung Galaxy S24 hands on handheld back straight

It might seem counterintuitive for Samsung to try and replicate the iPhone in its own Galaxy range, since existing iPhone users – who are already happy with their iPhones – would never abandon Apple’s ecosystem for Samsung on the basis of design alone. But this approach may help Samsung stop the bleeding. Or rather, it might just keep current Samsung users, who are tempted by the style and popularity of the iPhone, from jumping ship. If Apple no longer holds the aesthetic advantage, that’s one less thing for Samsung to worry about.

There is such a thing as peak design – just look at the uniformity of modern electric cars – and there’s no shame in Samsung taking inspiration from a competitor with a much tighter grip on the purchasing power of a certain demographic. If you can’t beat them, join them. Then once you’ve joined them, offer better hardware.

As alluded to above, the Samsung Galaxy S24 is the most iPhone-like Samsung phone ever, and Samsung is reaping the rewards of its decision to embrace The Big Apple (overall Galaxy S24 series sales are up 8% year-on-year versus the Galaxy S23 series). The company should endeavour to repeat the trick with the Galaxy S25 series – and by the sounds of things, it will (prominent industry leaker Revengus recently noted that “Samsung seems to be paying more attention to design now. The S25 is very beautiful.”).

Perhaps, then, Samsung can return to its former glory by beating Apple at its own game.

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