HTC: We didn’t copy the iPhone, Apple copied us

Spot the difference.

Spot the difference.

HTC has been getting a lot of stick for its brand new One A9, which looks just like another iPhone clone. But the Taiwanese company insists that the design was its own idea, and that Apple actually copied HTC’s first unibody phone that was released in 2013.

“We’re not copying,” said Jack Tong, president of HTC North Asia, at the One A9’s Taiwan launch briefing. “We made a uni-body metal-clad phone in 2013. It’s Apple that copies us in terms of the antenna design on the back.”

HTC has a point… kind of.

Its original One M7 was the first smartphone with a metal unibody that had antenna bands built into its back. But the iPhone 6 wasn’t a clone of the One — it was obviously a different handset in many ways — whereas the new A9 is a spitting image of Apple’s device.

“The A9 is made thinner and more lightweight than our previous metal-clad phones. This is a change and evolution, and we’re not copying,” Tong continued.

Either way, the One A9 won’t be competing against the iPhone, though. Unlike other devices in the One series, this model has swapped high-end specifications for more affordable alternatives, allowing HTC to price the device at $399 — $249 less than an iPhone 6s — off-contract.