March 29, 2005

Apple's iPod Shuffle Design Gets Ripped-off!

...or does it?

A story that broke a few days ago at CeBIT, a major electronics expo, has evolved. It initially looked like taiwanese company Luxpro had ripped off the design (and product concept) of the iPod Shuffle to make a "Super Shuffle". They also displayed it in ways that minimicked the Apple iPod marketing campaign. Apple lawyers were called. People got upset...and for good reasons.

Now it looks like it might have all been a publicity stunt. According to Jack Campbell of DVForge (quoted in the engadget article above):

"The Super Shuffle is not in production by LuxPro." and "The entire CeBit sideshow was planned from the start as a gambit to gain a hugely disproportionate share of the industry’s attention, so as to find a few customers for the Super Shuffle’s electronics."

So the moral of the story is basically, if you're a technology company with no product design expertise, it's okay to rip off another company's design and marketing campaign in order to market your own competing services and long as you don't put the product on the market.

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