One of the key new features Samsung is extolling about its new Galaxy S9 flasghip is animated emoji—whimsical 3D emoji that mimic the movements of your face through facial recognition. That sounds a lot like Apple’s Animoji, which was introduced just last November with the iPhone X, but don’t dare imply Samsung copied the feature, because it did not. Or so says Samsung.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Samsung mobile chief D.J. Koh talked about the Galaxy S9, including its new animated emoji feature and scoffed at the insinuation that it copied Apple’s Animoji. Koh stated he personally looked into the 3D technology back in 2001 for flip phones when he was leading the firm’s mobile research-and-development team and that Samsung and Apple’s implementation of the feature is completely different.
“Their approach and my approach is totally different,” revealed Koh without acknowledging Apple directly. “I do work seriously based off my own roadmap.”
If what Mr. Koh says is true, it doesn’t explain why it took Samsung seventeen years to develop the technology or why it coincidentally followed the release of Apple’s version. To his credit, there is key difference between the services: Apple uses established emoji while Samsung uses custom-made emoji that look more like Bitmoji. However, it is impossible to deny Samsung’s version works a lot like Apple’s.
This wouldn’t be the first time Samsung has copied Apple. The Korean company famously copied Apple’s iOS interface when it was first started with its smartphone Galaxy line. That jump-started a years-long legal war that is still going on.
Apple would be hard pressed to seek a similar battle with Samsung this time around. It’s probably just happy Samsung is being asked the question and has to deny it.