galaxy-tab-10.1-vs-ipadPrior to the iPad’s announcement in 2010, work on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 was already well underway. According to Samsung industrial design Jin Soo Kim, who testified on Wednesday, work on the tablet began in October 2009, predating the original iPad’s unveiling by three months.

By that admission, there’s no way Samsung willfully copied the iPad like Apple is claiming, but instead had something extremely similar already cooking up behind the scenes. Unless someone at Samsung got wind of what Apple had planned prior to the first iPad’s announcement, the Korean company was producing the Galaxy Tab on its own accord, and therefore isn’t a me-too product.

Kim was apparently asked straight up if he ever copied any Apple phone or tablet designs, to which he responded, “I have not.”

Someone in the courtroom then brought up the fact that, in 2011, after the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was first shown off at Mobile World Congress, it was a relatively thick product. And that, once the slimmed down iPad 2 was revealed in early March, Samsung then showed off a skinnier version of the Tab 10.1 during the same month.

Kim defended that Samsung “felt it didn’t have enough competitive advantage so it decided to redesign the product,” AllThingsD wrote. Kim claimed the decision to slim down the Tab 10.1 preceded Apple’s March announcement, and was in no way in response to the iPad 2’s slim frame.

[via AllThingsD]