Apple Accused Of Stealing iOS 6 Clock Design From Swiss Railways

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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SBB confirms that it is in negotiations with Apple over the traditional clock design

It appears as though the less than positive response to Apple Maps might not be the only iPhone 5 headache for Apple, as it has now been accused of stealing the design for its new iOS 6 clock application.

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has confirmed to TechWeekEurope that it is in negotiations with Apple over what it considers to be the unauthorised use of the design of the official SBB clock, Mondaine.

The design is used in all clocks at stations operated by SBB and was created in the 1940s by Swiss engineer and designer Hans Hilfiker.

iOS 6 Clock

The distinctive design features no numbers, with minutes denoted by black lines and a red second hand moving in a smooth motion around the clock before it stops at the top of the minute for 1.5 seconds to allow trains to leave promptly.

The clocks have become a symbol of the famed Swiss punctuality, and are given to foreign countries as a sign of friendship.  One was given to London in 1985 and is currently located in Leicester square.

The clock design used by Apple in iOS 6 bears a striking resemblance to Mondaine and even mimics the smooth motion of the second hand, if not the 1.5 second break at the top of the minute. Apple had not responded to requests for comment at the time of writing.

iOS 6 was rolled out to compatible iDevices yesterday with a range of new features. However it has removed native apps for Google Maps and YouTube, replacing the former with a new Apple Maps application that has been universally panned. Users have reported that it is littered with inaccuracies and is far less detailed than Google’s rival service.

The software will come preinstalled on the new iPhone 5, which was launched earlier today to massive queues and excitement in London. The smartphone boasts a larger screen, support for 4G Long Term Evolution networks and a brand new eight-pin connector.

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