Apple Drops Swiss Railway Clock From iOS 7

Apple replaces famous design less than a year after agreeing £13.6m licensing deal

Apple has apparently dropped the Swiss railway clock for iOS7, less than a year after it was caught using the design without permission, and agreed a hasty licensing deal for it.

The clock app in iOS 6 used the famous design, which is used at all stations operated by SBB, and features no numbers, with minutes denoted by black lines and a red seconds 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.

SBB said although it was flattered by the inclusion of the clock in iOS6 as it confirmed its design status, but added it had been illegally used. The dispute was settled last October for a reported 20 million CHF (£13.6m), but no details of the agreement were made public.

iOS 7 clock

Swiss Railway Clock MondaineHowever videos showing the iPad clock app in iOS 7 appear to show the distinctive red seconds hand has been replaced by a more conventional ‘ticking’ hand, while numbers have been restored to the clock face.

It is unclear whether Apple has excluded the clock for design reasons or because the agreement has expired. Swiss Federal Railways had not responded to TechWeekEurope’s requests for comment at the time of publication.

iOS 7 is due to be released as a free update to a number of smartphones and tablets on 18 September and will be available to the iPhone 4 or later, the iPad 2 or later, the iPad Mini and fifth generation iPod Touch.

Speaking at the launch of the iPhone 5S and 5C, Craig Federighi, Apple senior vice president of Software Engineering, said it was like “getting a whole new device.” It includes a new user interface, overhauled applications, improvements to Siri and notifications, along with the introduction of iTunes Radio.

What do you know about the iPhone 5S and 5C? Find out with our quiz!