These are all the ideas Apple stole from other companies, or people, and sold for billions

Upon its victory over Samsung in California earlier this year, Apple stated: “At Apple, we value originality… We applaud the court… for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right.” However, any neutral observer knows Apple did not invent everything it lays claim to, and Apple’s strength lies more in redesigning existing technologies to attract the masses rather than innovating, per se. Indeed, Apple’s co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs once said “[Apple has] always been shameless about stealing great ideas”.

Ever wonder what ideas Apple “stole” from other companies or people? The following infographic tries to break it down for you, listing all the products or ideas Apple stole, borrowed, or bought from other people or companies. Take note that I haven’t fact-checked the whole infographic, so I don’t know if it is entirely accurate or not; however, based on what I can remember off the top of my head, at least some claims the infographic makes are true. Also note that the infographic may not be all inclusive, especially in the “bought” category; if you know of a technology Apple stole, borrowed, or bought from others, feel free to share in the comments below.

That said, check out the infographic yourself below; you can enlarge it by clicking on it:

Oh, and in case you are wondering why “” would create such an infographic since they don’t appear to be a tech related website or an authoritative source, it is because they are essentially using this as an advertising tool for their website. The more people that read this infographic, the more people read their website link, and the more people visit it. This being an advertising tool, however, doesn’t necessarily mean it is bias or inaccurate, especially since the infographic lists its sources at the bottom.

[via Mashable, infographic via BestMastersPrograms]

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  • BF Collider

    Wow – that’s nuts!

  • Anonymous

    The ultimate idea that was stolen has to be the App Store.

    I embarked in 2003 with an Australian friend to create a user friendly resource for the Nokia N Gage, the site was a huge success, and allowed the downloading of games from the site as opposed to SD card.

    Unfortunately the site was closed by Nokia’s solicitors, however, they sent detailed screenshots and schematics through with the documentation, so I have proof!

    This was 2 years prior to the launch of the iphone.

    Any ideas ?

  • Henning

    Nice list, but I actually think that the click wheel was stolen by Bang & Olufsens BeoCom 6000 phone:

    It was released in 1998.

  • clockmendergb

    That,s an interesting comparison Realbull.
    I can see how you arrive at your point.

    Corporate greed being the equivalent of the settlers greed at the time

    There is a difference however, in that at that time it was all the settlers that were responsible through their government of the time.
    Nowadays its the Corporations power over governments at the expense of the people that is the problem.

  • RealBull

    Hey, all of you guys are right. It sounds just like how the Native Indians got ripped off too. They were paid little or next to nothing and then forced to leave their land or get killed…and many have been killed. Then the settlers made a lot of money buy creating industry across the land. It seems like that is where the corporate roots come from.

  • mukhi

    apple has always been a good burglar. when they steal, they make sure that it has not been patented, then they patent it to ensure that nobody else can steal it anymore. i must say apple has been very clever and adept in doing that.

  • clockmendergb


    I certainly agree with you both.
    I am totally against Corporate patents that have a life span of more than 5 years.
    Technology will never advance in a system that is depriving innovation.
    The States seems to want to do Business with the world having its hands tied behind its back.

    It sickens me to see the way lawmakers are openly ignoring the wishes of those they elect to press through laws that favor Corporations and the largest industries
    This is marginalizing business into the haves and the have not,s.

    I have no problem with an inventor,a writer, a filmmaker (single person) or musician having life long rights to his /her work.
    I do not agree that once a product is sold ,that the
    rights go with it.
    The rights and royalties should always belong to the originator.

    But of course the system has been corrupted in favor of large companies that buy these rights and patents just to make money from them.

    As for copying .
    I have said before that we always copied, lent ,borrowed ,passed around music and films.

    That never stopped the companies making money
    Since DMA the quality and quantity of quality music and film has dwindled to a crawl as these companies try to extract as much money as they can from as little as possible.

    That,s my position and it will not change

  • Ed

    None of it is theirs, this includes both Jobs and Gates. Everything Apple and Microsoft has, from the mouse right on up to the operating system, it was all stolen or or they ripped the owners of the property off, meaning they paid next to nothing for it.
    It’s nice to live in a country where you can steal something from someone, not have to pay them for it and make billions from it.
    And to make matters worse, the thieves protect their stolen goods under “copyright” laws. This is why I don’t feel bad about people running a non geniune versions of Windows or Mac OS, they have profited enough from ripping off others, it’s about time people have done the same to them.

  • ds5929

    If we had a functioning justice dept,apple would be indicted under the RICO statutes.

  • clockmendergb

    Mags .
    I am an old English Hippy and Lived through the good times of the original Apple
    I explained what apple was originally because most people who buy or use Apple products are to young to remember the Beatles and the Apple Record mark.

    I am not an Apple fan although I do think the product is very good.

  • Mags

    @clockmendergb: You beat me to it re The Beatles name and logo.

    If you want to know info can be found here under 2006 to present

  • clockmendergb

    They even stole the Apple Name and logo.
    It was a recording company that the Beatles used .

    Even the OS was not original and that,s what made them known.

    What they are good at is Design and user appeal.
    They are the Tech equivalent of Bain Capital.
    They are an ideas company that is good at restructuring different things and and profiting from them .

  • Frank

    “The more people that read this infographic, the more people read their website link, and the more people visit it. [via Mashable, infographic via BestMastersPrograms]” <— WRONG link!

    I highly doubt that, Ashraf, as long as they (try to) use /your/ link. :D

    Yours, Frank

    it's , not