A senior executive of Taiwan's HTC Corp denied Wednesday that the design of one of its new smartphones had copied Apple's iPhone, saying HTC's is a pioneer metal-clad design.
"We're not copying. We made a uni-body metal-clad phone in 2013. It's Apple that copies us in terms of the antenna design on the back," Jack Tong, president of HTC North Asia, said at a press briefing at the Taiwan launch of the One A9.
HTC enabled the ecosystem in terms of the design breakthrough in radio signals for a metal-clad phone, Tong said, referring to HTC's One M7 that was unveiled in 2013.
"The A9 is made thinner and more lightweight than our previous metal-clad phones. This is a change and evolution, and we're not copying," he said.
Tong's remarks came after American tech news site The Verge on Tuesday published a preliminary review of the One A9, which said that the 5-inch smartphone is "the most blatant and highest-profile iPhone ripoff since Samsung's original Galaxy S."
"The Taiwanese phone maker decided to copy the most popular smartphone out there, and it prioritized the United States with its most appealing pricing and perks," the report said.
Unveiled in New York on Tuesday, the HTC One A9 is the first non-Nexus smartphone powered by Google's Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system, combined with a multi-directional fingerprint scanner that can make purchases using the Android Pay feature.
The One A9 has a similar look to Apple's newest iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, especially its antenna design on the back cover and protruding rear camera.