Samsung blatantly copies Apple’s Passbook service, calls it “Wallet”

by: ŠtefanFebruary 27, 2013

This is going to piss a lot of people off, but I’ll just say it: The first version of Android copied RIM’s BlackBerry operating system, but then Apple launched the iPhone, so Google decided to throw away everything they were working on and copy iOS instead. On the flip side, we’ve seen several Android features get ported to iOS over the past few years, most notably “Notification Center”. Moral of the story: Good ideas are good ideas, and at the end of the day it’s about who provides a better implementation of said ideas that wins the war.

That background was needed so we can present you with today’s news: Samsung just announced “Samsung Wallet”. It looks exactly like Apple’s Passbook service. It even has the same functions. It’s so laughably similar that we’re kind of ashamed to call ourselves Samsung fans now, but such is life.

What is Wallet/Passbook all about? Instead of having an app for your favorite coffee place that stores your loyalty points, an app for your gym that tracks how often you go, and an app for your local supermarket that offers you coupons for your favorite box of cereal, you instead make one app that stores all the different information from those other apps in one centralized place.

Why do this? Have you ever wanted to show something to someone and then proceeded to look like an ass because you spent a good minute or two just flipping through homescreens, trying to find the icon for that game/service/app you just download?

Passbook, excuse me, Samsung Wallet, aims to fix that. Will companies actually use Samsung’s Wallet? Hell, Apple is having trouble getting companies to use Passbook, do you think companies care about supporting Samsung phones?

  • yahyoh

    “Samsung blatantly copies Apple’s Passbook service, calls it “Wallet”

    i’m i in crapple fanboys site ???

  • It’s not like Apple never blatantly copied an app in its app store without crediting the original dev.

    • RarestName

      Just because Apple did it doesn’t make it right for other companies to do so.

      • APai

        what a bogus argument. how else are you going to put an idea across – microsoft/ apple/ samsung all have a bunch of cards. if another 10 companies come along how do all of them stand out ?

        • RarestName

          The point is that people think that one company is right and the other company is wrong when both are doing the same thing.

          • APai

            while i get what you are saying, my point is simply this – it’s a generic idea that one wants to explain with an icon – you store credit card info on the “wallet service”. other credentials are incidental, but its mostly a service for storing credit card info. I simply cannot fathom the line of thinking for trying to patent or copyright generic information – “windows” “appstore” and the like. this too is an extension of that. give those graphic artists a break – they just have so much leeway. it’s not like apple invented the brilliant idea of “passbook” . please.

          • RarestName

            I never said that Apple invented the idea of Passbook. I’m just saying that if they want to use the same idea, at least try to make it so that looking at it doesn’t make people think of another company.

          • APai

            true that you did not mention it. i just extended the idea or the topic of how things can get out of hand with this whole “copying” thing

            but i’m thinking we are getting too thin skinned about this whole innovation thing. we live in an age where ideas are dime a dozen, and everyone freely gets inspired by the others. it’s a fashion to say apple innovates, while all they do is announce it more grandly than others. they make a song and dance of trivial “innovations”

          • RarestName

            True. Before maybe a few years ago, I’ve never heard someone even mention the word innovation to me. Nowadays, that word is overused.

          • APai

            i long for a time when they stop suing each other and get along , patenting only some real stuff, not some silly nick-nacks. the worst thing about patent war is that smaller companies cannot disrupt the flow anymore. it’s these big guys, 2-3 ecosystems and the customers totally trapped between a few “too big to fail” companies.

        • Sak

          thats the where innovation comes in and thats why YOUR not part of it

          • APai

            ridiculous, at the heart of it most things remain the same, people just iterate and make it better. there’s no such thing as pure creation, we all get influenced by what we see around and improvise. if samsung does it’s copying and if apple does it – it’s innovation ? how silly!

  • aCe manayan

    Let the 2013 patent wars being!!!!

  • Jackson

    Stefan Constantienscu, no one asked you for your opinion. I’m starting to really hate this primarily because of you, hate is a strong word but you sir are an arse.

  • Filip Justin

    If it means popularising the feature, then I am willing to look past the fact that Samsung copied passbook.. Why fragment experiences throughout the smartphones when you can copy all the good features into one device? I like this app because I’m a consumer and consumers want as many features as possible..

    • sak

      You are right. We want features. Wallet is a copy of Passbook. Why does it have to look like the passbook. we migh aswell have a samsung device that looks like iphone 5. hey iphone is sexier looking.

  • Roberto Tomás

    It does look eerily similar. Its particularly disappointing because there already exists an Android “port” of that app: PassWallet.

    It’s also ashame because it uses the same stupid layout and functions, which don’t particularly scream “must have”.

    • Filip Justin

      Checked it.. but it doesn’t have many downloads and it relies on ads.. If Samsung can manage to promote this new app of theirs, then it might bring a certain standard for Passbook style apps on Android too..

  • Jo

    is this maybe the Galaxy S4? the s3 and note 2 have a samsung sign under the earpeace…

    • Stefan Constantinescu

      Looks lie a Note II to me. The photo is from MWC, meaning Samsung wouldn’t be stupid enough to leak their “next big thing”.

  • RarestName

    There is already a port for Passbook. Why would you do this, Samsung?

  • JellyBean

    A comparison of various wallet applications from another site:

    Microsoft –

    Google –

    Apple –

    Samsung –

    I’m disappointed that Samsung chose to copy Apple so blatantly. It doesn’t do their public image any favors. This year, I will get the HTC One instead of the GS4.

    • Hank

      Stop astroturfing

    • Guest

      Oh wow I had not even seen how much the Samsung logo looks like Apple’s, Cmon Google it’s time to marketing the Nexus out to real android lovers

    • APai

      perhaps apple should not have used “generic credit cards”. why were they not more imaginative like google ?

      using cards inside the app again is nothing close to being totally new. scores of apps were there since the symbian days. give some credit to those old companies too from whom apple copied or rather got “inspired” jeez, how short is the public memory that they forgot the legacy app store and all those “apps” by plenty of companies before ? there was handango and others.

      one can easily say apple is far from original. ALL of these “new” mobile companies owe it to the fund of knowledge available already by the work done by earlier companies, and the earlier companies merely took exisiting ideas to the mobile platform.

  • JellyBean

    This is disappointing from Samsung. It does not do their public image any favors. This year, I will be getting a HTC One and instead of a GS4.

    • Jack

      Gtfo you paid HTC shill.

      • … said the paid SAMSUNG shill !!

    • How do these icons look like each other!? SERIOUSLY!?

      • sak

        Cant you see? well you also need brains wth eyes. sorry! look at google wallet and microsoft wallet. apple is passbook not a wallet. its is unique is appearance wise. wallet came out to look just like apple passbook.

  • satsmine2k4

    This is a stupid move from Samsung…

  • Ignacio Martín

    Copying Apple and choosing a name that can confuse people and mix it up with Google Wallet. Not liking very much Samsung’s latest moves.

  • yungqb7

    Regardless of this, I’m still getting the gs4.

  • Shawn Latham

    Keyring app has been out since 2011, and google wallet has been out for awhile as well (before apple came out with theirs) and they look pretty similar, so apple copied them, then samsung copied that, therefore samsung bad?

    Passbook is apple’s answer to google wallet, without nfc.

    Yes companies copy each other all the time, including apple, hell look at their notification center straight from android.

    So what’s with the outrage?

    • carlisimo

      It’s usually done more discreetly than this. Except when Samsung’s involved, I mean.

  • aholsteinson

    Samsung has no shame.

  • Darktanone

    Samsung just wont quit harassing Apple! I think they need to be dealt a crushing blow and hopefully that will happen soon in one of these patent cases.

  • cycad007

    Its not the first time Samsung has copied someone and it won’t be the last. The “Samsung Wallet” is quite shameless but ultimately, I don’t see it being much more than a niche app. Google would have much more success creating something like this.

    But this is part of Samsung’s plan to create their own ecosystem and move away from Google. You’ll keep seeing this behavior…which is why Google is readying the X-Phone and hoping HTC, LG, Sony, etc.. have success against Samsung this year. Seriously Google…how about choosing other OEMs to manufacture your Nexus devices?! Wouldn’t that help your negotiations with Samsung?

  • What’s next they copy the Apple logo and put Samsung across it. Android you should have never got in bed with these guys. It’s just a matter of time that they will make a hybird os of Andriod and IOS wait a minute they already do its called Tizen. Certainly when there are good ideas out there companies do copy but not to the extent of this company. Now I’m certain many fans will hate this but most people truly want to see innovation not outright copying. So my point is Android copied blackberry os in the beginning then the iPhone came out they stole some ideas. Apple stole the notification from Android but Samsung stole it all down too the Samsung wallet to the tablet and phone not to mention there laptops that they have copied to look like Apple even the commercials it’s all Apple and if Android keeps sleeping they will steal the os and call it Rice Cakes!

  • Matt V

    Stuff like this is why I’ll never own a samsung phone.

  • Kevin Mular

    This site(and their writers) has become more like the iOS Authority or Samsung bashing Authority lol

  • Mike Bastable

    Smart post, tthnx and some smart replies too!
    Sammy will copy until it is no longer profitable to do so. Worse that most manufacturers. We simpl have to call them out everytime.
    But the s3 is the best Android handset, and the S4 will be awesome too. Corporations have few morals they r there to make money. Samsung has a history of dubious behaviour in and out of S. Koea…why r we suprised.

  • brady

    EVERYONE IN AMERICA wants to talk about the whole Samsung and Apple copying each other issue. But to me, whatever Korean and Chinese dudes decide to do is THEIR prerogative. Until the USA starts churning out incredible phones then we have to place to stand there in Brooklyn in a rooftop garden and be all snobby about Samsung copying your beloved Apple. Remember: Apple is a computer company that makes toy phones.

    • sak

      If a product is being sold Worldwide than everyone has the right to talk about it. So, you have the right to shut up and go back to sleep.

  • anirudh

    i am just eager to know , what would be the new tag line, the last one was ” designed for human’s”, what next?..:P

  • KingSteph2k10

    Is this how bad Apple had warped your silly little minds. This who concept of copying was never around before Apple came into the Mobile market and brought in all their lawyers. I dont see ford suing every other car manufacturer because they made cars, at the end of the day its all about giving consumers choice, and the passbook which in fact came out after the Google Wallet was a great idea but it was only limited to the Iphone, so for Samsung to now offer a similar experience to their own consumers is great there is nothing wrong here. You people need to stop being so one minded as all you do is believe everything apple says to you, when in reality apple has not really invented anything over the 10 years. Its time to move on from this silly way of thinking, at the end of the day the consumer is getting a better product.

  • Guest

    Look people I’ll admit I love Apple and when Android started copying Apple I didn’t care about them so much but then “Google” NOT Samsung started doing things a little different, growing in their own way (Nexus) and their OS started adapting the Google Spirit of individuality like Gmail I mean who doesn’t love Gmail right? But then Samsung comes along with shit like this and makes it look like its Google-Android that’s still copying Apple and I don’t think it is but a lot of people will thanks to Samsung. Mark my words Samsung is aiming to be just like Apple and own their own OS and then get rid of Android eventually. But regardless this is just bad press for Android fans, Samsung obviously doesn’t give a shit.

  • amanzoop

    Actually some people expect way too much from apple. That’s is why we are thinking apple is not innovating.

  • M-i20

    M-i20 3/3/2013
    I agree totally with – KingSteph & Shawn Latham
    Not so long ago Steve Jobs stated – Apple is “Shameless about stealing great ideas”. Then on August 24, 2012
    Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Memo to Employees on Patent Win Over Samsung said The jury has now spoken. “We applaud them for finding Samsung’s behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right”

    So When apple steal its cool and legal, even the US court give Apple the ok..?? But anyone else – especially when it comes to cellphones gets taken to court.. Funny how in america laws are twisted to suit certain corporates.
    Did IBM invent the PC? Did HP invent the pocket
    calculators or desktop Did Henry Ford invent the automobile.
    Apple (It’s well documented) didn’t invent anything really… not the Apple nor the Macintosh, not the iPod, the iPhone, or the iPad…to say nothing of Apple Stores and App Stores. We’d seen them all before, in one fashion or another…!! They stole everything and re-invented or just re-branded it!!!