Motorola criticised for new P30’s iPhone resemblance

Image credit: Motorola

Motorola has unveiled its latest mid-range smartphone at an event in China, but the newest addition to its range is already coming in for criticism for its resemblance to Apple's iPhone X.

The P30's specs are fairly typical for a device in its range, including a Snapdragon 636 processor, two rear-facing cameras and a choice of either 64GB or 128GB of storage space. But it is the physical appearance of the gadget that's really catching the eye – though not in a positive way for many.

One of the most obvious similarities between the P30 and the iPhone X is the display. Like the iPhone, Motorola has opted for an almost bezel-less design with a cutout notch at the top for the front-facing camera.

While other Android manufacturers have also gone down this route since it was popularised by Apple, their offerings have aimed to be thinner or narrower than Apple's. But Motorola's notch has almost identical dimensions to the iPhone X's, making it almost impossible to tell apart from a casual glance.

On the phone's rear, its a similar story, with the P30's two cameras mounted one above the other in the top left corner. This is a layout that again will be familiar to anyone who's seen in iPhone X. 

Mashable noted that even the stock wallpaper used in the publicity images seem to match those used by Apple, with the news site describing it as "the most ridiculous iPhone X clone yet". This view was shared by many other commentators, with Android Central noting that Motorola is "basically making an iPhone X that runs Android".

While some buyers may find the idea of getting Apple-like design without the Apple-sized price tag appealing – the entry-level P30 will retail in China for the equivalent of around £240 – some analysts have warned that it is the latest sign of a worrying trend.

Ben Wood, an analyst at CCS Insight, told the BBC that the growing number of "identikit" smartphones is contributing to a rise in consumer apathy and slowing replacement rates.

"One starts to wonder whether Jony Ive's design group at Apple has become the de facto owner for the reference design for all high-end smartphones," he stated. "Phone makers need to innovate and find ways to differentiate if they want to maintain consumer desire to upgrade their phones."