In the tech business, there are always accusations of somebody copying Apple in one form or another, whether it’s Apple itself leveling the accusations or its legions of supporters. This time, Acer has taken that to another level with the introduction of AcerCloud at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. From the names of the components to the promotional imagery, Acer seems to have set out to clone Apple’s iCloud as precisely as possible.
Here’s Apple’s slide from WWDC 2011 that explains how iCloud works:
Now compare this to Acer’s graphic explaining how AcerCloud works:
You’ve got to be kidding me.
It doesn’t stop there. Like Photo Stream on iCloud? Acer’s version is PicStream, complete with the same 30-day retention of photos across devices save for your home computer. Documents in the cloud a la iWork? AcerCloud’s got that (I’m surprised they didn’t call it AcerWork.) Clear.fi copies what Apple has been doing with music and entertainment content in the cloud and brings it to Acer’s own cloud service.
There’s no “Find My Acer” yet, but just you wait.
Let’s be clear: by no means am I suggesting that iCloud is the end-all-be-all when it comes to the cloud. What I am saying is that Acer really should have been a little more smart with the branding, and a little more original. When you put out something that is so close to an already existing product, you run the risk of getting angry calls from the lawyers of that existing product’s creator, not to mention well-deserved criticism from the tech blogosphere.
I love this comment that Apple blogger Craig Grannell posted to Twitter last night, because it shows the power Apple has in the industry today:
From what I've seen, Apple might not be at CES, but lots of its ideas (from last year) are, as 'reinterpreted' by rival companies.—
Craig Grannell (@CraigGrannell) January 09, 2012
To companies considering copying Apple or anybody else’s work: please at least try to cover your tracks rather than making it so blatantly obvious.