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(Pocket-lint) - As soon as the HTC One A9 appeared - leaked as the Aero - there was immediate talk of whether HTC was just copying the iPhone 6 design. 

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and we've probably seen a thousand words written on whether this was a straight iPhone design rip-off, or not. 

The HTC One A9 is now official, so we're putting it in the dock and asking: did HTC just copy the iPhone 6 design?

Judge Pocket-lint is presiding, and these are the facts of the case.

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The case for the defence

HTC has a heritage in smartphone design. The company has been responsible for some of the most iconic phone designs of the past 10 years. Just look at the HTC Hero, the HTC Touch Diamond or the HTC One X.

HTC isn't a company that's scared to experiment with materials and finishes. There's everything from the gradient anodisation of the HTC One S, to the precise dual-tone finish of the HTC One M9, or the polishing of the polycarbonate sides of the HTC One X. HTC has always been a company that's lived and breathed design and innovation.

The HTC One A9's design can be traced through HTC's previous handsets. The HTC One M7 with a metal unibody was unveiled on 19 February 2013, the iPhone 6 with a metal unibody was unveiled on 9 September 2014. Which is where this story really starts. 

HTC's second full metal device, the HTC One M8, was unveiled on 25 March 2014. Undoubtedly, HTC devices were flaunting this approach to metal construction before the iPhone 6 was launched. The HTC One A9 is a continuing legacy of metal smartphone design.

The shape of the HTC One A9 differs from those earlier metal devices, however. With rounded edges, dropping off the 2.5D glass front and a flat back, it's easy to see how the profile is now similar to the iPhone 6 or 6S. It's markedly different to the curved back of the previous One family of metal phones.

Let's look at the facts. We've seen edge-to-edge glass on lots of HTC phones in the past. Look at the HTC First - the Facebook phone - and you'll see the display dropping into curved edges and a flat back design. 

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More recently, the Desire family of handsets shows a profile that's more similar to the One A9. The Desire 826 or 620 has a flat back, with curved edges, although those are plastic bodied. 

In reality the HTC One A9 is a combination of the premium construction of the One, combined with design from the mid-range Desire. It's these fusion of families that has resulted in this new One A9 design.

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The case for the prosecution

It basically looks the same as the iPhone 6. 

Passing verdict

Both use metal unibody design, using construction techniques that are similar. HTC might have been first to the floor with this approach, but in its current form, there's no doubting that the HTC One A9 bears a close resemblance to the iPhone 6/6S. 

One of the big elements is HTC's departure from BoomSound speakers on the One A9. This means the face of the One A9 is no longer broken by the speakers you find on other models. It's a more minimalist design now. And we know that Apple loves minimalism. 

But rather than passing final judging, we'll pass it over to our readers to be the jury. Do you think HTC copied the iPhone 6 design? Let us know in the comments below.

Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 19 October 2015.