This month, Microsoft launch what many consider to be the company’s answer to Apple’s AirPods: the Surface Earbuds, its first pair of completely wireless in ear headphones.
And although boasting an innovative design, this might not be the case. As soon as the product launched, rapper will.I.am, founder of the Black Eyed Peas and company i.am+, accused the brand of plagiarism.
In very public accusation on Twitter, the artist showed pictured comparing his Buttons Earbuds, launched by his company in 2016, with the Surface Earbuds, which he referred to as “copycats”.
When you meet with a big company in hopes to collaborate with your big dreams & ideas, on how tech Should speak to & from inner city to inspire inner city kids to take an interest in tech…and 4 years later that company copy’s the design and product you made is just sad… pic.twitter.com/a9BkpghBAz
— will.i.am (@iamwill) October 3, 2019
As the images show, the products are basically identical, except that the model launched by Microsoft doesn’t have a cord attaching one headphone to the other.
Together with the images, will.I.am explained that he met with Microsoft to collaborate in the creation of a new headphone model, but the company rejected the offer to then launch a product that’s essentially the same only four years later.
“When you meet with a big company in hopes to collaborate with your big dreams & ideas, on how tech should speak […] and 4 years later that company copy’s the design and product you made is just sad…” reads the tweet.
To date, Microsoft hasn’t released a statement on the matter.