Report Reveals Apple Paid $21 Million for Swiss Railway Clock Design
Apple's iOS 6 clock on the left and SBB clock design on the right
A recently released report claims that Apple paid roughly $21 million to license the iconic clock-face used in its most recent iOS 6 mobile operating system, which is a design made famous by the Swiss Federal Railway’s train station clocks.
For those of you who didn’t know, the original clock-face was designed by SBB employee Hans Hilfiker in 1944. The design was later recognized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the London Design Museum as an iconic example of 20th century design.
It was previously reported that the SBB found Apple’s use of the design objectionable and said the two companies would “talk about” reaching some sort of agreement. The Swiss rail service denied reports of demanding compensation and instead said it was proud that a company such as Apple chose to use the design. According to SBB spokeswoman Patricia Claivaz, "it's not just about exchanging money, rather drawing up a contract stating where the logo can be used, under what conditions and for how long.” Shortly after, it was announced that the two parties reached an agreement, though the terms of the deal were meant to be kept secret with the recent report ended up revealing the actual price paid.
It’s quite amazing to see how much value the icon itself has and how much Apple was willing to pay for it.