Apple Swings Deal for Swiss Railway Clock Icon

| News

Apple's short-lived icon crisis is at an end thanks to an agreement with the Swiss Federal Railways. The deal lets Apple use the railway's classic clock design in iOS 6 where it already shows up as the badge for the iPad's Clock app.

Apple's new Clock icon for the iPhone won't change thanks to an SBB licensing deal

The Swiss Federal Railway, or SBB, commissioned designer Hans Hilfiker to design the clock in 1944 and has since licensed its likeness to other companies. Apple, however, didn't seek a licensing deal until after iOS 6 launched with its SBB-inspired clock icon already in place.

SBB spokesperson Patricia Claivaz said at the time, "We're rather proud that a brand as important as Apple is using our design," and added that the two companies would be discussing licensing terms.

SBB didn't release the terms of the deal, and Apple hasn't commented on the arrangement. With the deal signed, however, iPad users can finally rest easy knowing they won't lose their slick new Clock icon.

Popular TMO Stories



Uh oh, the Apple Panic Gallery has to find something new to hyperventilate over.


This whole situation is interesting, but we know so little. Here, Apple has misappropriated IP, but how? and who was responsible? That alone would be interesting to know, but what is more interesting is how the faux pax was quietly and properly handled. No need for a law suit and counter suing, etc. Granted, this wasn’t some technology patent, etc. but still, It is Apple guilty this time of using some one else’s IP, and they did right. Too bad others can’t follow Apple’s example in this…


Here we go again.  All the MAC pundits and “sheeple” are getting on the bandwagon.  Yawn.

Perry Clease

“All the MAC pundits and “sheeple” are getting on the bandwagon.  Yawn.”

MAC? What does media access control have to do with this? I assume that you mean Mac, anyway as to yawns you took the time to come here and comment; if you had a life you wouldn’t be bored.


I think Apple mad the deal as an act of friendliness.

There are differences in each of the design elements; minute marks, five-minute marks, hour hand, and minute hand.  Only the second hand is a little close for comfort, IMO, yet there differences there also.

Don’t forget, SBB is not the first to use a numberless face on a timepiece, so all that is left to argue about are those simple elements I listed.

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account