Samsung Unveils Passbook, er, Wallet

Samsung Wallet. It's so... PassbookSamsung showed off its latest innovation for its Android OS-based smartphone lineup on Wednesday: An app that manages movie tickets, boarding passes and more, and bears more than a striking resemblance to Apple's Passbook. The app, dubbed Wallet, even relies on barcodes instead of NFC technology, just like Apple's Passbook.

Wallet was unveiled during the Mobile World Congress event where Samsung showed off features like location-based push notifications, time-based notifications, updates when flight information changes, and real-time data for customer loyalty cards, according to The Verge.

Wallet's interface makes it easy to confuse with Apple's Passbook, and since they act in a very similar fashion, it'll probably be easy for consumers to confuse the two. Considering how much Wallet is like Passbook, it's no surprise that the comparisons between the two started practically as soon as Wallet was announced.

Apple will no doubt have top men checking out Wallet since the company has already been locked in a legal battle with Samsung over claims that its products copy iOS, iPhone and iPad designs. A U.S. Federal Jury agreed that Samsung was playing the copy game last year when it ruled that the electronics maker was infringing on a long list of Apple design patents and ultimately awarded Apple over US$1 billion in damages.

Apple's Passbook isn't the only product where Samsung's Wallet will cause confusion. Google has it's own Wallet platform for Android OS, although the Internet search giant's version relies on Near Field Communication, or NFC, for wireless payments instead of only on barcodes.

With similar icons, graphics, and features, Samsung looks like it made a blatant copy of another Apple product -- this time, Passbook -- while at the same time saying Google Wallet isn't good enough. Confusion and platform fragmentation all in one move. Well done, Samsung.