Tired of having to defend his company against claims that its products (including hardware, software and even online presentation) are shameless copies of their respective Apple versions, Xiaomi vice president Hugo Barra on Tuesday said at The Wall Street Journal’s WSJD conference that some of Apple’s most recent products also take cues from rivals, Gigaom reports.
“The iPhone 6 carries design-language that is very HTC-like,” Barra said. Furthermore, iOS’s quick settings are inspired by similar features in Android, he added.
While the who-copied-whom fights in the mobile business will probably never end, and both sides have legitimate claims, the fact remains that some of Xiaomi’s products are too similar to Apple’s to even pass the laugh test. Saying about the Xiaomi Mi Pad tablet that it “carries design-language that is very Apple-like” would be an understatement.
Interestingly, Barra also praised the iPhone 6, saying it’s the “most beautiful phone ever built,” and adding that Apple is “the world’s design mecca.” Those statements might explain why Xiaomi uses Apple as an inspiration for its products.
“Our designers are inspired by great products and by great design out there,” the Xiaomi exec said.
As for potential lawsuits, Barra said he isn’t worried about patent litigations, and that the company’s international launch plans aren’t affected by such potential attacks.
Recently, Xiaomi’s chief Lin Bin invited Apple’s Jony Ive to actually try Xiaomi products before criticizing them, after the iPhone design guru snapped at companies that copy Apple in a recent interview, saying this isn’t a form of flattery but theft.
Meanwhile, whatever Xiaomi is doing is certainly paying off. The company is becoming more and more popular in China, eying international expansions in several other markets, potentially giving Samsung, Apple and others headaches in the process.