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Apple's design chief Jony Ive doesn't see Xiaomi's cloning as flattery, calls it theft

Looks like all the big tech guys were at the Vanity Fair Summit in San Francisco. From Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, the event sizzled with big names. Even Apple's design h

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Looks like all the big tech guys were at the Vanity Fair Summit in San Francisco. From Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, the event sizzled with big names. Even Apple’s design head Jony Ive made an appearance at the event and spoke about his team, the evolution of design ideas and how he wasn’t flattered with companies like Xiaomi aping Apple’s designs, TechCrunch reports.

Ive talked about his design team, which has steadily grown to 16-17 employees, and how they meet three or four times a week to gather around tables and draw. One of the advantages of having a steady design team, he said, was that it gave them time to develop a design philosophy. Ive also touched upon the new iPhone 6 design, saying how it was a special moment when he got his hands on the new iPhones.

One of the highlights of the evening was however when an audience member asked him about his view on Chinese vendor Xiaomi and other such companies aping Apple’s design and tactics. Ive was very straightforward with his answer — “I’ll stand a little bit harsh, I don’t see it as flattery. When you’re doing something for the first time, you don’t know it’s going to work, you spend seven or eight years working on something, and then it’s copied. I think it is really straightforward. It is theft and it is lazy. I don’t think it is ok at all.”

Xiaomi is infamous for copying Apple’s design and selling it for really cheap prices in the global market. The company has also earned an unofficial tagline — “Apple of China.” Xiaomi though has never accepted these claims, with Barra recently going on record to say that Xiaomi is inspired “by the world’s most talented group of designers, and doesn’t blatantly copy Apple’s iPhone devices.”

  • Published Date: October 10, 2014 1:26 PM IST
  • Updated Date: October 10, 2014 2:53 PM IST