Apple’s head of design, Jony Ive, had some strong words for companies like Xiaomi cloning Apple’s designs, and even went to the level of calling it “theft.” Now, in an interview with Economic Times, Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra has responded to Ive’s comment saying there is an unnecessarily strong spotlight on the Chinese company.
Barra starts by saying there is an unnecessarily strong spotlight on Xiaomi, and that other companies too are using design languages similar to what Apple uses. He cites the chamfered edges on the Mi 4, which has caused quite the controversy and also points at the Galaxy Alpha, which too has a similar design.
He also says that in the industry it is difficult for a company to claim ownership on any kind of design language. To drive in his point, he says, “If you look at the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 has been using the design language that has been around for a while. The iPhone 6 is using design language that HTC has had for 5 years.”
Jony Ive was speaking at the Vanity Fair Summit in San Francisco and on being asked about companies cloning Apple’s designs he said, “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 has been accused for taking “inspiration” from Apple as far as its phone designs are concerned, and has also earned an unofficial tagline — “Apple of China.” The Chinese company however has never accepted these claims and Barra recently went on record to say that it is inspired “by the world’s most talented group of designers, and doesn’t blatantly copy Apple’s iPhone devices.”