At an event in New Delhi yesterday, Xiaomi launched the Mi 4. The 2014 flagship smartphone is a big step up from the now-discontinued Mi 3 in terms of design and build quality. But this improvement is shadowed by a small matter of the smartphone looking like an Android version of Apple s iPhone 5S. Also Read - Apple Watch Series 7 first look: Classy with lots of health featuresAlso Read - iPhone sales record 150 percent growth in India during Q3 2021: Report
Unlike the many smartphones in sub-Rs 20,000 price range, the Mi 4 boasts a stainless steel frame that gives it a premium feel. However as we mentioned it on our hands-on post, the moment you hold the Mi 4, you can t help but feel that it looks very similar to the Apple iPhone 5S.
ALSO READ: Xiaomi Mi 4 hands-on and first impressions
The aforementioned steel frame and the chamfered edges seem to have been heavily inspired from Apple s design language. On closer look, even the power button, speaker grille, and the SIM card tray bear quite a resemblance to their iPhone counterparts.
It is not just the hardware design either. Xiaomi s newest MIUI 6 ROM too seems to have taken quite a bit of inspiration from Apple s iOS. The flatter theme, icon design, app previews on multi-tasking window, and Superscript notifications on apps are all reminiscent of the design overhaul introduced on iOS 7.
Xiaomi and its executives have time and again taken offence with the tags like Apple inspired, and Apple of China. But when you look at the Mi 4 and the MIUI 6, one can t help but see why these tags refuse to go away.
Back in October last year, Apple s legendary designer Jony Ive hit out at Xiaomi and other companies aping Apple s design and tactics. 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, Ive said. I think it is really straightforward. It is theft and it is lazy. I don t think it is ok at all.
Hugo Barra has however defended Xiaomi, and even 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.