Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra was at WSJD conference yesterday where he touched upon various topics including the long-standing accusation of Xiaomi stealing Apple’s design. Barra, combating design theft allegations from Apple design chief Jony Ive, voiced his opinion saying that the design and engineering team at Xiaomi are inspired by great products just like everyone out there. He said that even Apple’s iOS is inspired by many Android features, which it then later innovates around adding their own twist, and then later embedding it into its own eco-system. He also felt that the new iPhone 6 carried ‘design elements that were very HTC-like’.
Barra asserted that the ecosystem is fluid where everyone gets inspired by each other and seldom do you find a company coming out with a product that is completely different that is never before seen in the market. While Barra was all praises for Apple calling it the ‘world’s design mecca’ and saying that the iPhone 6 was the most beautiful smartphone in the world’, he noted that “Apple itself borrows liberally from others. The iPhone 6 carries design that’s very HTC-like. Of course, with an astonishing twist … but it is somewhat familiar design language.”
Barra also pointed to the quick settings feature on iOS that lets you toggle the flashlight, Wi-Fi, and other frequently used items. “Quick settings on iOS is much better on Android, but it was on Android (long before),” Barra said.
In the interview, Barra used careful language while addressing this topic reiterating that being inspired from great products is not a bad thing. He says, “Point me to a product in our industry that is completely unique in design language, you are not going to be able to find one.”
Watch Hugo Barra’s interview at WSJD conference in Laguna Beach: