Apple Designer Calls Xiaomi’s Mimicry ‘Theft’ and ‘Lazy’

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October 10, 2014 by ...

China has made a fortune cribbing designs, copying and then reselling them. This mimicry has extended across a range of industries with cell phones being one of the most obvious.

Case-in-point, say many, is Xiaomi. In fact it would appear that little if anything Xiaomi sells, really belongs to them. Many sites have detailed why this is so and I will not belabor the point here. What. I will address, however, is what an Apple designer had to say about their ‘piracy’, ‘It is theft and it is lazy.’

He makes a pretty good point. Apple can spend years on designing and bringing a product to market. In that timeframe they invest millions of dollars and man hours in coming up with a perfect solution. By copying Apple designs, Xiaomi and others cherry pick only the best and do not have to fund innovation, essentially they steal it.

This may sound politically incorrect, but it gets to the heart of the matter. Xiaomi does steal Apple ideas which gives it a tremendous competitive advantage.

Excerpt-‘But that same process of playing with physical models is also what leads to changes in the company’s products. Ive noted that the team thought “a large display seems the most natural, intuitively,” but only through iteration over the years (and advancement of technology) did Apple reach a point where they had found enough insights — like realizing that “to make a compelling product with a larger screen, it’s very important to make the edges comfortable, to feel less wide than it really is.”

When a member of the audience came up to ask a question about Xiaomi and their unofficial tagline of “the Apple of China,” Ive was very straightforward with his response: “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 gonna work, you spend 7 or 8 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.”


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