Xiaomi Denies Copycat Allegations by Apple; Says Apple Also Copies

Hugo Barra, a vice president of Chinese mobile device maker Xiaomi, Inc. defended the company's product designs after Jony Ive, Apple's senior vice president of design, accused the firm of 'being lazy' and a design thief.

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Barra, who already responded to Ive's comments Oct. 9 at a Vanity Fair conference, spoke out again since the issue is far from being settled.

'Our designers, our engineers, are inspired by great products and great design out there. In today's world, who isn't?' Barra said at The Wall Street Journal's Live technology conference in Laguna Beach, Calif.

'Point me to a product in our industry that has a completely unique design language? You're not going to be able to find one.'

Barra said he was a 'huge Apple fan,' even calling the iPhone 6, which was released to the public in the previous month, 'the world's most beautiful smartphone ever designed.'

He also said although Apple is the 'world's design mecca,' Apple also gets design inspiration from other sources. Barra claims Apple borrowed the 'design language' from smartphone manufacturer HTC for the iPhone 6, reiterating statements he made to the Economic Times of India.

'I think it's great that Apple took existing ideas that were very good and added their design twist on top,' Barra said. 'That's what they do. That's what we do.'

Ive, who monitors hardware and software designs at Apple and has helped design build iconic products such as the iMac, iPad, iPhone and the yet-to-be-released Apple Watch, offered a different opinion when asked about supposed copycat designs by firms such as Xiaomi.

'I don't see it as flattery,' he said. '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 have to be honest, the first thing I can think, all those weekends that I could have at home with my family but didn't. I think it's theft, and it's lazy.'


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