Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra Defends Against Copycat Accusations in New Interview

Xiaomi vice president Hugo Barra, who came to the company from Google, today did an interview with Bloomberg where he once again spoke out in defense against copycat accusations that have been levied against the company.

According to Barra, all of the copycat claims come from a single iPhone 5-style chamfered edge on a Xiaomi device. "Yes, it does look like an iPhone 5 and that chamfered edge, by the way, is present in so many other devices."

minote

Xiaomi's Mi Note

He went on to say that the accusations were the result of a bias against Chinese companies. "People couldn't bring themselves to believe a Chinese company actually could be a world innovator, could build amazingly high-quality products."

When asked if the recent Mi Note looks like an iPhone 6 Plus, Barra laughed it off and said "it's white like an iPhone 6 Plus." He said accusations of copying weren't fair, because these days, every smartphone looks like every other smartphone on the market.

I just don't think we can allow a company to take ownership of things that just are how they are, right? I think if you look at what we've designed in the last 12 months you understand how much originality there is in what we do. And to be honest, I think you're going to see a lot more happening the opposite direction, people taking inspiration off what we do.

Over the course of four years, Chinese electronics company Xiaomi has managed to become the world's third largest smartphone distributor, competing with the likes of Lenovo, LG, Samsung, and Apple. Its devices, ranging from smartphones to tablets, have been publicly criticized for heavily borrowing design elements from Apple's iPhones and iPads and adopting marketing materials tactics similar to Apple's.

Xiaomi's copycat antics led Apple chief designer Jony Ive to verbally skewer the company in a 2014 interview, where he famously said "I think it's theft and it's lazy. I don't think it's okay at all," following a statement from Xiaomi vice president Hugo Barra, who had said, "Our designers, our engineers are inspired by great products and by great design out there. And frankly who in today's world isn't?"

At the time, Ive went on to say Xiaomi's devices aren't a form of flattery. "When you're doing something for the first time, like with the iPhone... and you spend 7 or 8 years working on it and then it's copied - I have to be honest, the first thing I think isn't 'oh, that was flattering.' "

mi4ixiaomi

The iPhone 5c-style Xiaomi Mi 4i

Xiaomi's latest smartphones are the Mi Note and Mi Note Pro, designed to compete with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but the company has most recently expanded into the home arena, with the Smart Home Kit.

Tag: Xiaomi

Top Rated Comments

pgiguere1 Avatar
113 months ago






Sure... The chamfered edge is the only thing...
Score: 177 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lazy Avatar
113 months ago
"every smartphone looks like every other smartphone on the market"

Well of course they do after they all copied the iPhone.
Score: 95 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bladerunner2000 Avatar
113 months ago
Apple does NOT have any right to dictate how the industry designs their phones. Every Apple fan needs to watch this:



In plain sight you see that Steve Jobs lied about Apple inventing multitouch. They did NOT. Nor did they invent rounded corners, a home button, a wedge shaped laptop or anything aesthetic.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mazz0 Avatar
113 months ago
Unbelievable. I don't know how he can say this stuff with a straight face. And we thought Samsung were blatant!
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KALLT Avatar
113 months ago
In plain sight you see that Steve Jobs lied about Apple inventing multitouch. They did NOT.
Technically, Jobs said that Apple had invented a technology that they call multi-touch. Different implementations exist and the principle behind multi-touch wasn’t new. It comprises lots of patents.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
113 months ago
A lot of what Hugo Barra said seems to almost contradict itself.

"People couldn't bring themselves to believe a Chinese company actually could be a world innovator, could build amazingly high-quality products."

When asked if the recent Mi Note looks like an iPhone 6 Plus, Barra laughed it off and said "it's white like an iPhone 6 Plus." He said accusations of copying weren't fair, because these days, every smartphone looks like every other smartphone on the market.
Xiaomi has both built products that are high-quality and innovative, yet they look like every other smartphone? He can't have it both ways. The quality and innovation aren't being disputed; the company responsible for the quality and innovation is.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
General Apps Messages

iOS 17.4 to Add This 'Groundbreaking' New Messaging Feature

Friday February 23, 2024 5:05 am PST by
With iOS 17.4, set to arrive in March 2024, Apple is bringing a new cryptographic security feature to iMessage called PQ3. This "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks," according to Apple. Let's break down what that means. Apple's iMessage service already supports end-to-end encryption, but security...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...
iOS 17

When Will Apple Release iOS 17.4 for iPhones?

Friday February 23, 2024 11:56 am PST by
Apple has been beta testing iOS 17.4 for nearly a month now. Below, we explain when the update is likely to be released to all users. In its press release announcing major App Store changes in the EU, which were implemented in response to new regulations under the EU's Digital Markets Act, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released at some point in March:Developers can learn about these...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...