Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 23rd Jul 2014 07:47 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

Yesterday, former Google-executive Hugo Barra, now Xiaomi's global vice president, had a talk with The Verge.

Barra is only a year into his job as leader of Mi's internationalization efforts, but he's already "sick and tired" of hearing his company derided as an Apple copycat. He sees Mi as "an incredibly innovative company" that never stops trying to improve and refine its designs, and the allegations of it copying Apple are "sweeping sensationalist statements because they have nothing better to talk about."

This morning, John Gruber:

Scroll down on the Mi 3 "features" page and you'll see this image, named "detail-camera.jpg". Take a good look at the camera in that image, then look at the app icon for the current version of Aperture. It's a simple copy-paste-skew job of the lens, and not a very good one. Two panels down on the page, they use it again, horizontally flipped. (Shockingly, they cropped out the "Designed by Apple in California".)


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RE[2]: It's an icon
by spiderman on Wed 23rd Jul 2014 15:28 UTC in reply to "RE: It's an icon"
Member since:

Oh boy, this is just an icon! This is NOT inovation. If they put it in their presentation it's so people know what they are talking about with something familiar to them. They did not steal some military secret. It's not the plans of some revolutionary satelite launcher, it's an icon depicting a lens! I don't see what is wrong there. It's not like Apple has invested a billion dollars creating that icon. I put floppy disk icons in my presentations too and they are directly taken from some Microsoft products. I doubt Microsoft will sue me, because they don't fucking care that I used their floppy disk icons. It's not a Van Gogh, it's a picture of a lens.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: It's an icon
by jared_wilkes on Wed 23rd Jul 2014 16:05 in reply to "RE[2]: It's an icon"
jared_wilkes Member since:

I can only assume you didn't bother reading any of the linked articles or even look at the images, because you keep blathering on about it just being an icon and just being in a presentation, when the image in question is a 3d product render used on their web site and likely in all of their product marketing.

If you are going to insist on trolling from a completely ignorant position, at least put 5 minutes into "some" reading to make it less transparent.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: It's an icon
by spiderman on Wed 23rd Jul 2014 16:34 in reply to "RE[3]: It's an icon"
spiderman Member since:

The thing is you think it's important but it's not.

There is a big irony you probably didn't catch about the "One more thing" story. Look at the "One more thing" screen from Xiaomi and look at the one from Apple. The difference is the font they used. Apple's font is thick and Xiaomi's is thin. Why is that so? The answer to this is trend. Xiaomi's font is thin because the trend has been set by Microsoft's Metro design. Now look at the first iPhone and the latest one. In the first iPhone I see organic design all over the place and man it was cool back then. Everybody wanted their product to look like this. Fast forward to now. I look at the iPhone and all I see is flat design all over the place. Did Apple "invent" flat design? Hell f--king no! They copied the style directly from Microsoft. Because that's the trend.

Apple is no longer the underground underdog in the industry and sometimes they set the trend but they happily follow the trend set by others when their home made trend is falling behind.

Xiaomi is no different. They surf the trend set by Apple and Microsoft and many others in their presentations and marketing. It's perfectly normal and everybody does that, including Apple. Because design is all about trend. Design is not inovation, it's only what conveys your inovations.

Xiaomi probably has dreams of setting new trends when they are bigger but for now they are too small for that. So they get trendy icons and put it in their marketing and they come from Apple. They probably didn't think much about it but it was actually very good for them that someone called them on it because now they get a lot of free marketing. Never heard about Xiaomi before today.

Edited 2014-07-23 16:44 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: It's an icon
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 23rd Jul 2014 18:28 in reply to "RE[2]: It's an icon"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

. It's not a Van Gogh, it's a picture of a lens.

Exactly, that's why its crazy. Why bother rip off a lens? It shows the length they will go to to just rip stuff off instead of doing something themselves.

I should add, it sounds crazy to us in the West. But, in some areas it doesn't sound crazy at all. I spent some time teaching computers in the third world. When coming up with business ideas, they came up with things like make "Nike shoes". I they thought they could just design shoes and slap the "Nike" logo on them and sell them. Things like copyright don't make sense at all they seem crazy to those that didn't grow up with the concept.

So I don't mean to say, that Chinese companies do things like this with mal intent. Rather, they do it because it makes sense to them, and not doing it would be crazy.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: It's an icon
by jared_wilkes on Wed 23rd Jul 2014 19:06 in reply to "RE[3]: It's an icon"
jared_wilkes Member since:

I'd say the problem is even more fundamental.

Again, what appears to have happened (based on some presumptions of course but much more reasonable ones than those being made in defense of it) is someone (internal or external) was preparing 3d product renders, got to the camera lens which caused them to hit the wall on their design skills and were unable to do it for themselves so, rather than hire or outsource to someone who was competent, they looked to the most obvious photorealistic 3d render of a camera lens they could think of (even though it is of an SLR, doesn't look remotely like a smartphone camera lens, so it certainly doesn't look like the Mi camera lens), pasted a mask over the identifiable text, and then (maybe worst of all) applied a much, much older iOS gloss/glass effect from (likely) a 5 year old online tutorial in producing iOS icons (this effect is not on the Aperture logo and definitely doesn't match the other lighting effects), and then pasted that mangled, stolen 2d image over top the flaws in their 3d product render. (The only thing that I've come up with so far to mitigate or contradict this theory is maybe they didn't have the design of the phone complete when they made the renders — but that doesn't change the fact that preexisting Mi models, even completely other phones, or the possible camera components to be used certainly could have been available, would have been a far better match and that this hack is apparent, unskilled, and ugly, and would have avoided the whole silliness.)

In other words, they seem to mostly have been motivated by complete incompetence rather than the intentional mimicking of an Apple design choice (in this particular instance). There are plenty of other instances where they clearly are trying to draft off of Apple's design successes and business decisions.

If you were to tell me that a company that was incapable of hiring or paying for a designer to make a competent 3d render of their very own product without cut-copying-pasting from the Internet (or a stock imagery agency or even directly and intentionally from Apple) and doing cheap 2d gloss effects that aren't remotely photorealistic (and that they would do it twice but flip the image around in an unnecessary, sloppy manner), there is no way that I could ever believe that they are ever likely to have any design competency, never mind design excellence, of their own.

Edited 2014-07-23 19:20 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: It's an icon
by spiderman on Thu 24th Jul 2014 06:08 in reply to "RE[3]: It's an icon"
spiderman Member since:

Your question is easily answered. They didn't put effort to copy that icon. The real question you should ask is why bother NOT copying it?

Your rant about chinese companies do not make sense to me. I'm in Europe and I copy stuff from the Internet on a daily basis to make presentations. It's probably illegal but did you know betting with friends was illegal too? Nobody is harmed, nobody cares and nothing happens. Yep, in Europe.

Edited 2014-07-24 06:08 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3