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".)

Hilarious.

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RE[4]: It's an icon
by spiderman on Wed 23rd Jul 2014 16:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: It's an icon"
spiderman
Member since:
2008-10-23

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[5]: It's an icon
by jared_wilkes on Wed 23rd Jul 2014 16:46 in reply to "RE[4]: It's an icon"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

No I do not think it's important. I think it is what I have stated it to be: XiaoMi, as a company is weak at design, and the vast majority of any perceived design strength comes from drafting off of Apple and others (but largely Apple) through cheap copying. That's it.

The rest of your defense neither makes much sense or is that relevant (I'm not claiming Apple invented flat design; I'm claiming that XiaoMi is so weak at design they are incapable of even producing or paying for original product renders of their own products). Yes, I understand that Apple has had success and others are chasing after it. That's part of the point, not a rebuttal. I couldn't care less about the font; to me, the fact that they are using "One More Thing" (whether or not it was successful for Apple and thus may be something worth copying) to actually make the claim that they aren't copying Apple and are following their own "innovative" path (while copying) is completely absurd, transparent, and is what it is: copying.

I'm not of the opinion that this is a major legal or financial infraction, nor that this is the end of civilization, nor that these two particular instances of copying have much benefit or harm for XiaoMi... merely, that it makes it apparent that they are weak on design and their own innovation (whether that be applied strictly to tech or any other category like graphic design or marketing or business strategy) is either completely lacking or cribbed from others.

Edited 2014-07-23 16:49 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: It's an icon
by jared_wilkes on Wed 23rd Jul 2014 16:57 in reply to "RE[4]: It's an icon"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

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.


They clearly are thinking about it because they specifically ended their product launch presentation to state that they aren't copying Apple (while copying Apple). I don't understand what you are thinking of your "defenses" and "rationalizations" — all you are doing is restating what I've said: XiaoMi is weak and incapable at design and must copy from others. The part that is galling is that they are attempting to call themselves out as unique, innovative, non-copiers when it is apparent that they are none of those things.

Never heard about Xiaomi before today.


Your ignorance is proof of nothing, except that you are arguing from an uninformed position.

Reply Parent Score: 2