Jony Ive about companies that copy Apple's designs: it's not flattery, it's theft

Jony Ive about companies that copy Apple's designs: it's not flattery, it's theft
Jonathan Ive, the man who designs Apple’s iPhones and iPads (among other things), isn’t particularly happy about the fact that other companies often copy his designs. 

Present at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit today, Jony Ive was asked how he felt about Xiaomi’s products - some of which look a lot like Apple’s. He said he doesn’t see this (i.e. mimicking Apple’s designs in general) as flattery. “I see it as theft, and it's lazy," declared Ive. He continued by saying that “a beautiful product that doesn't work very well is ugly.”

Earlier this year, Xiaomi’s global vice president, Hugo Barra (who led Google’s Android division until 2013), denied that Xiaomi was copying Apple. However, the similarities between the Chinese company and Apple are quite evident, as we proved in this post. Of course, Apple-like designs can be found all over China (iPhone clones have been available to buy ever since Apple introduced the first model), but Xiaomi’s case is special, because the company has quickly grown to be a major smartphone maker.

What do you think, is Jonathan Ive being too harsh in saying that design imitators are, in some ways, thieves?

source: Vanity Fair (1), (2) via The Verge, 9to5Mac

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102 Comments

1. RORYREVOLUTION

Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Oh god, Apple talks about copying. The irony.....

2. DaHarder

Posts: 177; Member since: Oct 10, 2009

No Doubt... and it's the complete lack of 'self awareness' and arrogance on Apple/Ive's part that makes the FACT that Apple 'copies' more features/design elements etc than any other company all the more infuriating. I won't even start on what an utter constantly rebooting POS my iPhone 6 Plus/128 has been.

8. greenelektron

Posts: 537; Member since: Sep 10, 2014

omg, as if they did not stole from the Braun designs.

31. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

So, a Braun coffee maker and a Mac Pro are the same thing? Ive uses the Dieter Rams design philosophy. If you can find an MP3 player, smartphone, laptop, or anything else makes in the Braun collection that was designed by Rams, then kudos to you, because nobody else has.

34. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Ive stuck his foot in his mouth..you cant deny Braun designs were basically ripped off by him. By his own words..Ive was himself a thief and lazy. "people in glass house...." He shoulda just said he is flattered, smiled a fake smile and moved on to another topic.

37. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Btw...anytime Apple tried to sue Motorola for the Xoom.....based on hardware, looks......you better believe Apple stole Braun designs. While you want someone to look for a Braun mp3 player, smartphone and laptop.....I want you to tell me where in the world does a Xoom look like an iPad.

39. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

How can you "steal" a design for a completely new product? Maybe you should listen to Braun's chief designer and hear what he has to say about Ive and Apple. http://youtu.be/A6-wA-7QIeE If the guy responsible for designing completely different items doesn't think Apple are thieves, on what planet does your opinion even add up to two cents?

46. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

So tell me, if I make a phone that resembles a Coke bottle, with similar coloring, you don't think that they're gonna get ahold of me? Even thought it's not a competing product. And just because Braun's designer doesn't think they're thieves negates the facts that they used their design language? What you're basically arguing is that you can use someone else's designs as long as the original designer doesn't come after you and it's not a competing product? But either way, you're still copying someone else's designs.

76. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

The Coke bottle is trademarked trade dress. Do any of Apple's devices look exactly like a Braun device? As for using design language, that is why it is a design LANGUAGE, like an art style. Rams has many devotees, but Ive just happens to be the most prominent. As for your last argument, I can only assume you are being facetious or just obtuse. None of Apple's products look like a Braun product. The fact that they are different products precludes that. Xiaomi? They have taken pride in making Miui look just like iOS, and their phones look like an amalgamation of Apple and Samsung phones. If they weren't hopeless thieves, would Hugo Barra be protesting so much?

80. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

It doesn't have to look EXACTLY like a Coke bottle to warrant their attention, but enough to make them think that someone's trying to profit from their design. And the same would be the case for Apple. Tell me, did the original Galaxy S look EXACTLY like the iPhone? No, but that didn't stop Apple from going after them for looking similar enough as to supposedly confuse consumers. And no, I was not being facetious or obtuse, that is essentially what you've said so far on this subject. Re read post 39. And no Apple product looks like a Braun product? Check out the pics in the link in post 6. They look as close or closer than the Galaxy S does to the iPhone.

48. cheetah2k

Posts: 2256; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Fk Johnny Ives he's an idoit...

13. Drsarcastic

Posts: 136; Member since: Jul 23, 2014

I kind of don't feel sorry for you... you bought a 1000 dollar iPhone.

18. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Rebooting? Really?

67. darkkjedii

Posts: 31039; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

He's lying, he doesn't have one.

19. vincelongman

Posts: 5693; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Very ignorant from Ive There's so many features/designs they have copied from Android, Windows Phone, desktop Windows, WebOS and Jailbreak/root/XDA community http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrM25jqhXdA That's just iOS 7 iOS 8 bring even more features from other platforms Yes, Android L and Windows 10 are also bringing in features from other platforms, but at least they dont make ridiculous claims like this

24. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Their iOS 7 theme is a complete rip off from XiaoMi MIUI V5 which was release well ahead of iOS 7. All iOS features is already available in other platforms in one form or another. Jony Ive is a stuck up copy cat!!

29. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

Are you sure you want to stand by that? MIUI v5 came out this year. iOS 7 came out last year. Xiaomi and Miui have always been iOS rip offs, and that is even debatable.

49. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Another example of Apple fans living in their own fantasy world. Miui V5 was unveil before 1st March 2013.http://www.gizmochina.com/2013/03/01/miui-v4-and-miui-v5-comparison/ iOS v7 was release in 18th Sep 2013http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/IOS_7 XiaoMi response to Apple unreasonable fans.http://www.gizmochina.com/2014/08/22/miui-v6-response-to-copy-ios-apples-ios-is-not-original-as-well/ Only Apple, its employee and fans make a who-ha about people copying their dated design. No other company bother as they keep refreshing their designs with new ones. Jone Ive is a overpaid lazy designer that uses the same iPhone 4 design for 3 consecutive years. The latest iPhone 6+ look like a metallic version of Note 2. Who's is copying who?!

63. slh163

Posts: 140; Member since: May 19, 2014

HOLY CRAP..! you're so right man, i didn't know that ios7 is a complete rip off from Miui v5!! i thought it's the inverse! i didn't realise that apple is really the most copy cat in the planet till now! not only there hardware and software features. but now i realised that also their UI design is a simple copycat and all their products design are ripped off from Braun as well:http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iIt0x41T8p4/UE2vaBOsMCI/AAAAAAAAD6E/y6vOQJQi18g/s1600/article-2200660-14ED4150000005DC-232_636x383.jpg shame on you appel

90. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

Xiaomi is, and always has been the thief. MIUI v5 is still an iOS 6 clone with skeumorphism. MIUI v6 is flat like iOS 7, and it did come out in 2014. As for Xiaomi's protestations, how many "innocent " people are in prisons? Why not listen to more impartial voices?http://www.cultofandroid.com/66569/xiaomi-dont-copy-apple/ http://gizmodo.com/xiaomis-next-os-is-the-most-shameless-ios-rip-off-you-w-1623161479 http://www.phonearena.com/news/Did-you-know-Xiaomis-new-MIUI-6-skin-is-the-most-shameless-iOS-rip-off-youll-ever-see_id59444 http://www.androidauthority.com/xiaomi-copy-apple-385088/ I'd say that about wraps that up.

66. darkkjedii

Posts: 31039; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

As if an iPhone hater like you really has a 128 gig 6 plus, and to think 27 fools gave you a green thumb. You got what you were after.

77. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

I highly doubt You got iPhone. Why would You buy it if You hate Apple?

79. rob5150

Posts: 183; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Here is where apple has gotten their designs. This companies designs from the1960shttp://www.businessinsider.com/apple-braun-inspiration-2012-9?op=1

97. LiquidGalaxy

Posts: 332; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Wow, Android fangeeks really are annoyed that Apple sell so many millions of devices aren't they...? Talk about butt hurt...

4. jmonteiro829

Posts: 261; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

42. jacko1977

Posts: 428; Member since: Feb 11, 2012

when i first saw the back of the iphone 6 that was the first thing i thought

54. chocolaking

Posts: 495; Member since: May 22, 2012

the whole xiaomi company is a made up by a buncy of highly educated copy cat. the whole company is shame lessss shame less, shame less shame less shame!! less!

56. technosiastic

Posts: 33; Member since: Sep 18, 2014

Buddy htc one m7 copy the design of iphone 5.

71. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Wait, let me laugh just a bit more, are you insinuating a curved back with plastic inserts, plastic sides, speaker grills on the front is a copy of the angular, straight, metal and glass iPhone 5? BTW isn't it hilarious that HTC managed to put front stereo speakers and still make a phone that is smaller in tallness than the iBezel 6 with the M7?

84. William13

Posts: 27; Member since: Mar 10, 2011

Thank you, I've been saying that from the beginning, but somehow Apple fanboys will say HTC went to the future and stole the idea, came back and released it before Apple could. And they even stole the time machine design from Apple. Apple created it 10 years ago, but they know Apple fanboys will continue to buy dated products so they hold onto their real technology. Someone broke into Cupertino and stole the design for the time machine and sold it to the highest bidder (which was surprisingly, HTC). In fact, Steven Spielberg stole the flux capacitor from Steve Jobs for his movie. Jobs already invented the time machine in 1855.

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