Xiaomi's Hugo Barra speaks against copycat accusations, says “one more thing...” was a joke

Hugo Barra – Xiaomi VP of International – sat down for an interview with Bloomberg and, of course, the question of the company “copying” the iPhone came up. It's not a new accusation – Xiaomi has often been called the “Apple of China”. The company started off with building MIUI – a custom ROM for Android, and one that is often called out for being “inspired by iOS”. Soon after, it begun production of its own brand of smartphones, which packed a lot of hardware punch for half the usual going price. Flash forward to 2014 when its flagship handset – the Mi 4 – suffered accusations that it has been taking design cues from Apple's iPhone 5, and its MiPad tablet looked nothing short of an illegal baby between the iPad Mini's design and the iPhone 5c's colorful shells.

So, when Bloomberg's Emily Chang raised the question and mentioned Jony Ive's comments that design copying is "lazy" and "theft", Mr. Barra responded that the whole thing is a melodrama, and that the only things in the Mi 4 that resemble an iPhone 5 are the chamfered edge of its metal frame, and the fact that it has a home button on the bottom of its face (which is, Mr. Barra points out, just the way that most smartphones work today). The whole thing has been blown out of proportion, according to the VP, due to the fact that there is a lingering bias against Chinese companies and their products – especially when the price is around 50% of what "renowned" companies sell their phones for. He also points out that the new Mi Note doesn't "remotely resemble" anything.

Mr. Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi, has also been accused of copying Steve Jobs – with both the way he dresses and the way he presents new products – the pinnacle of which was reached when Mr. Jun used the infamous "one more thing..." when announcing the Mi Band. To this, Mr. Barra said that the CEO has now started wearing blue button-down shirts, instead of the famous black turtleneck, and that the "one more thing..." was, apparently, a joke, and "people took it way too seriously – we don't take ourselves seriously, at all". Nice pitch, but does that mean that when Lei Jun said that Xiaomi would be the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world in 5 – 10 years, he wasn't serious?

So, all that's left for Xiaomi to do, if it wishes to convince people that it doesn't copy other companies, is to come up with a design for the MiPad 2 that doesn't resemble an iPad Mini, and stop calling its phablet models a "Note" variant (1, 2, 3)



1. Zylam

Posts: 1817; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

LOLOLOL Xiaomi copy Apple more than Samsung. Also I'm sure we'll get some words from our own Phone Arena HugoBarraCyanogenmod soon.

2. Ashoaib

Posts: 3289; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

copy who ever you want but provide me good hardware and software punch in the half price of what apple or samsung is charging... well thats the bottom line for me

8. vincelongman

Posts: 5696; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Personally, I don't care All OEMs have copied from each other, including Samsung, Apple, LG, Sony, HTC, Microsoft, BlackBerry, ...

9. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

I think Xiaomi Mi Note's back is being copied by Samsung in NOTE 5(based on the schematics posted on PA recently).. even Xiaomi's phones are copied in China.. To certain prospective almost everyone copies everyone..

10. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

Apple's pink edition of iPhone 6 plus is already a copy from Xiaomi's Mi Note's pink limited edition phone..

3. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

Xaomi, Undenaibly Inspired By Apple. No one copies like them from Keynotes to Software.

12. coldspring22

Posts: 349; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

Who cares, it's old windows vs mac look and feel lawsuit again. Yea Apple try to patent square and rounded corners. Ridiculous. Only thing consumers care about is who deliver the best smart phone experience. In my experience, Xiaomi MIUI beats iphone/IOS for good looks and ease of use, not to mention it has tremendous flexibility of Android OS, and excellent hardware at great price points.

4. Kruze

Posts: 1285; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

No need jokes, Mr. Barra. People are grumpy and close-minded nowadays, this copy that copy...This is the miserable tech world you're in.

14. aksa123

Posts: 367; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

The hell??? Can't ur eyes clearly see any differences between iPad & MiPad in the picture above? I understand almost all smartphones look similar nowadays, but they still have different "feeling". But MiPad??? Just a blatant copy. Oh and Hugo just blames ppl who think xiaomi is a copycat. Just how unprofessional is that? I think xiaomi is a good company except in the design department.

5. dancheung77

Posts: 202; Member since: Jan 28, 2015

At least xiaomi knows their position and not trying to charge an arm for their "copy cat"

6. Chuck007

Posts: 1410; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

Copy or not, Hugo isn't doing that great a job promoting the Xiaomi brand to the west. Instead of showing how Xiaomi can be a major innovator to come, he somehow managed to put himself (the once almighty Google guy) into obscurity.

7. Tizo101

Posts: 545; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

I would argue that they make everything better, which would be funny since Apple claims that when they copy lol.

11. dimas

Posts: 3374; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

And when will bloomberg ask apple whether they copied htc and meizu from the aluminum build to their OS look? I'm not defending Xiaomi but Emily Cheng is trying to revive an old corpse issue that's been buried for a year.

13. waddup121 unregistered

It was a joke? lol

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