Xiaomi: Making waves by copying Apple
Xiaomi, the Chinese device manufacturer, has been making waves in the smartphone industry over the last 6 months or so. Their Mi 3 phone was a great device with flagship specs at half the price. We ran an article recently about how it stacks up with other no-contract devices – you can read that article here.
To build on the Mi 3, Xiaomi held a keynote presentation in Beijing to release the Mi 3’s successor. The keynote was interesting – on stage, there was a man wearing a black top and denim jeans that unveiled their new flagship smartphone. Then, at the end of the presentation the man on stage announced that, before concluding, there was “one more thing” – the man making the announcement was not Steve Jobs. Instead, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun proudly unveiled their new phone – the Mi Phone 4. The “one more thing” turned out to be a really nifty wearable device priced at just $13 and called the Mi Band.
There is no denying that the Mi 4 resembles the iPhone, with its chamfered edges, it looks just like a bigger iPhone at first glance. Of course, this is not the first time a company has copied Apple, there have been multiple instances where another company has taken bits and pieces of the Apple marketing machine and product lineup and sold it as their own – Apple themselves are guilty of this.
However, this is to be the first time that a company has copied everything (and so completely) and it seems that people are reacting to it. To put it into perspective, along with their keynote and the Mi 4 phone, Xiaomi also make a tablet (called the Mi Pad) that matches the screen size and resolution of the Retina iPad mini and use the same plastic and colors as the iPhone 5C.
Xiaomi’s global vice president Hugo Barra was quick to dispel any misconceptions, saying that if you have “have two similarly skilled designers, it makes sense that they would reach the same conclusion,” and that “It doesn’t matter if somebody else has reached the same conclusion.” As for Xiaomi sales, the company does not plan on coming into the US anytime soon with the brand focusing on the Indian market for the time being.
While they might deny they are are “Not copying Apple. End of story.” They will probably have a harder time trying to convince the general public to not see them as just that.
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