Apple’s Chief designer Sir Jonathan “Jony” Ive has taken a pop shot at a Chinese smartphone brand that is looking to break into the Australian market with a design remarkably similar to an Apple iPhone.
Responding to a question at a Vanity Fair function from the audience about Chinese tech maker Xiaomi, and the similarity of their products to Apple’s Ive said “I don’t see it as flattery, I see it as theft.”
He then went on to say that a lot of Companies are trying to copy Apple designs
Xiaomi who has been accused of copying before has said the suggestion was “sensationalist”.
The Chinese smartphone maker is currently talking to carriers and retailers in Australia about their new range of smartphones and tablets.
Hugo Barra, who was poached by Xiaomi from Google, said the Chinese firm was “an incredibly innovative company”.
But the company has come under fire from people who believed its designs appeared similar to Apple’s iPhones and iPads.
Sir Jonathan, who was born in Chingford, London, was at the San Francisco event to discuss his career.
But when asked about his feelings towards copycat manufacturers, he said: “I have to be honest the last thing I think is, ‘Oh that is flattering.’
“All those weekends I could’ve been home with my family – I think its theft and lazy. I don’t think it’s OK at all.”
However, some argue that Apple itself is not immune from picking up design and hardware inspiration from its competitors.
“Every Apple product is an evolution of a product that has come before it,” said Chris Green, principal technology analyst at Davis Murphy Group.
“They are rarely the first to come to market with a product.