The president of smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has hit back at Apple design head Jony Ive after he accused the Chinese company of stealing his designs.
Speaking at the Vanity Fair New Establishment summit, Ive was asked what he thought about Xiaomi. The Chinese smartphone maker has often been accused of copying Apple’s latest smartphones and selling cheaper versions of them in China. Ive had this to say about his imitators:
I don’t see it as flattery. I see it as theft. I have to be honest. The last think I think is ‘Oh, that is flattering … all those weekends I could’ve been home with my family’ … I think it’s theft and it’s lazy. I don’t think it’s OK at all.
Now, Xiaomi President Lin Bin has hit back at Ive’s accusations, defending his company’s products. In a statement to the state-run China News Service, reported by The Register, Lin Bin addressed Ive directly:
Xiaomi is a very open company, which would never force anyone to use its products. However, one can only judge Xiaomi’s gadgets after he or she has used them. I’m very willing to give a Xiaomi cell phone to him as a present, and I look forward to hearing his remarks after he uses it.
But that wasn’t the only reaction from Xiaomi to Ive’s comments. Cult of Mac reports that the company’s VP for international markets, Hugo Barra, also responded to the accusation in an interview with the Economic Times:
If you look at the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 has been using the design language that has been around for a while. The iPhone 6 is using design language that HTC has had for 5 years. You cannot claim full ownership of any kind of design languages in our industry.