Xiaomi is a Chinese technology and gadget maker that takes copying to new heights. These heights include a $46 Billion dollar market valuation! When you start to really dig into the products that Xiaomi creates, you will be bowled over with just how much they steal from Apple. Jony Ive likens the similarities between the two companies products as “theft.” When having a look at the Mi4 smartphone, which is a stunning replica of Apple’s iPhone, it’s hard to argue with the man. Let’s take a look at a few of the ways Xiaomi copies Apple here.
Xiaomi Mi 4
The Chinese Apple has created a smartphone with a bunch of features lifted right from the iPhone. The Mi 4 features a slick chamfered edge on it’s polished stainless steel chassis, in addition to an antenna that is neatly tucked away into the frame of the phone. Speakers come in the form of tiny little holes that are drilled into the metal just lie, you guessed it, Apple. Check this out.
Just in case you were wondering if this was intentional or not, have a look at how this company conducts it’s marketing events.
Oh No they Didn’t!
No they didnt? Yes, they did! The iconic "one more thing" slide. Priceless – Xiaomi Mi4 pic.twitter.com/bD9UamXVBl
— Sascha Pallenberg (@sascha_p) July 22, 2014
That is not an Apple Marketing event you see there! That is Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun doing his best to channel the late Steve Jobs. Note that Jun is wearing the same trademark blue jeans and black shirt. Dignity? We don’t need no stinkin dignity!
Replace i with Mi
If you’d like to learn about any of the gadgets Xiaomi makes, simply choose any device in the Apple lineup and replace their letter “i” with “Mi.” For example, this gadget right here is a Mi Pad, rather than an iPad. Just in case you were wondering, this device has the same screen size, aspect ratio, and resolution of the device it copies. This guy right over here is a Mi Phone, rather than an iPhone. I don’t know, but to me, that looks an awful lot like an Apple iPhone right there. Is this stuff even legal?
Not content to pillage just the handheld device category, Xioami also offers other devices that bear a striking resemblance to Apple Products. Take a look at these and note the similarities.
The Mi Tv
The Mi Store
The ripoffs don’t stop with the hardware design, marketing events, and CEO dress code. MIUI 6 is the software, or operating system, that powers the Xiaomi Mi 4 smarthphones. Now we all know and love Apple’s implementation of an operation system in it’s slick iOS software. MIUI 6 is Xiaomi’s take (and by take, we mean they literally took it) on the iOS operation system. MIUI 6 looks to be a direct clone of iOS.
The latest estimates of Xiaomi’s valuation potential could approach $100 billion dollars according to professional investor Yuri Milner. Xiaomi is seemingly an overnight success reaching the same pinnacle as companies like Alibaba and Facebook. Yuri was also an early investor in both of these companies by way of his own equity firm Digital Sky Technologies. Some of his other successful investments include Xapo, Wefunder, Twist Bioscience, OTOY, First Opinion, Planet Labs, Genapsys, and IfOnly. The takeaway is that if Yuri sees potential in Xiaomi, it’s worth paying attention to. As of right now, Xiaomi is already the third largest mobile device manufacturer in the world, with only Apple and Samsung ahead of it. Yuri says that Xiaomi has the potential to become China’s first truly global brand.
The Verdict On Xiaomi
It’s pretty clear that Xiaomi is ripping off Apple in almost every way. Are they simply beating Apple at their own game by building quality devices in the style of Apple at lower price points for consumers? Would you use one of these knock off products? And again, is this stuff even legal? Being that this issue crosses international borders and laws, how does the legal system deal with something like this? For the time being, it looks like Xiaomi will continue to make a killing using the designs and blueprints of one of the world’s most successful companies. It’s not unlike the Samwer Brothers, whose entire business is simply copying successful companies, and building clones of them. The Samwer Brothers have also become billionaires by doing just this thing. They copied eBay with Alando, Fab with Bamarang, Groupon with CityDeal, Uber with Easy Taxi, Amazon with Linio, Square with Payleven, Stripe with Paymill, and Zappos with Zalando.