Chinese phone maker Xiaomi, whose recent Mi Pad tablet took design cues from the iPad Mini with the iPhone 5C’s colorful plastic shell, has now unveiled the all new ‘Mi 4’ smartphone, that not only looks pretty much like an iPhone, but also packs some impressive hardware. The Android powered smartphone hosts a 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, has 3GB of RAM, 16/64GB of onboard storage and is also 4G enabled (via CNET).
The Mi 4 comes with a 5-inch full-HD display with a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. The new phone will cost 1,999 yuan ($258) for a basic model with 16 gigabytes of memory and will be available later this month. One thing Xiaomi’s very proud of is the phone’s large 3080mAh battery, which is able to quickly charge from 0 to 60% in an hour. But despite all the design similarities with the iPhone, Xiaomi’s global vice president Hugo Barra, the ex-Google executive, says his company is no Apple ripoff.
According to The Verge, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says he’s already “sick and tired” of hearing his company derided as an Apple copycat.
Firstly, it should be known simply as Mi. “We talk about Mi products and the Mi company”. “Mi is an incredibly innovative company” that never stops trying to improve and refine its designs, and the allegations of it copying Apple are “sweeping sensationalist statements because they have nothing better to talk about.”
There are many overlaps in design between Apple’s products and Mi’s: the new Mi 4 has chamfered edges much like the iPhone, and the Mi Pad matches the screen size and resolution of the Retina iPad mini while using the same plastic as in the iPhone 5C. Barra is unapologetic about any of these similarities. “If you have two similarly skilled designers, it makes sense that they would reach the same conclusion,” he argues.
While Mr. Jun strongly insists “we’re not copying Apple’s products, end of story”, a man wearing a black top and denim jeans standing on stage promising to unveil “one more thing” at Xiaomi Mi4 launch event (see below) tells a completely different story.
Update: John Gruber from Daring Fireball has spotted Xiaomi ripping off Apple’s Aperture icon:
This is a good one: http://t.co/L9Ne6CcjRo
— John Gruber (@gruber) July 23, 2014