Xiaomi takes copying Apple to the next level with blatant iOS ripoff

163530buoxdz0zolxgn0oq

By now, it’s obvious that Xiaomi is heavily inspired by Apple’s product design. The Chinese company’s founder even dresses up like Steve Jobs at events and uses the “One More Thing” presentation gimmick.

Now we’ve been given a look at MIUI 6, the software for Xiaomi’s new Mi 4 smartphone. It’s the most blatant ripoff of Apple to date.

Xiamoi doesn’t even attempt to hide the fact that it has based many of its stock apps entirely off Apple’s in iOS. Wherever MIUI 6 doesn’t look like a prettified Android skin, it looks like a direct copy of the iPhone.

Compass

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 4.36.31 PM

Calendar

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 4.38.12 PM

Calculator

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 4.40.10 PM

“Mi” Cloud instead of iCloud

144243aoz23n22qqccsnhe

Camera

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 5.38.09 PM

Photos

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 5.39.41 PM

Settings

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 5.43.01 PM

All of this copying, and yet Xiaomi’s sales are growing like wildfire in China, where it has surpassed Samsung as the top smartphone maker. How successful Xiaomi will be overseas remains to be seen, but if it keeps copying Apple’s designs like it is now, there is bound to be a patent lawsuit in the future.

  • Nathan Salazar

    so………………..

  • Aki

    Like apple don’t copy from android…

    • Mark Langston

      You could argue that if not for the iPhone the Android we know today wouldn’t exist. The first iteration of the software and hardware was a blatant rip-off of the once dominant Blackberry so Google’s history of copying/stealing ideas is rich and detailed.

      As for Xiaomi this goes beyond copying. This is criminal.

      I’ll concede that most companies today are gleaning ideas from one another but they find subtle ways to make it their own. These photos represent a completely different aspect of gleaning or even being inspired by. For Xiaomi’s sake they better have some really good lawyers.

      The hardware, the software, the CEO’s attire and for certain “One More Thing” are taking copying to new levels. Makes Samsung’s violations trivial by comparison.

      • Aki

        define the boundary

      • Christopher Breen

        whatever the boundary is…..this has to be it.

      • Aki

        I don’t drive, and all cars look the same to me.
        I suggest you guys at least try it first, so you will understand why xiaomi became the successor of thousands of ‘copycat’ Phone makers in China. Copying is definitely not the reason.

      • Mark Langston

        “I don’t drive, and all cars look the same to me.”

        And with those words you’ve officially positioned yourself as an irrational and unnecessary voice in this forum.

        I also suggest, when you come of age, that you try taking ownership of something beyond “your room” so you can fully understand how taking from others that have worked tirelessly to conceive and craft something unique and bold is nothing short of lazy and repugnant.

        Good day.

      • Peter MacLeod

        +10, I have to agree with Mark 100%

      • Aki

        If China claims ownership on gunpowder, I want to know what you will have to say.

      • Kr00

        We now have to define a new term for your group. We have Android fandroids, Apple fanboys, now we have Xiaomi Xianboys. Do you work for the socialist state or just the company?

      • Aki

        I work for neither, and I’ve been a mac user since 2007. We both know how many things did Apple copy from android over the years. And Apple even copy from third party developers. Forgot about the W(orld) W(ide) D(eveloper) C(ry) Event?

      • Peter MacLeod

        Wow now your even saying Apple coppied its WWDC form others?

      • Aki

        Apple Copy from third party App Developers, published on WWDC. Safari reader VS. Readability, for example.

      • Kr00

        A cheap shot, and easy to say, but if you have any guts, you’d put up or shut up. Thats pretty defamatory language you’re using. Are you aware of defamation?

      • Aki

        These are so simple facts. And I’m not the only one saying these.

      • Kr00

        They’re all wrong, in many ways, and basically lies. Look up intelliscreen, SBSettings, Activator, Winterboard, Lockinfo, and many more, that existed before android even thought about stealing them. Fact. iPhone OS came first. Jailbreak tweaks/widgets came next. Android copied iPhone OS, then copied jailbreaking widgets. All facts. Anything else is just lies. Which is what you’re spreading. Have the decency to give credit where it is actually due, not what you blindly and ignorantly believe.

      • Kr00

        Do you have any proof of that? I’d like to see. Or are you confusing what android stole from the jailbreak community first? Theres plenty of evidence of that.

      • Aki

        Apple stole Notification Center from android, stole Safari Reader from Readability, Todo apps, Voice Recording apps, steal Card from WebOS, etc.

      • Kr00

        All were jailbreaking apps BEFORE android stole them. You seem to have an agenda, so if you’re not prepared to show us the evidence, your idiotic rants are just that. You insult those who did develop those apps first. What a disgrace, to claim others developed them first when they didn’t. Trolls always claim this, and can never prove it.

      • Grunt_at_the_Point

        Assuming Apple is using features from the developers you mentioned; what’s to say those developers aren’t receiving fees or other priviliges from Apple. i can envisioned a scenario where developers get to peddle their apps in the Apple Store free of charge in exchange for allowing Apple to use features contained in their Apps.

        On the flip side, unless we hear differently from Apple, what’s to say Xiaomi isn’t paying Apple licensing fees for use of Apple’s IOS features.

        It is rare that a company announces it is paying to or receiving from, licensing fees or royalties to use features contained in its product.

        Just because this article uses the word “copying” without additional information, does not make Xiaomi’s design illegal.

      • GForce

        There is one thing you forgot to mention. Apple makes it work… cleanly… without lag and improved. What you see above is a direct rip.

      • GForce

        Ya but this is plain stupid. this is a direct rip. like as in, not even trying.

      • pjs_boston

        The boundary: A bit short of the line that Xiaomi has crossed.

      • GForce

        the red line

      • chano1

        The Chinese border is the boundary.

    • Chris

      Aki – you just don’t get the big picture – sorry bud

    • moofer

      Yeah, it was Apple that had a spot on the Google board and then split with proprietary knowledge. Oh wait, it was the other way around. Go look at Android before, and Android after. It’s laughable.

    • RF9

      It’s WHAT they copy. Copying features here and there with their own UI and implementation is a compleatly different thing than wholly copying the entire UI, ID, colors, marketing, image, and presentation top to bottom. They aren’t just copying the features, they’re carbon copying everything about apple and their mobile products.

    • jrb

      > Like apple don’t copy from android.

      and windows phone. How the tables have turned, it’s now ironically Apple that just has no taste.

    • GForce

      And like android didn’t copy from apple. Your not making a point here. This above is a direct rip. They didn’t even try. It’s like, hey, lets just steal it… make the icons round.

      Xaomi reps stated: “By the way, we have idiots like Aki and his goons to protect us because they are too stupid to understand copyrights. They will troll on forms. I mean, we know Apple made the stuff nice and really spent billions in research and development. Meanwhile, we spent $5 and hired a bunch of desperate kids who cant afford college to make this garbage. Send Aki a free phone! might as well call it the EyePhone6. haha suckers!!!, well just Aki”

      Aki, to save your breathe, I already posted your next statement:

      ———-
      Aki * 2 minutes ago

      “You are stupid. Do you know that iphones all steal? Apple are thugs and they just copied everyone. Did you know android invented everything? That’s why they were first. Google event beat microsoft to the mobile market. Google knew in 1994 that microsoft and apple would copy them. Apple should respect boundaries and developers need to quit making apps for apple thugs. Just to make this clear, copyright protect predictions. So bam.. win google and android 1 – apple 0″

  • Gregg_Thurman

    Been an iPhone user since day one (stood in rain for ~5 hours to get one on first day). I’m not concerned about these “copies”. Looks to me like a runaway media trying to make something of nothing.

    • eXoguti093

      They’re like China’s Apple, they’re pretty big and it’s a big deal.

    • pjs_boston

      As an Apple shareholder, I don’t want to see Xiaomi stealing Apple sales with knockoff products.

  • http://jimeagle.com James Eagle

    I think I prefer theirs.

  • Joe Ho

    That place is called “China” the only copyright infringement is when you copy something they make.

  • Undivided

    Not for nothing, the OS looks inspired by ios but does not look like a blatent copy. There is enough change to know that it is not ios. To me, the media is making mountains out of molehills. Gotta love the internet lawyers.

    • pjs_boston

      It’s a blatant copy. One designed to make buyers feel like they are almost getting an iPhone, but for less money. Hopefully it is similar enough to fool casual onlookers. It’s like a fake Rolex…

      • Undivided

        Not a blatant copy at all. As I said, there is enough difference to know which one is IOS. Anyone with half a brain can tell the difference. Not to mention the price difference. You said it best yourself. It’s designed to give buyers a similar IOS experience without spending the money. But no way a blatant copy. Too many differences in order to know which one is IOS.

      • pjs_boston

        So let me get this straight. It’s okay to copy someone else’s homework as long as it’s in our own handwriting. That way nobody would confuse your homework with the other guy’s.

        MIUI 6 is EXPLICITLY designed to look and function like iOS 7-8. Xiaomi could have made the software look completely unique. Why didn’t they? It’s because they don’t have the chops to come up with a new design that customers will accept.
        So instead they intentionally copy Apple’s work, essentially stealing all of Apple’s difficult design decisions.

        Anyone who does not think this is despicable is a cretin.

      • Undivided

        Are you having difficulties distinguishing this OS from IOS? If so I can understand you being so obtuse and not seeing the forest for the trees. It is designed to LOOK LIKE IOS. Probably for the reasons you outline, which I am not disagreeing with. However, it is not a blatant copy as you insist. If your still having trouble understanding this, please look again and the pretty pictures in this article.

      • pjs_boston

        A blatant copy is one which is intended to look and function like the original, not one which is pixel for pixel identical. A blatant copy is the theft of design, of function, not simply of appearance. It is the theft of those desirable qualities that define a valuable brand.

        In this case it is theft of Apple’s intellectual property for the purpose of stealing business from Apple and from other vendors who do not copy Apple.

        The fact that you don’t grasp why this is disgusting and dishonorable says a bit about you.

      • Undivided

        Apple fanboys are way too emotional. I love my apple products but thank god I am not as blind as the fanboys. Since I have never said I condone the similarities, you have made an assumption that you are not qualified to make. Just like you opinion here. Why don’t you hire a lawyer and sue?

      • pjs_boston

        I’m not grossed out about Xiaomi because I am an Apple fanboy. I’m grossed out because, as someone who has designed things for a living, I find the theft of ideas and inventions to be utterly sleazy.

        If Xiaomi were blatantly copying Windows Phone I would be equally disgusted. The fact is, the only reason Xiaomi is not copying Windows Phone is that there is no money in it.

      • Undivided

        So when apple does it your equally grossed?

      • pjs_boston

        If Apple were to blatantly copy another company’s products, I would be grossed out.

        But, as we both know, Apple doesn’t do this. So your point is moot.

      • Undivided

        Really? Apple has never copied Android? Apple did not copy the MP3 player? Apple did not copy the graphical interface from Xerox? Jobs was great at taking an idea and copying it and making it better. Did you say you were not an apple fanboy? Who are you trying to convince?

      • pjs_boston

        And the troll is revealed. Your use of a double standard is amazing.

        Let’s review your tortured logic:

        If Apple makes a product to compete in an existing market, it is a copy, regardless of how original or groundbreaking Apple’s product is.

        However, if another company makes a product OBVIOUSLY designed to crib the look, feel, function, and trade dress of an Apple product, it is not copying, so long as the product is not precisely identical to Apple’s product down to the microscopic level.

        Do you realize what a douche you sound like?

  • Yujin

    So a Chinese company ripping off apple… So what is the news here? We all know that is the business model. And it dies work to a certain degree. Look at Samsung.

    • pjs_boston

      Yes, it works. But it’s still utterly despicable.

  • Gregg_Thurman

    Nobody with anything approaching half a brain is going to mistake the MI 4 for an iPhone. The first give away if the price.

    • pjs_boston

      This doesn’t change the fact that Xiaomi is stealing Apple’s trade dress and functional design. Certainly this hurts other low cost phone makers more than it hurts Apple, but this is beside the point. It is still disgusting.

  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    If the courts don’t declare it copying, then it doesn’t make a bit of difference. Apple will gain nothing from complaining about it. I’ll admit the examples are somewhat similar but different enough as far as I’m concerned. It’s not going to make or break either company.

    • AbbyZFresh

      Unlike the U.S., there is no such thing as property rights in China. Even if Apple tried, Xiaomi will be backed by the Chinese government. Apple will not gain anything from lawsuits.

      • Kr00

        In China, all rights are owned by the state. The State then “allow” companies to use the rights, but can revoke them at any time. The Chinese government is one of the most corrupt on the planet. The very reason why communism fails every time.

  • TeeJay1100

    This looks better than iOS!!

  • TeeJay1100

    If you Applenites are outraged by this then, tell Apple to stop using Chinese manufacturing. But guess what, they won’t. Move on people, life goes on!!

    • EKIMMMMM

      STOP WITH THIS – READ & COMPREHEND SOMETHING

      every electronics company in the world uses CHINESE MANUFACTURERS; most of them the exact same company that apple uses. do you see any other tech company checking all their downlines, checking on working hours, etc? you don’t.

      please do some sort of research other than sensationalist articles published. if you had, you would see that Foxxcon is pretty much a city in and of itself with over 500,000 employees. employess who are happy to have any sort of job so that they can make money to send back to their families. our cultures are vastly different. if they really couldn’t stand working in these factories, they would all be shut down. these jobs give some of these families lives that they could not have had before.

      if you’re that upset about using chinese manufacturing, stop buying anything with any sort of electronic component.

      • TeeJay1100

        You obviously missed my point. The post is about a Chinese company supposedly copying Apple. There are Apple fanatics in this post who are angry over this act. I said what I said, because people cry murder when they see anything like Apple from someone else other than Apple. If they don’t like it oh well or if Apple doesn’t, then remove manufacturing from China simple. All those millions they have, they could do US manufacturing but they won’t. I happen to like Chinese manufacturing by the way.

  • anirudh7

    At-least they proved that iPhone is not worth $800

  • Justmejustinc

    Can we all agree that even if Xiaomi copied, let’s be honest…. They did a better job with the design than apple did. Its copying, but at least it improves it.

    Anyone agree?

    • Ch Humza Masood Chaudrey

      No one agrees…

    • UZ

      I AGREE! They seem to have “polished” it a little better than Apple. It’s been one of my complaints with Apple hardware and software of late, it doesn’t feel as “polished” as before.

    • Technocrz!

      its not copying they steal it and they are doing it better

  • moofer

    Thieves.

  • Technocrz!

    looks good

  • http://segwayne.com Wayne Hunt

    Sorry to say this, but I think most of their OS looks better than iOS.. Not saying it’s any better, or even as good a phone, but the screenshots of the other OS look more polished than iOS is now…

  • RF9

    If Android is so great and better than iOS why is this company going to such great lengths to make it as much like iOS as possible? Hmm?
    I see Android users complain about iOS 7 UI all of the time.
    The next time an idiot disses me about choosing iPhone they can GFT.

  • Atmospheric Music

    Well, I doubt they will make it in court.

    This is beyond what iOS and Android are taking from each other. This is pure stealing.

    But you know.. This just shows how little creativity some people have these days. Instead of making something unique (never seen before), they choose to take similarities from bigger companies. This also counts for companies like Apple, Samsung and so on.

    Innovation rarely shows up anymore and it’s sad. It feels like a pause in the innovation industry.

  • jrb

    In fairness, you’ve given the most generic examples of applications. A compass – apple’s is skeuomorphic, and so is xiaomi’s. So what?

    As for the other designs, aside from the non-centred circle highlighting the date on the calendar I would genuinely say xiaomi’s applications look significantly nicer, up-to-date, and more consistent when seen as a whole.

    Apple could learn a thing or two from xiaomi’s designers.

    • Elrond

      “Apple could learn a thing or two from xiaomi’s designers.”

      You must be totally blind!!!

  • ctdrules

    blah, blah, blah. It’s over, it’s done, now the court of public opinion will decide. If the copying can’t be stopped legally then all this whining about it is moot. I’d support Apple in a law suit but that’s just me, if it doesn’t happen than I guess Xiaomi wins.

  • Guest

    Let’s see how far Xiaomi will go.

  • Newob

    Let’s see how far will Xiaomi go.

  • http://osoalex.com/ Alejandro Machado R.

    I find the photo gallery more Windows Phone-ish than iOS-ish.

  • MDJ

    Honestly, it doesn’t look copied. Certainly apple inspired, but I think there’s enough there.

  • dank

    who cares if they copy the OS design? they’ll never be able to provide the whole ecosystem experience, neither the App Store experience (with it’s high quality apps, compared to any other mobile apps market). “a polished turd is still a turd”

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News, Top stories | Tagged: , , , , |