There’s something slightly familiar about Xiaomi’s new Mimoji 3D avatars. And by “slightly familiar” we mean this feature debuting in the Chinese company’s latest phone is a complete knockoff of Memoji, the animated avatars Apple introduced last year.
That said, the idea of allowing users to make a cartoon version of themself has been around for a while. What Xiaomi is getting called out for is how very similar Mimoji are to Memoji — even the names are just one letter apart.
As just a couple of examples, the noses of the Chinese company’s characters are nearly identical to Apple’s, and both have the same tiny little tongues.
Samsung’s AR Emoji uses the same concept as Memoji, but it’s not such a blatant rip-off.
It’s what Xiaomi does
Xiaomi copying something from Apple isn’t just a one-time thing. For a long time it apparently was the company’s business model. It made laptops that look like MacBooks and handsets that look like iPhones. The same goes for iPad, Apple TV and more. The difference is that those knockoffs cost much less than the originals, making them more appealing in emerging markets like China where many consumers can’t afford an Apple product.
More recently, the device maker has begun creating more original designs. It’s backsliding a bit with Mimoji, however.