In an array of events that unfolded during the course of the past few days, Xiaomi of China and the great Apple of USA found themselves in a war of words and shots have been fired in both camps already.
The development shows how Xiaomi has been improving, not only is sales and quality, but in brand value; Last time the Chinese phone maker was quarreling, it was with Huawei, a fellow local brand back in China. This time around, Xiaomi’s activities were noticed far away in the western world where Apple’s Jony Ive couldn’t hold back himself from hurling a few arrogant words at Xiaomi.
Jony, the man behind the design of Apple smartphones for many years, was speaking at a press conference last week when he lashed out on the “so-called Apple of China” (Xiaomi), called them thieves.
“I’ll stand a little bit harsh, I don’t see it as flattery. When you’re doing something for the first time, you don’t know it’s going to work. You spend seven or eight years working on something, and then it’s copied. I have to be honest, the first thing I can think, all those weekends that I could have at home with my family but didn’t. I think it’s theft, and it’s lazy.”
However, Lin Bin, Xiaomi’s president and co-founder doesn’t quite agree with the last statement even as his company has been caught copying Apple inch for inch on many occasions.
Hugo Barra, who is the vice president of Xiaomi also commented and accused the iPhone maker of “sweeping sensationalist statements” and added that his men weren’t copying Apple’s products. “End of story,” he concluded.
It was Bin’s statement that was the most provoking even though the the words sounded non-aggressive. The co-owner said that Johnathon has surely never used a Xiaomi smartphone and should get one for himself, saying that Xiaomi is ready to send him a free copy of an Mi 3 if he’s ready.
Apple’s PR strategy has fallen quite a lot often recently and the latest drama hasn’t helped matters. Why, Apple? Why will you give Xiaomi cheap publicity they have been seeking? We all know that Xiaomi cannot sell their smartphones in the USA and some other places because the patent laws et al are there for Apple to rip these guys apart in court, but surely, many who have never heard of “Apple of China”, will curiously order Xiaomi products all the way from China just to see whats up.
This is a massive loss for Apple, and a massive gain for Xiaomi.