Xiaomi is one of the most popular Chinese smartphone brands outside China. The company kicked off in 2010 as an internet company. However, in 2011, it released its first smartphone and since then, it has been steadily climbing the ladder. Xiaomi regularly makes the top 5 smartphone brand globally and it is the number one smartphone brand in many markets. However, Xiaomi has a long history of “copying”. Over the years, the company has released a couple of devices or systems that feel more like a copy of Apple.
The latest of these is the gross resemblance between the iOS 15 and the recently released MIUI 13. However, before we go into this, let us look at a few times that Xiaomi has copied Apple. The 2014 Xiaomi Mi 4 feels like a direct copy of the Apple iPhone 5. In fact, at the launch event, Xiaomi’s CEO, Lei Jun, even used the “One More Thing” phrase which was popularized by Apple’s Steve Jobs at the time. Fast forward to 2018, Xiaomi released the Mi 8 which was described as a “blatant rip-off” of the Apple iPhone X. The Xiaomi Mi Pad, MIUI 9 gestures, and wallpaper, Xiaomi airdots, MIUI 6, Xiaomi ads, Xiaomi Mi Box, and other products copied Apple in one way or another.
MIUI 13 and iOS 15 – what are the similarities
Back to the MIUI 13, many of its elements (the User Interface) copies iOS 15. If we can use the phrase “copy and paste”, it may describe the situation between MIUI 13 and iOS 15. The changes on the MIUI 13 are not enough to make it much different from iOS 15. In all honesty, it is not entirely bad to copy something that is good. However, this looks more like a rip-off and it makes Xiaomi look empty.
The Control Center is a complete rip-off without any originality from Xiaomi’s end. MIUI 13 tried to introduce some tweaks to the Widgets but we can still see the iOS 15 elements. Unlike MIUI 12.5, the Control Center of the MIUI 13 is just a copy of iOS 15. The status bar, the icon’s design, and size are also a copy of iOS 15.
However, some Android fanboys argue that Xiaomi just takes “inspiration” from Apple’s system. They claim that Xiaomi is “better”, cheaper, and has a similar premium feel. Nevertheless, anyone who appreciates hard work will detest the resemblance between MIUI 13 and iOS 15. Google, Samsung, and even other Android skins have their own original UI designs. Xiaomi could have taken this path instead of ripping off Apple.
However, as much as Apple fanboys will deny, Apple also copies Android. To mention a few, Android smartphones had Face ID long before Apple. Moto X debuted the “OK Google Now” always-on hotword detection to enable a voice assistant in 2013. Two years later in 2015, the iPhone 6s had a similar “Hey Siri” feature. In fact, recently, Apple copied Xiaomi’s poster design…but then Apple’s fanboys made it clear that “it’s just a poster and shouldn’t make the headline”.
Despite the copy, MIUI 13 seems to be working just fine. Many Mi fans do not care if MIUI 13 is a rip-off. As long as it works perfectly and remains affordable, they will continue to patronize Xiaomi.
Why is Apple not suing Xiaomi?
Apple is quite stringent when it comes to protecting its intellectual properties but not when it involves Xiaomi. Apple sues a recipe app (Prepear) for using a pear as its logo claiming that it is too close to its own Apple logo.
However, Apple seems to misplace its mojo when Xiaomi copies its entire UI. Legal issues are very complex and we don’t really know how it works. However, there should be a really good reason why Apple seals its lips when Mi copies its design.