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Chinese OEM Xiaomi "borrowing" from both Microsoft and Nokia designs

Xiaomi is a Chinese smartphone brand who recently came to international attention by the successfully hiring of Hugo Barra, a top executive from Android. From there, the company went forth with a series of new product announcements to continue the good media vibe. The first item is MI3, the latest of the company's smartphone line. The device is powered by a Tegra 4 processor, and marketed as "the fastest phone out there". Performance put aside, the official rendering of MI3 looks disturbingly familiar...

The picture in the bottom is a MI3. Looks very akin to Lumia 920 (on top), right? Except for different placement of the shutter button, they look practically the same. Xiaomi has adopted Lumia 920's marketing highlights too. If you happen to read any Chinese, please feel free to head to MI3's official site (opens in new tab), and expect to see these:

Here it says "enhanced with super sensitive display, could be operated with gloved or wet hands". Well, many OEMs are embracing super sensitive display after Lumia 920's launch, so this is probably nothing. But wait and read on.

Another major selling proposition is superior imaging capability in dimly lighted environments. Big surprise eh? MI3's 13MP camera is powered by Sony's Exmor RS CMOS sensor, featuring F/2.2 lens (a bit weak compared with Lumia 920's F/2.0 and 720's F/1.9), plus "unique dual-flash design which enables capturing of brighter images". So there is no optical image stability of any kind. You get brighter images in low light with MI3 because its LED flash throws a double strong sunburst to illuminate the scene. This does not sound exactly innovative or unique. I reckon the presence of double LED flash could be traced back to HTC HD2 at the very least?

One might argue that low light imaging capability, super sensitive screen, and style of simplicity are the current trend in the smartphone industry, therefore the similarity between MI3 and Lumia 920 is nothing but coincidence. Well, that could make sense indeed. But brace yourself and behold, for along with MI3, Xiaomi also announced its new 47" smart TV, which comes with a gaming controller to turn it into an Android-based gaming console:

[Reminded by you guys, yes, the controller looks more like Xbox 360 controller indeed. So here is one more picture added for comparison. Behold the holy trinity of Micr... WAIT A MINUTE!]

You can tell which is the controller for Xiaomi TV, right? Hint: the logo on the central button.

Since the similarity is beyond striking, I won't make any more comment then. Let's wrap this post up with a beautiful shot of Xiaomi TV's gaming interface and SUPERMAN:

And I think that's Mavio and Magaman standing by the Man of Steel? O hai! Nice to meet you!

Source: WPDang

  • Why do Chinese always get away with it?
  • I too am wondering this.
  • Not the Chinese, the people of China.
  • They do get taken to Chinese courts to be sued by the companies but the Chinese court always rules in favour of the Chinese copycat company by saying the products don't like similar in anyway. They do it with cars, computers, watches, Starbucks coffee, clothes. You name it they have probably copied it. It seems the words copyright infringement doesn't translate well into Mandarin.
  • The people of the Republic of China
  • that means taiwanese, literally.
  • The people of the Republic of China or of the People's Republic of China?
  • That was intended as a joke.. How can china be people's? That's just irony in the name of the country itself
  • Try DPRK.
  • cause they are fuckin genius!!!
  • Cause they are friggin copycats they even have copy pasted museums!!!
  • Welcome to China. Where your new ideas and products are ours too!
  • I disagree.. Just too many people to do any shit companies want them to do for them.
  • How is it that in the last ten years the Chinese have all of a sudden caught up to American and European companies? They made all their money stealing IP since they have the blueprints to build the actual products. No need for them to invest in R&D, they just steal it.
  • I was in econ class and learned about how anyone can become first world country because they can just replicate what's already our there. So not only china does this but Korea as well at one point.
  • Samsung is a good example
  • No! Apple is even better examle but they are from US
  • +920
    Not only that, they also sell it as a "new invention" after copying...
  • firstly, this isn't true and secondly even if it was, we're none the poorer so why act like a bitter 5 year old?
    imitation is sincerest form of flattery. they'll imitate until they become advanced enough to innovate and then why might have another superb company similar to samsung
  • Hmm...let me see...they have 2 billion people, they have the USA's economy in their pocket, they arent' part of any international convention regarding copyright protection, the rest of the World is too affraid of confronting them and they have the largest army in the World. I guess that should sufice...=P
  • Actually they are part of the International IP conventions, several of them. The problem is those are ruled by the Courts in each Country. And to be fair, they might wonder what the F our Courts are doing when they upheld Apple's rights to a design consisting of a rectangle with rounded corners. The commercial interests are as you describe., however there is another interesting thing involved as well. Since the Reformation, Western culture has increasingly embraced the notion of change as a good thing, although the Churches certainly did their best to inhibit Scientific progress whenever it seems to get too near to their power sources. This has led us to an era of breathtaking Scientific and technological breakthroughs at an ever increasing pace. This then led us to value these things, and to promote them we developed the Patent system, starting in 15th Century Venice, all the way to the modern era. It is so importnatn to Western Civilization that the US Constitution explicitly states that Inventors have the right to own their inventions and to have that right enforced by the Federal Courts. Think about that. your Consitutional "Rights" include the right to Patnet protection! China has instead been in the grip of Confucian philosophy, which instead embraces constancy as the primary source of civilization. Innovation in general means change, and was not considered a virtue to be supported and protected by Society. China only embraced western notions of Patent Rights as a ploy by their Government to obtain access to Western markets. I mention this to explain why the ordinary person in China feels no shame or stigma when they go to work copying products made by others. Its simply not "unfair" or "dirty" in their culture in the same way it is in the West. Doesn't excuse their Government from not living up to their International IP Agreements, but until we and other countries accept a much narrower role for our own Country's Courts, they are just playing our game, following the rules, but in a different cultural milieu.
  • Several things:
    - China does not recognize legitimacy to any foreign courts to rule over chinese companies acting within China. Other countries can sentence chinese companies or ban their products, but that doesn't have any effect within China. - The US Constitution only binds the US. It has no meaning nor value nor importance outside the US as it doesn't have any power outside the US. The US Constitution only has historical meaning in Europe, for example. But so does the French Constitutions, the Weimar Constitution, the Magna Carta etc.
    In the west the patent system doesn't work all the same way, nor do the copyright laws, not even the expiration dates on copyright are standardize. For example, what the US grants as a constitutional right - right of patent - European constitutions do not. Copyright is a civil right in Europe, not a Constitutional right.
    Believe me, as a lawyer I can assure you that the legal systems in the Western World are way more complicated than what it looks (even the US Constitution is dependent on the interpretations given by the US Supreme Court). - You're right, the value that China puts on things is different than ours. That's why the cultures aren't the same =P
    However, China's disregard for the notions of property and copyright come more from the doctrination of the communist party. Communists are against property and the copyright is the ultimate property right. So it's normal that a society that is force-fed the doctrine that tells them "private property is bad" is more inclined to disregards those things. That's also the reason why the Chinese government doesn't care what they sign. It's just papers to them.
    Currently the only reason why the West doesn't boycot China on the basis of their disregard of signed pacts or alike is because the West needs China. China is were our Western factories are because of the slave labour (lets call things by their names) and because China has poured millions of euros and dollars into some economies (for example, nowadays China has the power to bankrupt the USA. All they need to do is demand the USA to pay them what they owe.)
  • I agree for the most part. Your first point is correct, but the same is true in the US and elsewhere.  A US Court will not enforce a ruling of a foreign court against a US Company unless there is s specific treaty in place agreeing to do so.  Even so, many US State Courts have taken the position that Federal Treaties do not bind State Courts.  In other words, China is not very different on this matter than the US is.  Similarly, US IP Courts don't pay any attention to foreign Courts or Patent Offices.
    Your second paragraph is true, but if it was intended to refute anything I said - then it doesn't. I wasn't asserting that the US Constitution was binding on China, just pointing out the differences between the two Societies. I'm not sure of your intent, so please forgive me it I belabor a point other than the one you were making.
    Your third paragraph is an interesting point, and I do not disagree, but I was making the point that Chinese culture has a tradition that does not value innovation, not property, and that this predates Communism for more than a thousand years.  Since the average Chinese person today is not a Communist, it is this tradition that make sit seem "OK" and not dishonerable to them to copy another Company's IP.  I think your point is more tailored to why the Governement acts as it does, rather than individuals.
    Interesting discussion!
  • - Indeed. The only place where a foreign court's rule can be inforced in another country without a specific treaty is within the European Union but that's because there's the EU treaty that covers that. And even so, the rulling is only binding if it's a matter of European Law and even then the national court has to confirm the rulling.
    Of course...there are then those countries who care more about the object of the rulling and those who care more about the National pride. China never rules against their own enterprises =P - No it wasn't intended to refute, just to clarify because you said "It is so importnatn to Western Civilization that the US Constitution explicitly states". Europe and Russia are also part for the Western Civilization ;P - True. I wasn't refuting that. Chinese communism isn't the same as Russian or Latin American communism. In China they molded communism to the beliefs that they had before it and distorted those beliefs to serve them. That's why there's still a communist dictatorship in China and they work unlike Cuba. But I think that, had the communists been driven away from power, the chances of China today do what they do were fewer. Because, like Japan and Korea (I mean South Korea, obviously) they would most likely be "Westernized". The Communists prevented that.
    Though they are having more and more difficulty to sustain that regime as more and more chinese people get money and property and start seeing how the other countries of the World work. But yes, I was more thinking about company's and the Government actions rather than the individual citizen of China since we're talking about a company copying designs =P
  • As a Chinese, I want to say that we also despise this behavior, as we despise TENCENT same. We also hope that innovation, despise plagiarism, which is why I choose not MI3 but MI2, because he looks more like a shrunk version of the Lumia, not have their own characteristics, it is disappointing, but also wonder Lei Jun is not Naozijinshui the. No matter how mean, the environment dictates, after all, in the development process either individual or group, or the state, there is the inevitable historical limitations, I can only say that learning in the development of innovation in replication.
  • They all look the same too so.............('-')
  • em…just "some" enterprise u know,not the "Chinese",cause as a Chinese,I don't wanna be presented, many Chinese people will also accuse that company
  • Good point. Attitudes in China are diverse and dynamic. We frequently use the wrong term in the West. Please forgive us.
  • who cares, it's a sweet looking phone, Nokia should borrow back
  • Quick thanks to DJCBS and MadSci2 that was probably one of the best discussions about a complex issue I've ever read on these forums. Cheers I think I actually learned something...which was unexpected to say the least :)
  • You never have came to china,so,you do not know the Chinese has their own creativity  
  • I guess copyright doesn't translate to well into mandarin
  • lol, are you saying the law only created by you guys and another people just translate and follow it?
  • Lighten up Francis. That's clearly not what he meant.
  • Indeed Josh
  • Thank you
  • More like they just don't care about your copyright.
  • Chinese.... Masters of copy right
  • Well not masters of it. Masters of seeing it and not giving a damn haha.
  • You got that right.
  • copy your mother ,whole chinese people are your grandfather, ml
    with your mother
  • I think the ching ping wing is angry... LoL
  • That is shockingly similar. They will get away with it i bet.
  • Smh
  • Bruce Lee would be turning over in his grave
  • Dude, those are android games
  • Microsoft should shut down all PCs in China until they play fair
  • Guess what, Google is still rejected in China since its refusal of providing user info(but Google gives the same info to the US government). Google Play store can't be accessed in China, at the same time, WP marketplace and iOS app store is accessible. So, if MS does so, the MS is dead in China.
  • They have probably copied Google down to the letter but instead of calling it Google, they probably called it goggle.
  • No, all official androids phones in China are Google Play free, which it is officially removed by the manufacturer. So there are many unofficial android app stores in China, the screen showing on the TV is the Xiaomi android app store.
  • Goggle, the newest player in China's search engine industry, competing upstream with more experienced competitors like Giggle and Googie, which have grabbed 14% and 11% market share respectively. However, the industry is still ruled by Googoo with a market share of 48%. All in all, the majority of the industry is being powered by domestic Chinese search engine companies. The latest news shows that foreign search engine Google's market share in Chiina has falled to an ever-low 5%.  <- This is how I feel about the Chinese tech industry sometimes. *facepalm*
  • Baidu is the search giant in China, not Googoo
  • Man that's supposed to be a joke. *megafacepalm*
  • But this will mislead you Americans. You know, you Americans are easily mislead and egocentric
  • In fact I'm Chinese... And I will be honored if this accidentally pulls off a prank on Americans. XD
  • What? (jk)
  • LOL
    Wow, just wow.
  • At least we Americans invented all the things we use from cell phones to fast foods and did I say cell phones?
  • Not a funny one. *megafacepalm*
  • And it was funny
  • You are pretty late. Its called Baidu, and had been around for 7 years, now the largest search engine in China.
  • Why everyone is so serious today...? If you look it up, none of the brand names mentioned here is real.
  • The majority American users here don't know anything about this. You name a fake name, they believe it's real.
  • I disagree, the majority here will pick up on the sarcasm.
  • I can't speak to the "majority" of Americans but I didn't personally need the explaination.  I'm well aware of China's #1 engine, it's often in the financial news, moreso when they pushed Google out.  I
  • Can't wait for them to come out with "Goggle Glasses"
  • LOL They do that and the next thing you know, a Chinese millionaire would have bought Microsoft.
  • Sorry, we never use genuine Microsoft software, how do you turn off our computer
  • I smell lawsuits.
  • They do get taken to Chinese courts to be sued by the companies but the Chinese court always rules in favour of the Chinese copycat company by saying the products don't like similar in anyway. They do it with cars, computers, watches, Starbucks coffee, clothes. You name it they have probably copied it. It seems the words copyright infringement doesn't translate well into Mandarin
  • Big companies must copy the copiers in other countries :)
  • The phone stuff is iffy... but that controller and game display, I'm speechless.
  • They do get taken to Chinese courts to be sued by the companies but the Chinese court always rules in favour of the Chinese copycat company by saying the products don't like similar in anyway. They do it with cars, computers, watches, Starbucks coffee, clothes. You name it they have probably copied it. It seems the words copyright infringement doesn't translate well into Mandarin.
  • The same applies to US firms, the US court is paying a favor to US firm in lawsuits among US firms and other multinational firms. So this isn't surprising.
  • Really? Examples please.
  • Apple requested to stop the sale of HTC One X, and One X was delayed a couple of weeks to launch in the US, but finally go on sale without any moficatiob.
  • That's not much of an example.
  • One of the examples.
  • How is that an example of a US court favoring a US company?
    HTC wasn't blocked, only delayed a 'couple of weeks' (probably to finish the court case).
    Maybe if I knew what a moficatiob was, I would understand more.
  • motification. a typo from my Lumia 920.
  • OK, you mean 'notifications'. Which is simply not true. HTC One X infringed on a copyright of Apple's regarding how clicking on phone number in texts opens the dialer, basically. The HTC One X created a work around that did the same thing without infringing on any copyrights. The delay was short and was so that customs officials could verify that the infringement was fixed.
    Not exactly an example of a US court unfairly siding with an American company over a foreign company. Even a HTC CEO admitted that they had made a mistake and fixed it, no punitive action was taken.
  • I think he means "modifications"...
  • Who knows what he means. He seems to be talking out his ass either way.
  • fuck your mother, bitch
  • Reading through the thread and I think I've encountered the first case of forum tourettes. Weird.
  • Ouch
  • @bailey ..I see you have learned to copy and paste.. well done!
  • Another piece of evidence supporting Darwin's theory of evolution. Science will prevail!
  • Ruh, roh. The Chinese posters aren't happy being called out.
  • Cant do a dam thing about it.
  • But wait till they get in court in USA or any other occidental country, it might then be interesting!
  • OMG! These guys lack sooo much originality!!!! Reminds of those kids that copy homework from others back on school. I would be ashamed to work for a company that so blatantly copy others' work. At least try NOT to look like you're copying. These guys suck.
  • The controller looks more like (well IS) a 360 controller. Should have compared it to that rather than an xbox one controller.
  • Yeah, strange comparison given that it's a carbon copy of the 360 pad.
  • Yes indeed. Xbox 360 controller picture added to the post. Thank you sir!
  • Im soooooo getting this.
  • Shameful! I guess this company and Google go hand in hand for copying.
  • I agree. MSFT and Nokia basically invented rectangular interfaces and iPod-nano/mini shaped phones.
  • LOL
    What about the game/controller though?.
  • Xioami is number one sell phone in china more than iPhone and anything else. China is pretty fcking big
  • Yeah, it's not hard to have a homegrown company that copies popular designs from the rest of the world while the government works really hard to make it as anti-competitive for outside companies as possible to gain any traction in the market. Its not impossible to work in China as an outsider but from what I've seen (in my limited exposure) it's damn hard.
  • That's why Hugo is there now
  • The M3 comes with a 128GB option. That caught my eye earlier in the week. And its priced reasonably. These wars will be good for the consumer in the long run
  • Xiaomi's pricing strategy is always under attack from other Chinese phone makers. The company generally follows such a pattern: 1) announce a new product with super high specs and ridiculously low price; 2) start selling it in tiny trickles, like 10K units per month, or random online lottery for the opportunity to buy one; 3) start open sales en masse after 6 to 12 months, when the hardware cost of the phone falls to a much lower level and the selling of the product is closer to profitability. I used to be intrigued by the price of its first two phones, but now have learned to simply not care.
  • Samsung copies Apple, Xiaomi copies Nokia.
  • LG copies Samsung either. LG optimus G Pro has similar design to the Note series, and 90%-like features, such as the Smart Stay.
  • Those are very different phones.  Just because they are both phablets, doesn't make the G Pro a copy.  A lot of phablets are going to have the same sort of features because of what they are used for.
  • So Asians are the masters of copy
  • Nope.avi
  • well they want money and people buy their products so... in the end, you cant do much against them. its not like its new all this copy from other companies.