There is a danger…I don’t see it as flattery. I see it as theft. (Talking about copying designs in general). When you’re doing something for the first time and you don’t know it’s going to work. I have to be honest the last thing I think is “Oh, that is flattering. All those weekends I could’ve been home with my family…I think it’s theft and lazy. I don’t think it’s OK at all.
Typically, you would expect Xiaomi to respond in a subtle way without calling Jony Ive out specifically. That was hardly the case. After checking out what Ive said in his interview with Vanity Fair, Xiaomi’s boss, Lin Bin, responded with the following:
Xiaomi is a very open company, which would never force anyone to use its products. However, one can only judge Xiaomi’s gadgets after he or she has used them. I’m very willing to give a Xiaomi cell phone to him as a present, and I look forward to hearing his remarks after he uses it
It’s very unlikely that giving Jonathan Ive a Xiaomi cell phone as a gift would return the time he missed out with his family, regardless of how good a product Xiaomi can cook up. It’s clear that Xiaomi is simply using this as a marketing tool. It might have been in Apple’s best interest for Jony Ive to have stayed hush on the subject. As the saying goes, all press is good press.