JONY IVE: 'I See It As Theft' When Competitors Copy Apple Designs


Jony Ive Apple Portrait Illustration

Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

Jony Ive called it "theft" when other companies copy Apple designs.

Apple's design boss Jony Ive gave a rare live interview at Vanity Fair's New Establishment in San Francisco Thursday night.


At one point, a member of the audience asked Ive what he thought about Xiaomi, a Chinese startup that makes smartphones with a remarkable similarity to iPhones.

Ive, speaking broadly about Xiaomi and other companies that make products that look similar to Apple gadgets, called it outright theft.

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"I don't see it as flattery. I see it as theft," Ive said. "I have to be honest. The last think I think is 'Oh, that is flattering...all those weekends I could've been home with my family...I think it's theft and it's lazy. I don't think it's OK at all."

xiaomi mi4


Xiaomi phones are often criticized for looking a lot like iPhones.

Ive said he and his team spend so much time designing products that it's frustrating to see others swoop in and copy those ideas.