Hugo Barra's iPhone 6 double-talk just means Xiaomi is awesome

Former Googler Hugo Barra is an interesting guy. Once charged with holding up impressive new hardware on stage for Google, he's now a VP in a new country, with a new company, and seems to be on his heels more than he's on his toes of late. This time, Barra took to the WSJ.D conference to share his feelings on everyone that isn't Xiaomi. Though you can take his word a variety of ways, one thing is certain: Barra is saying what we're all thinking.

Barra has recently been deflecting criticism and vehemently defending his company against claims they purposefully copy competitors. New Xiaomi products don't lie, though — they look an awful lot like Apple products, almost to the point we'd expect authorities to detain containers full of the products as knockoffs.

At The Wall Street Journal conference this morning, Barra effectively said that everyone in the mobile tech industry inspire one another. He also said Apple has been looking to Android for inspiration lately, pointing out their larger screen sizes.

He also said "the iPhone 6 carries design language that is very HTC-like." Barra also called the iPhone 6 the "most beautiful phone ever built", calling Apple "the world's design mecca".

As for Xiaomi, Barra said "our designers are inspired by great products and by great design out there."

I'm confused. Xiaomi doesn't copy Apple, but their products look eerily similar to Apple's. Xiaomi designers are inspired by great products form all over, but make no effort to pinch concepts from "the world's design mecca"?

Barra is right that the iPhone 6 is gorgeous, and that it borrows from HTC in terms of design. He also noted some iOS quick launch features were borrowed from Android, and he's right — they were, are, and will always be. That's just kind of the nature of the beast.

But Barra hit one one other interesting topic about Xiaomi. He mentioned they sell their hardware at near cost, relying instead on their software and services to carry the profitability angle for the company. That business model sounds an awful lot like Google's Nexus (before the Nexus 6 and 9, at least). You know, where Barra was before he landed in china.

Reading between the lines (and through the fog), Barra's Xiaomi company takes the best design and an amazing business model, then rolls them up in a nice little package that sells out in seconds the world over.

There's no defense for that. It's brilliant, Hugo.

Source: WSJ.D

Via: GigaOM