Chinese company Xiaomi has been accused of ripping off one of Jawbone’s speaker designs, an accusation that isn’t the least bit surprising to anyone familiar with Xiaomi’s long list of ‘inspired’ looks. The speaker in question is the Xiaomi Mi Speaker Box, a portable Bluetooth speaker that looks strikingly similar to the Jawbone Jambox speakers. Though both have their own individual design choices, the Xiaomi’s speaker grille design is remarkably similar to the one found on the Mini Jambox.
Xiaomi has been accused by many people over many years for its alleged theft of other companies designs, something that has resulted in some calling it the “Apple of China.” It’s not hard to see the ‘inspiration’ Xiaomi has taken from the iPhone for some of its own phones, for example, and even the names of some of its products strongly hint toward other companies’ existing offerings (the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air, for example).
— Yves Behar (@yvesbehar) August 20, 2016
In a recent tweet, Jawbone’s COO and Fuseproject’s Chief Designer Yves Behar fired off a response tweet tagging Xiaomi and calling it out for the apparent ‘ripping off’ of the Jawbone Mini Jambox speaker design. Not surprisingly, Xiaomi hasn’t responded to the claims, and probably won’t if history is any indication.
It’s not uncommon for Chinese companies, not just Xiaomi, to offer thinly veiled variations of existing products, but this could prove troublesome for Xiaomi has it further pushes its way into the Western markets. The company launched limited product stores for European and U.S. customers in the recent past, and has indicated plans to increase its offerings in both regions.