Hugo Barra is a well-known figure in the world of Android and smartphones. At the WSJD Live event today, Barra – the ex-VP of Android and current VP at Xiaomi – stated that the iPhone 6 is the most beautiful smartphone ever built. Google literally must have heard the violins screech.
Speaking at the conference, Barra was asked a question that pretty much criticized Xiaomi for building its brand and growth through blatantly copying the designs of Apple’s iPhone devices as well as others. Praising the iPhone 6’s design came about as a response to that question, and in the bid to explain the young company’s position on the matter.
Barra responded that, “Our designers, our engineers are inspired by great products, and frankly, in today’s world, who isn’t? Point me to a product in our industry that has completely unique design language. You’re not going to be able to find one.”
However Barra placed his place where it was due only, and went on to explain how Apple isn’t as holy as it makes itself out to be. Barra commented on how HTC-like the design on the iPhone 6 is but with its own twist. I for one never really realized this till now, but take one look at the rear of the HTC One M7 or M8 and iPhone 6 and you can decide for yourself.
Barra then moved on to the quick toggles / settings found in the iOS and Android platform, where he claimed that the “Quick settings on iOS is much better on Android, but it was on Android (long before),”. We’ve heard this one before though and, this is one that may not be debatable.
Coming back to Xiaomi phones, he said that the company is young and growing, and the designers they currently have will begin developing the confidence to rollout indigenous designs as they mature. Barra’s opinions earlier on were reflecting on the reality of how various companies adopt one or more aspects of a technology or design for use in their own products. For Xiaomi he said, “It’s a fight, but I think we’re learning and we’re progressing.”, and “when you look at the stuff that’s coming next from us, you’re going to see some unique new twists.”
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