Why Apple does not sue Xiaomi or other Chinese manufacturers for plagiarism

This week we knew the last episode of what is probably the most mediatic technological judgment of recent times: Apple against Samsung and his fierce battle for a series of historical patents. To summarize the story a bit (although here you can) since the immemorial times of Steve Jobs, Apple accuses Samsung to plagiarize the revolutionary smartphone design that the iPhone brought to the mobile market a decade ago.

Why Apple does not sue Xiaomi or other Chinese manufacturers for plagiarism

Since then, there have been different views, trials and verdicts, and all of them have been settled payment of millions of dollars by Samsung. And no, the thing is not over yet. Althougha judge condemned (again) Samsung to pay 538 million dollars (more) to Apple, the Korean firmwho will appeal the judgment to the courts (again). Keep the popcorn handy because the soap opera has just been renewed for another three seasons.

A historic decade-long struggle that now seems absurd: in the end all smartphones are identical to that primitive Apple design , and not so much because of plagiarism, but because it supposes a natural evolution of portable screens. For that reason, it is so striking that Apple has not repaired the slightest importance that something so personal and a priori unique as the design of the iPhone X , has been replicated ad nauseam.

Why Apple does not sue Xiaomi or other Chinese manufacturers for plagiarism

So, Why not sue them too?

The resemblance is as obvious or even more so than in the case of “primitive plagiarism”. And in regards to Xiaomi, unfortunately the similarities are too flagrant , as was revealed in the recent. I put the case of the Xiaomi Mi 8 because, although it is a great terminal, deny that it looks like the iPhone X would ignore the obvious: notch, design of the back, special features, wallpapers, promotional images … Even the slides of the presentation were identical to those used by Apple in its last keynote .

How can it be that Xiaomi is not afraid of tighten the rope So far? While Samsung has to “take out the checkbook”, Chinese companies, in general, can do whatever they want year after year, why? (Look, I’m not saying they deserve to be sanctioned).

The most basic reason is that neither Xiaomi nor the rest of Chinese competitors suppose (at the moment) a Direct competition for Apple . That is, for many phones that sell Xiaomi, Ulefone or DOOGEE, they will never be eating Apple market. This does not mean that Xiaomi makes worse terminals than Apple, simply The vision and mission of the brands are completely different . We talk about marketing strategies , psychology and capitalism.

Why Apple does not sue Xiaomi or other Chinese manufacturers for plagiarism

Xiaomi does not directly attack the premium smartphone sector: although it has launched a handful of high-end terminals, they are far from competing with the iPhone at the market level . Although Xiaomi’s mobile phones are top notch, its low price policy is focused on a public the everything different , so it does not pose a threat to Apple. In that sense, Apple, being a company that controls all processes 100% (design, software, manufacturing, distribution, sale, marketing, etc.) has a much greater room for maneuver than that of other companies.

On the other hand, Xiaomi is a young brand, with little presence in the United States and that a priori, prefers to get in people’s pockets (cheap, practical products, wide range) rather than in their heads (brand, design, corporate image). In the same way, the vast majority of Chinese brands point towards emerging market consumers , and is that many times we forget that more than half of the global mobile market is in China and India, two markets in which Apple has a very limited growth , especially because the vast majority of its potential buyers can not afford an iPhone.

Maybe, if tomorrow Xiaomi or any other Chinese brand rose positions in the US market, Apple could consider taking legal action against them. For the moment, beyond the success of OnePlus 6 in the Yankee lands, the US mobile market belongs to Apple while Xiaomi has not even planned to sell the Mi 8 in the United States officially.

Why Apple does not sue Xiaomi or other Chinese manufacturers for plagiarism

In addition, a whole series of difficult legal issues which Apple would face if it decided to sue a company like Xiaomi. The regulation of patents in China is relatively ambiguous, so in the most practical sense of the demand, Apple would have many possibilities to prick bone. Further, the Chinese government protects innovation and technological development within its borders, so Apple would encounter a powerful enemy.

Why Apple does not sue Xiaomi or other Chinese manufacturers for plagiarism

Only Samsung dares to rise against the almighty apple, and that’s why for a few years now, it has become Apple’s main rival.

Why Samsung? Because its high-end, the Samsung Galaxy S9, are the only terminals in the same market sector than the iPhone (high-end range). And not only that, sometimes they even achieve. In addition, Samsung is a Korean brand (not Chinese) with a solid history that consolidates it as a leading company in various branches of consumer electronics, that is, equates its vision and brand mission to that of Apple . Regarding his famous trial, keep the following: Apple demands Samsung not only to copy them, but also to overlap its market, something that Chinese clones do not do.

Why Apple does not sue Xiaomi or other Chinese manufacturers for plagiarism

Finally, as a user of, Apple could also have darker reasons so as not to stop the Constant flow of Chinese replicas of the iPhone X .

Basically, all the low and middle range is flooded with these terminals, making that market is directly covered by clones of the iPhone X, which compete directly against the Android brands “of a lifetime”, among them, Samsung itself . Do you see where the shots go? If Apple eliminates Xiaomi from the equation, it would create a vacuum in the low and middle range that other competitors could fill.

Why Apple does not sue Xiaomi or other Chinese manufacturers for plagiarism

It is a fact that thanks to the, Samsung has it increasingly difficult to differentiate between the Chinese mid-range and low terminals, especially when these impose competitors incredibly low prices , innovative extras out of place in a basic mobile and what is more important: a notch that. Suddenly, Samsung is selling terribly expensive bell trousers .

In summary, we could say that Apple earns more indirectly causing Samsung to sell many less terminals in the medium and low range, than by demanding second-rate Chinese manufacturers. And not only that, Apple makes sure that even in a market where it does not compete , the figure of the iPhone X, and in essence the Apple brand as an object of desire, are present during a good season , something that in the long run is likely to become more buyers for your iPhone.

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