Pablo Picasso once said “good artists copy, great artists steal”. The Spanish artist’s famous quote was re-used by Steve Jobs in 1996, when the Apple Inc. supremo was frustrated with his company’s intellectual property being stolen repetitively. In fact, Apple has sued a lot of companies for allegedly copying or stealing its IP over the past three decades. Apple have sued Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Google, Samsung, Motorola, HTC and others.
“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.” Interestingly, Apple itself was sued by Xerox in 1989 for what it deemed unlawful use of Xerox copyrights in the Macintosh and Lisa computers.
Now that Steve Jobs is gone, a new Chinese company has been openly and shamelessly copying almost every single of Apple products. Not satisfy with copying its products, Xiaomi’s founder and CEO – Lei Jun – went the extra miles by wearing Steve Jobs’ iconic blue jeans, black shirt and tennis shoes during product presentation. Heck, he even used Jobs’ signature “One More Thing” – a blatant broad daylight robbery.
Obviously, Lei Jun is both a good and great artist. He copies and steals at the same time. After copying Apple’s smartphones, tablets, Steve Jobs clothing and signature, Xiaomi is set to release another copy-cat product – Xiaomi Macbook Air (*grin*). Well, this could be a fake leaked by GizmoChina and 9to5Mac, but it does make perfect sense if the company really releases a Macbook Air lookalike in the form of a Xiaomi Air.
Xiaomi MI Air (a name which FinanceTwitter speculates the new laptop to be called) could be the missing piece which could catapult the 4-year-old Chinese company into the global laptop market, and make other players run for their money. Money is not a problem with the company, considering it had successfully raise a whopping US$1.1 billion of funding recently, valuing the company at US$45 billion (£29 billion; RM158 billion).
Kaylene Hong, Xiaomi’s communications manager, has denied the story about Xiaomi releasing a Macbook Air lookalike laptop. Still, it’s always nice to read the specification of such laptop, in case Lei Jun decides to copy it anyway (*grin*). In fact, we bet Xiaomi fanatic fans will be extremely disappointed if the company can actually produce such a counterfeit at a fraction of the original Macbook Air price, but refuses to do so.
The Xiaomi laptop will be powered by the latest Intel Haswell i7-4500u processor with 2 x 8GB dual channel memory. It will come with a large 15-inch 1080p display up front. The laptop is expected to run on a Linux OS customized by Xiaomi, similar to what they’ve done with their Xiaomi phone MIUI OS. As for the price, it is said that this Xiaomi laptop will retail for somewhere around 2,999 Yuan which comes to around US$482 (£310; RM1,700).
Everything from the black chiclet keys, aluminium frame to the wedge-shaped sides are similar to Apple’s Macbook Air. The only differences: A small Xiaomi logo is sticked directly below the display, and the power button is orange instead of black. No doubt that’s a rip-off but at half the price of a real Macbook Air, it shouldn’t have much problem selling like hot cakes. And if there’re demands for Xiaomi MI Air, why shouldn’t they produce it?
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