Chinese mobile manufacturer Xiaomi has previous when it comes to Apple cloning. The Xiaomi Mi 8, to use just one example, is an unashamed dead ringer for the iPhone X.
However, once you get past the hardware design, the company’s Android-based MIUI user interface has traditionally retained a healthy distance from Apple’s iOS.
Enter Mimoji, Xiaomi’s totally-not-lifted-directly-from-iOS human-style animations that enable users to create totally-not-Memoji-like-animated-avatars of themselves.
As first spotted by Engadget China (via MacRumors), Xiaomi is launching its own version of Memoji, enabling users to create animations in their own likeness, which can be accessorised with hats, specs, bunny ears, specs, hairdos and facial expressions.
While Apple is far from the only firm to enable users to create animated avatars (Microsoft and Samsung have done it well, for example), it’s hard to argue with the inspiration for Xiaomi’s effort. Naturally, the company is denying there was any inspiration taken from Apple’s pre-existing alternative, despite the striking resemblance.
In a press release translated by @e_l_l_l on Twitter, the company said: “We have conducted internal audits and found no evidences that our Mimoji characters have [been] plagiarized from any of our competitors including Apple.”
The Mimoji will launch as part of the company’s China-focused CC9 phone, which goes on sale in the country on Friday July 5.
Apple is preparing to further augment its Memoji in iOS 13, which arrives later this year, with the company adding makeup options. You already had the ability to pick and choose features like eye shape and colour, skin tone and hairstyle but iOS 13 brings makeup and accessories to the table, plus a whole lot more.
You can learn all about out in this barely-tolerable video Apple aired during its WWDC keynote last month. The company has not commented on Xiaomi’s homage, as yet.