Apple Senior Vice President of Design Jonathan Ive speaks onstage during "Genius by Design" at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on October 9, 2014 in San Francisco, California.
Kimberly White—Getty Images for Vanity Fair
October 10, 2014 10:55 AM EDT

Apple’s head of design criticized other companies that he said copy the tech giant’s product design at an event Thursday night, The Verge reports.

“I don’t see it as flattery,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of design, at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit. “I actually see it as theft.”

The remarks came in response to a question about products produced by Chinese electronic company Xiaomi, some of which have been said to mimic Apple offerings like the iPad before being sold at a much cheaper price than Apple’s own devices. But Ive said his criticism was not directed at Xiaomi, but the companies he views as copycats more broadly.

When “you spend seven or eight years working on something, and then it’s copied—I have to be honest, the first thing I think isn’t ‘ooh, that was flattering,'” Ive said.

[The Verge]

Write to Justin Worland at justin.worland@time.com.

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