Hitting back at critics that labeled Xiaomi an "Apple copycat", vice president of international operations Hugo Barra said the company has "grown up", pointing to its latest smartphone – the Mi Note – as proof.
The rising smartphone star unveiled its new flagship phablet, the Mi Note, at a launch event in Beijing on Thursday, taking direct aim at Apple and Samsung's large-screen offerings.
"We have been working on the Xiaomi Note for 3 years – this is a product that was not designed in response to the iPhone 6 Plus or Galaxy Note 4 – it's been in the making for some time," Barra told CNBC on Friday.
"We've been able to build an industrial design team and mechanical hardware engineering team that have had time to do a lot of independent thinking – and this is the first product [that is a result of that]," he said.
Pulling a classic Apple move, the budget smartphone maker launched a cryptic ad campaign in the lead up to Thursday's launch, building suspense among its burgeoning fan base.
During the launch, the company also drew direct comparisons between the specifications of its new phablet and the iPhone 6 Plus.