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Ambitous Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei has snared former Apple creative director Abigail Brody as its chief user experience (UX) designer.
The appointment was reported by a number of Chinese tech sites before Huawei released a statement in Mandarin on social media platform Weibo, saying Brody would take up the role in its device and consumer division, where she would oversee the interface design on Huawei products.
A translation of the statement said: "Based on our plan, Huawei is going to set up a user experience design studio in the U.S., tracking and leading pioneering design concepts in the industry, working with China's domestic design teams to provide the best user experience of Huawei's ultimate products."
Brody's LinkedIn profile says she was creative director and hiring manager at Apple for almost 10 years to January 2011, working on the design of the first iPhone as well as the iCloud. (Jonathan Ive is Apple's high-profile chief design officer, and has run Apple's design team since 1996.)
"Abigail's R&D work defined the way Apple's applications look and feel, " Brody's LinkedIn profile says.
The star hiring emerged a day after Huawei reported a 63 percent on-year jump in its third-quarter smartphone shipments to 24.7 million units, amid slower growth in the wider smartphone market.
The company particularly pointed to the success of its high-end handsets, which are key to escaping its image as cheap manufacturer, in order to take on premium competitors including Apple and Samsung.
Huawei also knocked Xiaomi – often dubbed "China's Apple" – out of the number one spot as China's biggest supplier in Q3, according to research firm Canalys.
- Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report