Huawei poaches former iPhone designer to lead its software team

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Chinese smartphone giant Huawei has often been accused of lifting its design languagefrom Apple, and now it’s taking the iPhone maker’s personnel too.

Huawei has hired former Apple creative director Abigail Sarah Brody to be its new head of user interface design. Brody left Apple back in 2011 after working with the company for nearly a decade, and was part of the team that designed iOS 1 for the first iPhone. “One day around 2005, I got a call to move up to the fourth floor, the executive floor,” Brody told Fast Company in 2013. “I wasn’t told I’d be working on a phone. They just said, ‘Create a user interface for multitouch.'”

It’s not as significant a hire as poaching someone like Jony Ive, of course, but the news signals Huawei’s desire to consolidate its new position in the smartphone world’s big leagues.

The company is currently the third biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world, according to market analysts IDC, with 7.5 percent of the market, behind Samsung (23.8 percent) and Apple (13.5 percent), as well as an unbeatable 60.9 percent year-on-year growth. The company is pushing its mid- and high-range smartphones to continue this momentum and released its flagship handset, the Mate S, earlier this year.

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