Tensions between Samsung and Apple may finally be cooling down, but it looks like the Cupertino company may have already found another competitor to rally against. Xiaomi's made a name for itself as "China's Apple" by imitating both its industrial design and presentation style. Now Apple may be ready fight back.

Speaking at a Vanity Fair tech conference this week, Apple design chief Jony Ive had some choice words for its copycats. Responding to a question about Xiaomi he didn't pull any punches, instead equating the companies copycat tendencies with theft. The full quote, which is just below, almost reminds us of Steve Jobs' famous promise to go "thermonuclear" over Android.

I'll stand a little bit harsh, I don't see it as flattery. When you're doing something for the first time, you don't know it's gonna work, you spend 7 or 8 years working on something, and then it's copied. I think it is really straightforward. It is theft and it is lazy. I don't think it is OK at all.

It didn't take long for Xiaomi to respond. According to Forbes, co-founder and president Lin Bin suggested that Ive try one the company's smartphones for himself, even offering to ship him one for free. We doubt Ive will take Lin up on his offer or even respond at all, but we also doubt this is the last time the two phone-makers will trade barbs in a similar manner.

As Xiaomi expands beyond China and continues to butt heads with Apple tensions are sure to rise. Cupertino's already shown it's not afraid to drag its competitors into court, and we wouldn't be surprised to see the same thing happen again with Xiaomi in the next few years.