With iOS compatibility, nothing stands between Xiaomi's Mi Watch and the Apple Watch

Xiaomi has rolled out an OTA update that brings support for iOS devices to its Apple Watch lookalike, the Xiaomi Mi Watch

Chinese brands are notorious for mimicking Western companies. Although local smartphone makers are trying hard to alter their reputation of being copycats, Xiaomi single-handedly rendered all of their hard work null and void when it launched the Xiaomi Mi Watch – a blatant rip-off of the Apple Watch.

When Xiaomi launched the Mi Watch in October, users couldn't help but notice its similarities with the Apple Watch. The Mi Watch shares the same square shape, rounded corners and a single crown on the side as Apple's smartwatch is offering.

In fact, the only thing that Xiaomi's smartwatch didn't have in common with Apple's wearable was that it was not compatible with iPhones, ironic as that may sound. However, starting today, users will be able to pair the Mi Watch with their iPhones.

Mi Watch can now be paired with iOS devices

Xiaomi Mi Watch
Xiaomi Mi Watch. Xiaomi

According to GSM Arena, Xiaomi has confirmed that the newly-released Xiaomi Mi Watch is now getting its first firmware update with a host of major improvements, including support for iOS devices. The update will start rolling out to devices in China today before becoming available in other countries soon.

This means users will now be able to pair their iPhones with the Apple Watch's Chinese twin. The reason behind the delay is not yet known and although it initially came as a surprise to many that the Mi Watch didn't come with iOS support at launch, it's finally here now and it's a welcome addition.

A cheaper alternative to the Apple Watch

Xiaomi Mi Watch
Xiaomi Mi Watch. Xiaomi

The update opens up the smartwatch to the iPhone demographic, assuming those users do not want to spend on an Apple Watch might buy the Xiaomi product. After all, the Mi Watch is less than half the price of the entry-level Apple Watch Series 5 which is a compelling factor that users will take into account when purchasing the Xiaomi Mi Watch or the Apple Watch.

But is the difference in price enough to convince iPhone users to go for the Xiaomi wearable? There will surely be a group of users who'd love to sport the desirable squarish looks of the Apple Watch but are unable to afford its inspiration. That said, Apple Watch owners can only pair their devices to iPhones, which means Android users will also be more inclined to opt for Xiaomi's product.