“Apple is innovating. Samsung is innovating. We are innovating. Everybody is innovating. And everybody is doing different things for the end consumers. I brought my daughter back to college — she’s down in Portland at Reed — and I talked to a few of the kids on her floor. And none of them has an iPhone because they told me: ‘My dad has an iPhone.’ There’s an interesting thing that’s going on in the market. The iPhone becomes a little less cool than it was. They were carrying HTCs. They were carrying Samsungs. They were even carrying some Chinese manufacture’s devices. If you look at a college campus, Mac Book Airs are cool. iPhones are not that cool anymore. We here are using iPhones, but our kids don’t find them that cool anymore.”
Later on, he did answer some follow-up questions, which clarified further the splash he made with the "iPhone is not cool anymore" statement at Bloomberg's conference:
"I’ve heard the term iPhone killer a lot of times, outside of my company and inside my company. Whenever I hear it in meeting rooms inside HTC, I caution people and say: ‘Hey, look, there is a market there for the iPhone.’ I don’t think we want to kill the iPhone because it is geared to a certain amount of people who like things in a certain way, and we do something different.”
If you want to do the same thing as iPhone in exactly the same way, why don’t you send your people to the Apple store and have them buy an iPhone? We want to do something different. We want to appeal to different end users who have different values. And, if you look at the segmentation and the demographics of what we are doing, we are selling phones to different people. So, I don’t like the term iPhone killer. I think we do something different.”
He also talked about other important things that are facing the smartphone industry right now - how patent wars are sucking the lifeblood out of companies that should spend this time better on innovating, for instance.
HTC's take on Windows Phone, according to Martin Fichter, is that it is a great platform, with amazing social networking integration, but currently hurdled by no 4G offerings.
On the issues of the cloud and music in the cloud, he mentioned that if customers embrace having all their songs and other data stored somewhere else, the networks are going to have a real problem on their hands.