HTC talks about iPhone, patents, and Google’s pending purchase of Motorola

Martin Fichter, the acting president of HTC America had some things to day while attending the Mobile Future Forward conference in Seattle. He said iPhones aren’t cool anymore, but has no interest in killing it. He is not sure how Google and Motorola will work, but they will look at their options and do whatever it takes to be successful. He also said we are wasting a lot of time, money, and energy on the patent wars which should go towards putting better technology into people’s hands.

On the iPhone:

“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.”

When asked about the concept of an “iPhone Killer” he had this to say:

“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.”

On the pending purchase of Motorola by Google:

“It is good for the whole ecosystem that Google owns IP that they didn’t own before. That’s very good for the Android ecosystem because maybe everyone was going into this starry-eyed and happy (saying): ‘Ok, there’s a free operating system that we can all work with.’ And we all believed it. We all launched lots of phones, and all of a sudden it turns out that there are forces in the market who just don’t want something free for the consumer. So, OK, let’s go back and try to support that. From that perspective, it is a good thing that Google has access to these patents. I don’t know how Google and Motorola will work together in the future…. We will see how that pans out. For us, as I said before, we will look at our options, and we will look at whatever needs to be done to be successful. The good thing, for us at HTC, is that whatever has happened over the last few years, we’ve usually adjusted faster than the impact of whatever happened.”

On Patents:

“I think disruption is the perfect word for that because it disrupts my day, every day. The problem we are having as an industry, from a very broad perspective, is that energy that should go into developing new technologies and new user experiences goes into fighting off patent wars. So, think about it. A lot of time, money and energy is just wasted based on these patent wars. I am very much in favor of protecting intellectual property rights …. but we have to, from a philosophical level, relook at what we are doing with the patents so that we protect intellectual property but we stop ourselves from wasting all of this energy that should go into putting better technology into people’s hands.”

[via geekwire]

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