Losing the valuable child-of-an-Android-OEM exec demographic

With all the news about Windows 8 this week, you may have missed the news about iPhones. Turns out they just aren’t cool anymore.

(According to HTC US president Martin Fichter. Void where prohibited by common sense.)

“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.”

There certainly couldn’t be any selection bias in that survey.

“Stacy, say something nice to my dad. He’s got Steve Jobs envy bad. It’s a whole big thing.”

Well, assuming these kids were being truthful instead of just nice, someone should tell them to get “hep” to the fact that customer satisfaction is hella cool, yo! Apparently the youngsters on floor four of Reed’s Che Guevara Hall were not part of this survey. Nor were they part of any of the numerous surveys showing iPhone loyalty beating Android.

It’s true that Android users tend to skew younger but there’s a more likely reason than “The iPhone’s for dads! LOL! TTFN! TMI! BRB! FML!” And that is that they’re just cheaper.

You can’t fault Fichter, really. What’s he supposed to say? “Kids buy our phones because they’re cheap but the minute they get enough money they’re going to buy an iPhone.” That doesn’t look good in an annual report.

In a follow-up interview, Fichter sounded a little more realistic.

“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.”

Right. Their competition is less Apple and more Samsung, LG, Motorola and Slappy Joe’s Android Handset Shack off I-75 in Sarasota.

The Macalope really needs to get down to that stretch of I-75. There’s a lot going on there.

  • Maccly:

    They sure don’t want to kill the iPhone – without Apple’s creativity the Android crowd would be stumped for new innovation to copy from. After Apple, the only company that even looks like producing original work in the smartphone market is (gulp) Microsoft!

  • qka:

    Interesting that the daughter of the HTC US president is going to the college that Steve Jobs dropped out of.

  • JakeB:

    In similar news: Porsches are no longer cool!! OMG!! A brief survey of the dorm parking lot shows Hyundais and Scions are the new cool cars!! Also the occasional clapped out Buick.

  • dannyo152:

    Actually, I think I like Mr. Fichter. His first comment presumes that iPhones were cool among the college set, which I don’t think was true. Todays senior was a senior in high school when the iPhone was released and at a very high price point. They tell me the kids love the texting and AT&T sure charges a lot for that service. I presume the parents also balked at, 1) AT&T (exclusivity ended seven months ago), and 2) the monthly cost for voice, texting, and the non-optional data plan.

    It’ll be interesting to look in again in four years and see what those kids who got iPod Touches in middle school and junior high are using.

    And one can’t fault a guy for enjoying it when he finds a place where he’s doing better than the market leader. I think back to the early 70s Phillies and their having Steve Carlton: for one day out of four we are world-beaters.

    • dannyo152:

      Forgot it was September. Today’s senior would have been in their first week of college and the iPhone was released a few days after they graduated high school.

  • Grover:

    The reality is that we no longer live in a culture where there IS a single thing that is cool. When I was in elementary school, Michael Jackson was cool (I know how absurd that sounds now, but stay with me). Everyone thought so. Owning Thriller and bringing it into class so that we could play it during music time was universally hailed as a cool thing. Fitting in was important, and everyone wanted to be alike and like the same things. Yes, there were always rebels, but they were the exception then, not the rule.

    Cut to today, and NOT fitting in is the new cool. You are defined almost exclusively by how you are different from others. You go out of your way to make sure you’re as different from others as possible. Each sub-culture has a dozen of its own sub-cultures. If you find more than three people who like the same music, movies, TV, or anything else, you’ll find another group dedicated to just exactly how terrible that thing is within a 50 foot radius.

    All of that to say that, the story is probably entirely true. And I can say that I’ve personally experienced sentiment like that from a senior in high-school. But it means nothing, because there’s a group of kids in the dorm room next to them talking about how lame it is to use Android. And one more door down they couldn’t care less about any of it. And room full of WebOS nerds still holding on next to them.

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