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HTC: iPhones are for old people

Now this is pretty interesting, acting president of HTC America, Martin Fichter, said that the Apple iPhone is for old folk at the Mobile Future Forward conference in Seattle. Fichter took an informal survey at his daughter's domitory to see what her friends thought of the iPhone:

"None of them has an iPhone. '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 manufacturer’s devices."

While many will dispute this with the iPhone being cool and trendy, I must say that it can be accurate, depending as to where you live. I remember commuting to work daily; bankers and businessmen on the train had iPhones, young women had Blackberries and everyone else had Android handsets. A large proportion of school girls use Blackberry devices, for BBM more than anything else.

What do you think? Are iPhones loosing its 'cool' for the young market?

Source: Mashable (opens in new tab)

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

29 Comments
  • Well, it's just the same thing that happened to Motorola RAZR. People get used to a thing that maintains its basic design over the years, just changing something here and there, and still charging a premium over it. Even the iSheeps get used to it.
  • I think this can be true in some ways. when a new iPhone comes out it is really "cool" to have one but after a while people get bored and it becomes more of a "Its just an iPhone"
  • just another iphone. no innovations. and a nerdy desktop ui. but: old people needs 4 oder better 5 inch displays.so apple: design bigger screens.
  • iPhone 5 is rumored to have a bigger screen :)
  • and also rumored to have the same 3.5 inch screen its had for a while now.
  • Doesn't seem to be that way in the UK with the iPhone being the top trendy phone to have but then again maybe we're a bit more blinded by shiny things than other countries.I'm ok with the iphone going away but the REAL trick will be replacing iTunes for media playback as that seems to have one heck of a hold. Personally I would like iTunes to disappear overnight. MobileMe, services, start up options, bonjour and itunes.. all just to get a DAMN song onto a device.
  • You must be living in a different UK to me then. Kids have Blackberry for BBM. (My kids both got rid of iPhones for BB)iPhone is now exec phone, whilst trendy hipsters seek alternatives, like WP7, Android.Get Zune, it takes all your iTunes problems away :)
  • I think that android phones have become popular with kids for the same reason that blackberries have been for a while: they are the "smartest" phone available on pre-paid and cheaper regional carriers. If the iPhone (or WP7) were on Cricket or Virgin there would be far fewer androids and blackberries roaming the dormitories.
  • Eh, I never like when one company senselessly bashes another.
  • I'm not sure about this assessment. I'm in the early 20's university students crowd, and depending on which circle of friends I'm with, some circles are almost all Android, some circles are all iPhone, and then there's a few BB and WP7 users here and there. Then there's the half that still use dumbphones...
  • The comment about young women going for BlackBerries is interesting to me.I have observed a keen interest among my daughter's friends in BlackBerries. The first couple struck me as curiosities ("You want a phone that's great for business?"), but this article implies that the effect is more widespread than I would have guessed.Do you think it is the perception that it is the best phone for communicating via text, etc.? I may check out the BlackBerry site to see what the feeling over there is.
  • Yes I'm with you. When I was travelling by train and saw school girls get on and off a stops I thought to myself "do they use the Blackberry for email or any other business/advanced functionality over BBM and text?" and I can't really believe they do. I had a quick word with my younger sibling who's currently at college/sixth form and he agreed that a good number of girls use Blackberries for basinal social tasks like Facebook, BBM, text and calling. It's an odd market but I do believe for the female youth (in the UK anyway) that Blackberries are the craze handset for communicating with other female friends who already own one.
  • +1 spot on. My ex used BB for BBM, Text, calling and Facebook. I told her I could put email on her phone, and she absolutely categorically did not want it on her phone. Email was the thing she did late at night as a kind of "chore". The phone was her social network tool. And that is the BB strength. I've got a BB for work, and I don't do much of the social networking stuff, but you have to hand it to RIM they've done a great job with social networking integration and their notifications system.
  • ps. Its why it amazed me WP7 shipped without background MSN Messenger with decent notification. Or even Xbox live background and notification. They really need to make that whole online all the time experience work much slicker.I'm hoping Mango makes that better, but from what I've seen they haven't made social network and notifications as slick as it could have been.. IMHO of course.
  • I could see the part about young women liking the blackberry and I believe it has to do with the keyboard. In my experience, lots of the women that I know HATE touchscreen phones. My wife absolutely has to have a keyboard on her phone.I could see this being a big decider and honestly, Blackberry still has one of the best physical keyboards on the market.
  • If you know your smartphones, you wouldn't get an iphone. They are overpriced and do more or less what you can do with most other phones. The main difference is the apps which you download and five minutes later get bored. So I do agree that iphones are for old people on the basis that there is nothing special or confusing about them - nothing is going to jump out, they're just an iphone. The cool kids have Android and geeks have WP7.
  • Many geeks have Android too. What I see in young kids is iPod Touch for gaming devices. A cheaper non-phone WP7 device for mainly gaming is needed to get this crowd.
  • I'm a college student, and the iPhone is still the phone tons of my peers have and want.
  • I live on a marine corps base so it is filled with a bunch of junior marines(18-24) with nothing to spend their money on but expensive electronics and the trend is getting HTCs and Motorolas, the more popular being the HTC evo and Droid X. So far i have seen about 5 WP7s including my own, and there are not as many iPhones. But among the senior marines(25+) the iPhone is a little more popular. And pretty much junior marines are laughed at by their peers for having iPhones because it "sucks" and is not cool any more
  • Wow not even 3-days ago I was thinking of this same subject. I get a wide variety of people that come into my job, kids in preschool all the way up to seniors. I work pretty close to ASU so many college students come in, and I RARELY see them w/ iPhones. Mostly big 4.3" displays (hd7's surprisingly), Galaxy s's, and bb's that they type their **** off on. The iPhone crowd: Middle-to-older aged "wealthy acting/looking" married couples. I see it so much, its almost like a statistic now. Even the preppy frat and sorority students are more catered to Evo's and Droids.Conspiracy?
  • It's pretty obvious why there are a lot of Blackberry and Android devices around in the younger crowd... Look no further to Verizon's non stop Buy 1 Get 1 Free. Verizon has been doing that for years now, well before the VZW iPhone so you have tons of Blackberry and Android devices out there. If I'm dumb enough to buy a smarthphone for my kid, I'm totally going to go the cheapest route. Meanwhile the iPhone is always $199/$299 unless you want to go with a referb or a **** 3GS.Price plays a big part of it.
  • Teens use BB because they are running some old version of a phone that they got for free from a friend, poor college students use Android because they offer the most free apps but also the most junk or corrupt apps. I use Android but I am considering a switch to Apple because they have clean apps, a clean ecosystem, and solid hardware. WP7 is also on the horizon, they are building a clean ecosystem, smooth apps, just need some solid hardware with solid battery life. I was really hoping Samsungs second gen device would be a dual core phone, in order to reach some energy efficiency.
  • Another mashable craptastic story. smh.
  • Back When Steve Spurrier prowled the sidelines at Florida, he and Bobby Bowden had a standing rule between them - Never hold anything against the other for something said at a Booster meeting. (The two are actually friends.) This statement at a mobile conference is the same thing. When an executive is talking about what he has seen at his Daughters dorm, why is anyone taking it as anything but a pep talk? I love HTC, Windows is my next phone of choice, but I can not help but look at the sales numbers of the iPhone and just think this is talking trash at a booster club.
  • I still can't see the appeal of having a iPhoney after owning a Windows Phone 7 device.My wife has a iphone and I've used it a lot, it's nothing more than a pretty, fast glorified app launcher.It's easy, so it would appeal to the older croud or just morons who don't have a brain but, think they need a smart phone.Sorry
  • I believe it. I handle wireless for a large company (we have about 5000 lines) and the only people who ask for iPhones are over 40. Anyone in their mid-20's to early-30s ask for Android or WP7.*edit* NO ONE asks for BlackBerrys
  • Chinese people just love iphone. It's crazy.
  • They somehow believe they're 50% westernized by owning one. -_-
  • I disagree, iPhone UI is not very intuitive for old people, and it uses small icons and texts. Old people don’t need dozens of icons on their phone. Much better solution is any Android phone and BIG Launcher (http://biglauncher.com) – custom home screen with large buttons and texts. For eldery, it's much more simple to use than wp7