iPhones are for old people, says HTC exec

The Apple iPhone 4 may have been the must-have smartphone of the last year, but according to the US acting president of rival smartphone maker HTC, the kids aren't impressed. iPhones, he reckons, are for no longer cool.

Speaking at the Mobile Future Forward conference in Seattle, Martin Fichter told delegates that he took an informal survey of his daughter's dormitory mates at Reed College in Portland. "None of them has an iPhone," Fichter said, "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 manufacturer's devices."

"Macbook Airs are cool," Fichter went on. "iPhones are not that cool any more. We here are using iPhones, but our kids don't find them that cool any more."

HTC has been one of the market leaders among manufacturers using Apple iOS's chief rival, Google's Android mobile OS - and last year moved into the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 market. But the Taiwanese manufacturer isn't resting on its laurels, with recent reports that it plans to branch out with its own operating system, in an effort to reduce the company's reliance on Google and Microsoft.

With a total market share that currently stands at nine per cent and growing, HTC - along with Samsung - is one of the companies mounting the most serious challenge to the iconic Apple handset's dominance - but with his comments at MFF yesterday, Fichter is looking to strike at the very heart of Apple's sales pitch ahead of its expected launch of the iPhone 5 launch in October: the concept of cool.

Do you think that the iPhone has had its day? Or Fichter's attack no more than bluster ahead of another much-anticipated Apple refresh? Let us know in the comments below.