HTC President Downplays Hype, Says iphone isn’t Cool Anymore
The hysteria over Apple’s much-anticipated iPhone 5 seems to have reached a crescendo as more rumors have leaked, suggesting the phone will hit shelves next month.
That excitement, typically trumpeted with breathless coverage in media and enthusiast blogs, was finally qualified after a survey emerged showing a majority of current iPhone owners may upgrade to the next version.
Apple’s iPhone 5 is seeing “unprecedented demand” ahead of its release, which is expected next month, according to a recent survey conducted by RBC Capital Markets.
The survey data showed that 31 percent of the respondents were very or somewhat likely to buy iPhone 5, significantly exceeding the pre-launch iPhone 4 demand of 25 percent.
But Martin Fichter, acting president of HTC America, says the highly anticipated phone is no longer cool in the eyes of young adults.
The U.S. boss reportedly scorned Apple during the Mobile Future Forward conference in Seattle. During his outburst, Fichter alleged that Apple had stagnated and no longer appealed to the younger demographic.
“And none of them [young people Fichter reportedly knows] has an iPhone because they told me: ‘My dad has an iPhone,’” commented Fichter. “If you look at a college campus, MacBook Airs are cool. iPhones are not that cool anymore.”
Fichter went on to claim that the lag in the iPhone’s cool factor was a result of Apple’s tendency to use patents to hinder other company’s rather than create “cool” new products.
Meanwhile, it seems there could be some credibility to the rumors of an iPhone 5 release date in October as the golden master of iOS 5, Apple’s updated operating system announced in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference, is to be released sometime between Sept. 23 and 30.
According to MacRumors, citing analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is apparently going to be sending the gold version of iOS 5 to its assembly partners between those dates, suggesting a launch for the new hardware around mid-October once the assemblers have had time to install the software on already-produced hardware and ship it out.
The claims are adding fuel to the earlier reports that Apple will launch its next generation smartphone in early October.
A Bloomberg report last week said the mid-October arrival of the Sprint-powered next-generation iPhone was in the cards. Bloomberg says Sprint plans on keeping unlimited data plans even with the arrival of those phones. Sources told Bloomberg that Sprint was looking to be the only operator that offered an unlimited data plan for the iPhone.
BGR reported last week that Best Buy was already gearing up for preorders.
DigiTimes reported that manufacturer Foxconn was rumored to be producing 150,000 units a day and that shipments of iPhone 5s from the supply chain were expected to reach 5 to 6 million in September and top more than 22 million units in the fourth quarter.
Foxconn is supposedly handling about 85 percent of iPhone 5 production while Pegatron is contracted for the remaining 15 percent.
There are also reports that German Apple carrier partner Deutsche Telekom already started pre-sales for Apple’s fifth-generation smartphone. Bloomberg recently reported that it confirmed with Deutsche Telekom that starting last week its subscribers may begin reserving Apple’s iPhone 5 smartphone.
But Apple hasn’t even announced an event to introduce the new product or said there would be a new iPhone at all. In fact, it has not even confirmed if the next iteration of the iPhone will be called iPhone 5.