During the Mobile Future Forward conference in Seattle, HTC America president, Martin Fichter, talked about the future of the mobile industry and was eager to talk about the current events in the Android world including Google’s acquisition of Motorola, and the ongoing patent wars involving HTC, Samsung and Apple. He also confirmed that the Taiwanese phone manufacturer had no plans of dropping Android despite numerous rumors. Here are some of his comments:
On patents wars
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
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.
On the Google/Motorola Deal
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.
There you have it, Mr. Martin Fischter’s comments confirm what we, in the Android community, already know about how Apple cannot innovate anymore and instead chooses to go after those who do.