Four months ago, Gartner released a report warning that Windows Phone 7 suffers in part from the "Your Dad uses it syndrome," the perception that it's something your father uses at work, not something you would use. And now, a top HTC executive says that the iPhone suffers from the same syndrome.
Martin Fichter, acting president of HTC America, speaking at the Mobile Future Forward conference, said that when he brought his daughter to college at Reed in Portland, he surveyed her dorm mates about what phones they use. Mashable reports that Fichter then told the conference that none of them had an iPhone. When the students were asked to explain why that is, Fichter says:
"They told me: 'My dad has an iPhone.' There's an interesting thing thats 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. iPhones are not that cool anymore. We here are using iPhones, but our kids don't find them that cool anymore."
Of course, given that HTC manufactures iPhone competitors, you may want to discount what he says. But it's unlikely that he's simply making up this story. And I've noticed a similar trend that he has over time -- an increasing number of people who in the past might have opted for iPhones turning to Android devices.
Microsoft, of course, hopes that it can shed the "Your dad uses it" syndrome and will be using the BUILD conference to try and do that. It's not clear whether Microsoft will succeed, but there's no doubt that the Windows Phone 7 people are pleased to see the iPhone thought of as yesterday's technology.