HTC, the manufacturing giant that kick-started the threat against Apple, could be making the same mistake Jobs’ Mob did. That is, underestimating the competition: speaking to TechEye, director at product marketing EMEA Fabian Nappenbach, said he and HTC is not worried about any upstarts like ZTE or Huawei.
“We look at every company. We take all of them seriously. But threatened? Definitely not. We are nto competing with them. People value our phone and they value our brand, customers are willing to get decent quality with a nice design.”
He’s correct in saying they are not direct competitors at the moment. But HTC no doubt has plans for emerging markets where ZTE and Huawei both maintain, and are building, a stronghold. Either could come out with a surprise hit. One journalist remarked out at MWC this week: “I think ZTE is going to be the new HTC.”
Nappenbach preferred to talk about ChaCha, or the Facebook phone. He said it had been in the works for roughly nine months, though it’s hard to say. But it is the “fastest and simplest way to get things done with Facebook, with chat integrated into the phone.”
Essentially the whole thing is a Facebook app. You’ll be able to share your details with Zuckerberg’s marketing and sales team at the click of a button. HTC tells TechEye, when asked about red tape, that they can’t comment. Was there a lot of it? We’re guessing yes. “But,” said HTC’s PR manager at Nelson Bostock, “It does have the Facebook logo on the phone.”
“We sent this over to Zuckerberg, he liked it, and gave us approval,” according to Nappenbach. As far as HTC is aware, it is the first and only true social media phone. It’ll hit wider markets and people like it. The UK will be a popular market, according to Nappenbach, and we will see “very broad operators.” It’s going to be everywhere, HTC thinks.
Where, in HTC’s opinion, is the mobile industry going to be in five year’s time? It’s all about adding CPU power. One glimpse of what HTC is doing, along with the rest of them, is getting its head in the cloud.