MWC 2015 arguably saw a complete role reversal from Samsung and HTC, with HTC doing little new in terms of design, while Samsung brought its A-game, melding glass and metal into a unibody design that is undeniably more attractive (to most) than previous Galaxy S iterations.
Understandably, opinions have varied greatly when it comes to the One M9 vs the Galaxy S6 (and/or Edge), with some absolutely applauding Samsung’s efforts and shunning HTC’s, while others feel that HTC still has the superior product. But what does HTC think about all this? While far from a corporate statement, HTC Chief Marketing Officer Idris Mootee recently expressed his opinion in an interview, stating that Samsung is essentially in the game only for money.
HTC Chief Marketing Officer Idris Mootee recently expressed his opinion in an interview, stating that Samsung is essentially in the game only for money.
In the interview, Mootee was asked about HTC’s position in the premium market, a space that Apple and Samsung dominate. Mootee said it is important to create a connection between products and the individual, something HTC strives for. As for the competition? The exec praised Apple, saying the company has been very successfuly in connecting people to “something that’s bigger than just an electronic company.” Further, the exec says that Apple stands for something, bigger than just a brand. On the other hand, Samsung, “a massive brand and enterprise, doesn’t stand for anything except for profit”.
Wait… Samsung, a company, is interested in profit? I’m shocked. Shameless snark aside, the root point that the executive is probably trying to make is that HTC and Apple have a certain consumer in mind, and a certain philosophy that drives them. For Apple, this philosophy and customer base has helped push them to the top, for HTC, they have a loyal fanbase, even if their marketshare is minuscule. Does this same approach hold true for Samsung? While the company certainly has made changes to improve its “mass appeal” with the Galaxy S6 that may have alienated some of their original fanbase (no microSD, no-removable battery), personally I feel it’s a little harsh to suggest Samsung doesn’t hope to connect with their customers on any level.
On a related note, in the same interview, the HTC exec also went after Xiaomi:
lot of people talk about Xiaomi. It’s not really our competitor. I don’t think they’ll ever make it to the U.S., for a million reasons we all know. And I think their business model has a very short lifespan.
Going after one of the fastest growing companies in the world, and throwing some shots in at Samsung as well — does the HTC exec make good points about Samsung and Xiaomi? Or is this just sour grapes from a company that has been heavily pushing the premium materials angle for years now, with only modest success?