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The iPhone Ain't Cool, Says HTC Exec

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You always remember the first time you laid eyes on HTC's acting president Martin Fichter -- or "Ice Cold" as he's known in his jazz trio.

The first thing that hits you is, well, his smoothness. Just this effortless charisma with a breezy detachment. The way he saunters into room and gives his million-dollar smile. Always a whiskey in one hand and the waist of a gorgeous bombshell on the other. His suits are impeccably styled, seemingly tailored by the finest designers with only him in mind. Who knows? They probably were.

And his solos on the tenor sax would relax the shoulders of anyone within earshot.

So when Martin gives his opinion on what's cool, those who value their social strata better pay attention.

This week, Fichter weaved through the paparazzi and took the stage at the Mobile Future Forward conference in Seattle -- instantly and singlehandedly turning the occasion into an A-list event. There, after answering questions of who he was wearing, he spoke of the current state of the mobile industry and related an interesting observation. While escorting his daughter to Reed College in Portland, Oregon, Fichter noticed the smartphone choice of her dorm mates.

They didn't hold Windows Phones. They didn't hold BlackBerries. And they didn't hold iPhones.

They held HTC devices.

Naturally, the influence that Fichter's effusive charm has on the youth market is well-documented. "People buy HTC products to be more like Ice Cold," TMZ once reported. But it was the reason behind their refusal to own iPhones that struck a chord with Fichter.

The young women told him that they didn't care to own any gadget that was valued by their parents. "The iPhone wasn't cool," he said. "I mean, would you want what your parents wanted? I wouldn't."

Immediately, iPhone owners shifted uncomfortably in their seats and made a mental note not to flash the very device that Fichter deemed "uncool."

Apple has yet to respond, but the company is certainly shaken. However, while the newly branded "social faux pas" is beginning to seep into the LA nightlife and Williamsburg dive bars -- with local trendsetters dumping their iPhones into trash cans and sewers, rather than admit the indignity of ever owning them -- the company could still depend on the patently unsmooth Middle America to just about break even with its upcoming iPhone 5 release.

But Apple better hope ASUS chairman and resident hep cat Jonney Shih doesn't also weigh in on his iPhone opposition.

At that point, Apple will be deader than disco.

(See also: The Biggest Droid Bionic Glitch That Every Review Missed and Apple Memoir Reveals Biggest Mistake in Company's History)

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