HTC’s brought out the big guns early, with HTC USA President Jason Mackenzie taking a shot at Samsung’s plastic phone construction:
If you want to buy a product built out of cheap plastic, there’s a solution for you. But we’re going after a different customer, someone who wants the best.
It’s an easy slight to make against any of Samsung’s Galaxy S flagships – pundits and commentators have been saying much the same thing for a few years now. Rumours that Samsung would ditch the plastic construction for an all-metal design in 2014 don’t seem to have panned-out.
If HTC was cautious about the reception for the One’s all-metal design in 2013, it’s taken the favourable reactions to it (and to its followup) and gone all-out for it in 2014. Comparing HTC’s priorities to Samsung’s, Mackenzie said:
We’re a company that invests in our customers and delivers a beautifully designed product that you can feel proud of, Samsung is a company that’s focused on investing in advertising.
While Mackenzie is perhaps making a valid point, it’s worth remembering that Samsung’s also delivering a large number of phones to a large number of satisfied customers. To an extent, this kind of trash-talking is a bit uncalled-for.
It’s not the first time HTC’s taken the fight to Samsung. Many of us remember the tweet HTC made during the Galaxy S4 launch event:
For its part, Samsung seems unperturbed by the comments. 2013 saw Samsung dominate HTC (and pretty much everyone else) in advertising spend, and with the Taiwanese company’s very public financial problems of the last couple of years it seems unlikely that they’ll be able to match the Korean giant.
As far as advertising spend and marketing plans go, HTC Australia’s Ben Hodgson flat out told journalists at the One M8 launch event that they didn’t see going toe-to-toe with Samsung as a productive option. It’s hard to fault that logic, but it is important to market your flagship product. HTC famously (or infamously) brought in Robert Downey Jr for an expensive marketing campaign last year, but we’re yet to hear from him this year.
We’ll see what HTC has up its sleeve in the next few months, but hopefully it’ll be more show and less talk.
What do you think of the “cheap piece of plastic” comment – does it have any foundation, or is it a case of sour grapes? Tell us in the comments!