Latest in D8

Image credit:

HTC's Peter Chou live from D8


Check back at 11:30AM PT -- or a little later, it looks like they're running a bit late.

12:28PM And that's it folks! Thanks for reading!

12:27PM Q: Are you going to list your stock in the US... people want to buy it!

Peter: We're thinking about it. It's a long process. I'm spending my time on products. Hopefully we can put on our investment banker hat.

12:27PM Q: What do you think of the Foxconn situation?

Peter: I don't know details. But that's a very well equipped factory. So I think there must be something beyond just the factory conditions... there could be a social or cultural effect. Times change, China also changes, and working along with very strict management may be tough for some people, for young people. I'm not in a position to speak about that -- we own factories, and we try and take care of our people. We treat them as a company asset. We share values with them. We're like family -- I play ping pong with my employees. It's hard for me to comment on Foxconn.

12:24PM Q: Do you have anything else in your pockets? Also, what are your plans to expand into other areas of CE, or do you want to stay focused on phones?

Peter: We're very focused on smartphones. We're going to continue to innovate in that space.

12:22PM Question is about battery life.

Walt: I agree, the battery ran down alarmingly fast on the Evo when I tested it.

Peter: We are using extreme modes, and the battery is a concern. What we're trying to do is -- the battery is removable, unlike the iPhone -- you can remove it and replace it. This is one area that we're really working on improving. I don't have a lot of good news.

Q: So I should sell my second phone and just buy a bunch of batteries?

Oh question asker, you cad.

Peter: Well, if you're just checking email your battery life should be okay...

12:20PM Q&A time!

12:20PM Walt: I want to ask one more thing, and that's about fragmentation. Some of the app devs tell me that there's confusion about this. What version it runs, if it has Sense, the phones don't get updated at the same time. Is this a problem and are you part of the problem?

Peter: HTC Sense is not causing the problem. We try to make so that all the apps can run on all of these products. Operating system version is a problem, it can cause problems. You've got multiple companies, multiple products... you might have older phones that people bought a year ago...

Walt: So some of these phones may not be able to run the most current version of Android?

Peter: Right, 2.1 requires a faster processor.

Walt: So the G1?

Peter: Well you can run it, but you won't have all of the features.

12:17PM Walt: So what does it do? Does it do apps?

Peter: It has apps.

Walt: Is it Android...

Peter: It's Qualcomm BREW... it has email, it has a web browser. It's not as advanced a smartphone.

Walt: And carriers can sell it for free?

Peter: Yes.

12:14PM Walt: I want to talk about something you showed me that you were excited about. The idea is that you could have a lower-tier device that has smartphone features, but is not a smartphone and is targeted at a different audience.

Peter: Well we've been working on this for a long time. We want to get a smartphone into everyone's hands -- we want the mass market consumer to use a smartphone. But there are issues with that, the first is the price...

Walt: What is a typical cost for the carrier, for a smartphone?

Peter: This is very sensitive information... for the high end phones it's around $400. So the second problem is that the mass market consumer might perceive smartphones as sophisticated and too high tech, so we try to simplify. That's what we tried to do with the HTC Smart.

12:12PM Walt: Do you think it's strange that you have all these brands associated with a phone? You have the carrier, you've got the OS, the device maker's name... isn't this confusing to people?

Peter: Well it's the way of building a brand and categorizing. They need to know what they're buying.

Walt: No I know, I'm saying, can you have too many brands on a phone?

Peter: In this ecosystem, we have a lot of state borders...

Walt: Does everyone have to have their name on it?

Peter: ...We're trying to minimize that.

12:09PM Walt: Are consumers asking for HTC at stores? Or are they asking for the Droid?

Peter: People are going into stores and asking for HTC products. The go in and ask for the HTC HD2...

Walt: You have marketing to prove this?

Peter: Yes. We started branding ourselves last year. When I checked in to customs in the airport they asked me who I worked for, I said HTC, and the guy said 'I have an HD2!' -- people are talking about it, and there's growing awareness about the name.

12:07PM Walt: But you try and make these phones look and act the same, with your Sense UI. If I held up the HD2 next to the Evo, at first glance you would think it's very similar, because you've got an HTC layer on it.

Peter: We try to add value in the user experience. We focus on people-centric experiences. We try to offer customization -- not everybody is the same. Some people care about one feature, some others. Our philosophy is that we don't try and force customers, but they can take it if they want.

12:05PM Peter: We've committed to both Android and Windows Mobile, there are different people in the market, and they like different things. We try to have the best mix of tech and design, and we want to give people a choice. Android and Windows address different people.

Walt: What's the difference?

Peter: Well Windows has a lot of legacy users and loyalists... we understand the value of Windows.

Walt: And what about Android?

Peter: Well Android is providing a way to have a good internet experience, Google Maps, search... it's for people who are into social networking... whereas Outlook users and Windows users will be more comfortable with Windows...

He's kind of dodging this.

12:02PM Walt: So this is a 4.3-inch screen, we saw the Dell tablet at 5-inches... now this runs Android. You're still making Windows Mobile phones...

Peter: We have the HD2...

Walt: My impression is you're making mostly Android phones.

Peter: I would say... it's a big part.

12:01PM Walt: My favorite thing is the kickstand.

12:00PM Walt: So this is 4G, that's the next standard. I think Sprint has 32 cities covered, they're in the lead at the moment. Other than 4G, what else does this do?

Peter: Well it's breakthrough design. It's big, it's clear. Great browsing experience, our on-screen keyboard input, because it's bigger...

Walt: It's also heavier than other phones.

Peter: Well a little... it has an 8 megapixel camera, dual flash, front-facing camera. People can have video conference calls, and it works as a wireless hotspot.

We've been using the Evo as a hotspot here during liveblogs, actually!

11:58AM Peter: We partnered with Microsoft on smartphones, we did the first Android phone, we did the first 3G smartphone... and this week we're introducing the first 4G phone, the Evo.

11:58AM Walt: How did you get from being a fabricator, to the brand you are today?

Peter: We knew that smartphones would change people's lives by the way we use them. We focused on innovation and technology. We started smartphone design in 1999.

11:56AM Peter is out!

11:55AM Okay! We're on!

11:46AM A Wordnik demo now. Sheesh. Thanks for no real schedule guys.

11:42AM So if you couldn't have guessed -- they're definitely running late. Peter should be out soon.

11:11AM So first up is AOL head Tim Armstrong... and we're running behind schedule. Hang tight!

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr