What would you do if you were a non-techie, you ask the one computer guy you know which phone to get, and he tells you HTC, hands down? Versus seeing a TV commerical with a spiffy-looking unknown phone?
Word-of-mouth advertising is the best advertising. Plus, it's free.
Sorry to be a jerk, but do you have data to back that up?
As the local techie, everyone asks me which PC/camera/TV/ereader etc to get. I tell them. Almost none of them follows my advice.
You see, I'm the weird guy who has the stuff that none of their other friends have. They don't want to be that weird guy in front of all their friends.
Never underestimate the power of conformity.