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Sony may follow HTC and give up on low-end smartphones

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Sony may follow HTC and give up on low-end smartphones
It may be a bit surprising to smartphone owners in North America, but Sony is actually 3rd in smartphone shipments globally, albeit still well behind Apple and Samsung. We may not see a lot of Sony smartphones around here, but Sony is a big time manufacturer, even if its market share has been slipping. And, like another top manufacturer, HTC, that has seen its share slip, Sony may be ready to give up on low-end smartphones.

HTC made its claim back in June that it would leave behind low-end devices and focus on giving customers top-notch experiences, but has still seen its market share fall. Now, Sony's Xperia Marketing Manager, Stephen Sneeden is saying Sony may look to do the same thing. He told CNET:
We're ready to be a premium smartphone provider, logically then, at the very entry level is where you lose the 'Sonyness'. And it's where you cannot implement some of these wonderful things from Sony at such a low cost, we might leave the very entry tier to some other manufacturers.

The company seems to think that the best path for Sony to push closer to Apple and Samsung is to focus on its flagship line, and the mid-tier line of smartphones, dropping the low-end. With this strategy, Sony wants to be able to close the gap between it and the leaders within two years. 

source: CNET

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51 Comments
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posted on 11 Jan 2013, 23:17 21

1. Yummy (Posts: 115; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)


They make great phones either way.

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 03:25 5

21. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1223; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


the problem is Sony right now has a huge sale mainly from low end and mid range models , going premuim means they have to have some of the cutting edge hardware - im sure if the Xperia Z had a tegra 4 at launch with a ips display instead of the TFT sony would have made even the giants feel scared

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 07:35 1

40. CanYouSeeTheLight (Posts: 623; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


This. That was what failed with the Xperia S, if it had an S4 Krait instead of the S3, it would be that much better, and they should improve their screens, as Sony's screen have awful viewing angles. IPS and IGZO are the way to go Sony!

posted on 13 Jan 2013, 13:41

48. Feanor (Posts: 273; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)


Guys, you are really dreaming. Tegra 4 was just announced, how on earth can it be inside a smartphone that has been developed at least the last 6 months? Even if the phone OEMs have access to the development centres of Nvidia before their chips are announced, still Sony wouldn't have enough time to include it for the Z. As soon as new hardware is announced you think that it can be on the market automatically. Product development takes time...

posted on 13 Jan 2013, 22:40

52. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1223; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


well Vizio anounced their tablet on the same day as tegra 4 ,and companies can enquire and get the chip before launch ,

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 06:33 2

37. Airforce (Posts: 61; Member since: 24 Jul 2012)


there is nothing impossibe...SONY IS A GIANT COMPANY,u can imagine the PlayStation freaks nd other electronics..i am not saying for a fact buy SONY might meet up to APPLE but not SAMSUNG

posted on 13 Jan 2013, 20:57

51. jsdechavez (Posts: 676; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


To be relevant, Sony should cover all levels, much like Samsung did. Look at Samsung now. And look at HTC now. haha

posted on 11 Jan 2013, 23:22 13

2. haikallp (Posts: 69; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


Right now, Samsung dominates the entry level Android market but if you really want to feel the power of Android, get the high end models

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 02:54

17. catt4u (Posts: 56; Member since: 09 Jul 2011)


Most people don't need to feel the real power of Android and just want to be able to use the most common apps.
Or they just can't afford a high-end android phone.
Therefore Samsung has the better cards ;)
You remember the piramyd?
There's not enough space for only high-end manufacturers at the top!

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 22:28

46. haroonazeem638 (Posts: 121; Member since: 29 Mar 2011)


Pyramid*
I had to correct it because it you knew there is a Y and an I in Pyramid...you just didn't know where to put them :p

posted on 11 Jan 2013, 23:24 14

3. wendygarett (unregistered)


Because Xperia p and u is sexy enough to compete other as a low range model lol :p

posted on 11 Jan 2013, 23:26

5. MC1123 (Posts: 1220; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


but the low end maket for smartphone will still be there coz featurephones still has the decent sales... low end smartphones will help them to go for high end...

let them taste sexiness with sony phones!!

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 03:21 3

19. thunderbolt (Posts: 76; Member since: 10 Jan 2013)


Chinese smartphones will kill feature phones in long run.

posted on 11 Jan 2013, 23:24

4. MC1123 (Posts: 1220; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


ohh...how pity... so samsung and lenovo ( and other china phones) will now take care of low end android....

posted on 11 Jan 2013, 23:32 3

6. MeoCao (unregistered)


I think this is a mistake. SS proved that you can sell both high and low end phones and anything in between and be wildly successful.

What SS does is using economy of scales. a relative small sales force can sell many variants of phones at the same time while big ads cost will be shared by those phones.

Sony does not have big power like Apple yet, so by limiting the market Sony either have to have small ads budget or high ads cost per phone.

I guess selling cheaper phones does not harm Sony brand as long as those phones offer good experience even with lower specs.

posted on 11 Jan 2013, 23:44 5

7. wendygarett (unregistered)


Sony has made a lot of low range this year, not to mention, a lot of unbranded manufacturer in Asia offer even cheaper model that's hard to compete... A lot of customers now pick ZTE Huawei and Lenovo instead of Samsung, because ss no longer be cheap. These three oem is the most dangerous which gives a serious thread tho... It just that you can't feel it in US

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 03:33 2

23. thunderbolt (Posts: 76; Member since: 10 Jan 2013)


in lower segment you are right people dont care much about the logo. They want bigger screens as big as their money can buy and there lot of local brands are ruling.

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 04:32 2

25. wendygarett (unregistered)


ZTE is danger... Quad core snapdragon 4inch screen just cost same price even below the nexus 4 in US :(

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 04:47 3

28. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2964; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


I won't say danger exactly...
Actually, from a consumer's point of view, it's a good thing that ZTE, OPPO and the likes are bringing top-notch monster phones at cheap prices. This will make heavy brands like Sony, Apple, Nokia, HTC, and such, think over their pricing of devices.
And i don't think this is a good move by Sony unless they are bringing the prices down.

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 05:22 1

30. wendygarett (unregistered)


It's all about brand recognition, if ZTE makes a phone that exactly same spec of, let say sgs3 but with half of price, will you buy it?

but!!! If this same ZTE phone make a same price of sgs3 mini, which one would you buy?

unbranded oem must make high end spec with low end price in order to survive... Therefore, branded oem stand no chance to compete with them when it comes to spec on low end price...

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 06:15

35. thunderbolt (Posts: 76; Member since: 10 Jan 2013)


ZOPO mobile also joining the league of affordable quad cores phablets by this month end or next

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 06:23

36. wendygarett (unregistered)


And Xiaomi :)

posted on 11 Jan 2013, 23:48 1

8. bluescreen (Posts: 154; Member since: 22 Nov 2012)


makes sense if u think about it....everything sony makes seems to be on the over priced side so why not just scrap the cheap stuff and make everything obscenely over priced....i like this idea....NOT!!!

posted on 11 Jan 2013, 23:54 2

11. nicholassss (Posts: 344; Member since: 10 May 2012)


I love the way sony phones look but i dont have any experience using them.

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 00:07 8

12. Johnnokia (Posts: 380; Member since: 27 May 2012)


The only company that cares about poor people is Nokia

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 04:39 3

27. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2964; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


You Joh-ned (nailed) it! :D

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 00:31 2

13. emadshiny (Posts: 1081; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


this strategy will success only in one situation:
Sony must beat all high end products of other companies and this will happen if they bring highest specs faster than others, release their updates on time, cover every part of world with their products and the most important, deliver their products with reasonable price.

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 03:52 1

24. Retro-touch (Posts: 239; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


They are overpriced so don't see their plan working similar to HTC, unless you can offer the best experience, have availability and good marketing it would work, I've yet to see an ad for any phone ever, Samsung market like they are possessed, they are everywhere, on radio, billboards, tv, most sites, it'd be strange not to know of their new flagship phone in any third world country

I see tons of people with S2,S3 and Note 2, never HTC or Sony

posted on 13 Jan 2013, 20:49

49. jsdechavez (Posts: 676; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


In the my office its Sony vs. Samsung. Some of the girls use iphones though.

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 00:37

14. blackice214 (Posts: 163; Member since: 03 Jan 2013)


Yea Xperia Z

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 01:53 2

15. Starscream9 (Posts: 10; Member since: 11 Jan 2013)


Sony is rising but they are making the same mistake which htc made...that they arent updating their 2012 phones in time, not to mention they dropped thier xperia u, sola support. and to the rest of the devices they said they will update them in march-april to andriod 4.1...I hope sony does not produce too many phones that they get lost.

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 03:23

20. thunderbolt (Posts: 76; Member since: 10 Jan 2013)


Yes they are tooooooo slow on updates. I dont care about sexyness coz even sexiest of phone starts looking boring after few months when newer model comes out. T/TX looks so boring now within a few months. It starts becoming more boring if you don't get updates or get updates that hoses camera or something else.

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 02:04 5

16. techloverNYC (Posts: 254; Member since: 20 Nov 2012)


Im not suprise. ps3,ps3,sony tv, sony laptops,etc when it comes to sony I can never link it to cheap products. First thing pop up is high price tags lol

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 03:00 1

18. Tsepz_GP (Posts: 664; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)


The only company this sort of strategy truly works for is Apple, and even they may be looking into making a budget iPhone.
If they want to do this then they must begin making brilliant optics for their phones and great SoCs, so they can stick out in the crowd.

ANYWAY, Best of luck to them, they'll need it.

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 03:31

22. thunderbolt (Posts: 76; Member since: 10 Jan 2013)


Hope their PLA (Profit Loss Accounting) also doesn't follow HTC ...

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 05:44

33. pyradark (Posts: 710; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)


That WONT happen at the moment, i see great momentum this year for sony, as long they provide more carrier, in terms of price, its overprice at first they easily goes cheap in the follwing months.

Xperia Go is selling great in Asia

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 05:46

34. thunderbolt (Posts: 76; Member since: 10 Jan 2013)


Such phones they would want to get out of is what the article meant i think.

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 04:33 1

26. tmcr7 (Posts: 141; Member since: 02 Nov 2011)


If you commit to making flagship phones, Sony must always bring the latest hardware to the market. They were always 1 year late in terms of specs.

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 05:38 2

32. pyradark (Posts: 710; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)


Yeah, but shockingly they are 3rd behind sammy and apple with thier dual core 2011 hardware phone.

You know its not all about hardware, people are not all geeks, who wants power, some are just want somethin shiny in their pocket and other just want durable phone.

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 05:00 1

29. hkxm8 (Posts: 40; Member since: 08 Apr 2012)


Sony value they quality so high that they can't make a good thing with good price.

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 05:33 4

31. pyradark (Posts: 710; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)


I know Sony can still hold this year, remember the success of Xperia P, so selling Midrange and high end still a great strategy, plus sony makes some big name last year, so it wont be a problemo this year as Xperia Z hits 2M views on youtube.

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 06:43

38. Kalevro (Posts: 56; Member since: 11 Sep 2011)


Sony, bi*ches. anyway Sony could catch up with Apple and Samsung but it will take a very long time to surpass Samsung because once you take the big lead it is hard to be pased.
Samsung have to make a iPhone 5-turd aka. a mistake or a phone with lots of problems for Sony to easily catch up. Apple will eventually fall but it will sue everyone's ass before that and then shut down with half of Earths finances.

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 07:06

39. REYNER (Posts: 187; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


i think that would be a bad move if ever. sony is slowly making there way up because they are the only manufacturer who was able to offer sets of phone in low-end. mid-range,upper mid-range and flagships and people likes such kind of offers how i hope they will continue offering low-end and upper mid range but lessen the numbers of different models

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 07:49 4

41. dmakun (Posts: 127; Member since: 06 Jun 2011)


Sony should be very weary of copying HTC's strategy. HTC is where it is currently because they have no clue. My advice to Sony is, unless they are losing market share, DON'T FIX WHAT ISN'T BROKEN.

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 09:31

42. ryq24 (Posts: 439; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


if sony went thru with that plan they will lose the number three spot to the chinese. sony is not apple. they should follow samsung's strategy of having phone for all segment.

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 10:45 1

44. lumia920 (Posts: 101; Member since: 27 Nov 2012)


phone for all slogan were first raised by nokia.

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 09:32 1

43. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 5632; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Just dont get rid of your sd card sony. Not like htc did.

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 20:49

45. Firedrops (Posts: 199; Member since: 06 Sep 2011)


After HTC swore to give up on low-end models, they released more low-end models than ever. Anything under One S, and the entire Desire line of products were low-end models. Their only real high-end models were HOX/+ and Butterfly. 1/4 of their releases this year. Also, did I hear them say that they'll stop churning out devices every month?

posted on 12 Jan 2013, 23:38 1

47. Yummy (Posts: 115; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)


Yes some of their products are a little behind but they really do put effort into designing a quality product. My Xperia TL is OUTSTANDING.

posted on 13 Jan 2013, 20:54 1

50. jsdechavez (Posts: 676; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


Sony should cover all levels, much like they did for 2012, much like Samsung did. Sure, the profit margins are high with the high-end but popularity and brand-recognition would diminish if they go high-end. If Sony does go the HTC way, you all know the troubles HTC faces now, right?

posted on 26 Jan 2013, 01:13

53. AaronBenjamin (Posts: 4; Member since: 26 Jan 2013)


Oh no please not! I'm a student and I love Sony but I can't afford Sony anymore if they only produce high-end smartphones. Won't Sony face a drop in sales if they only produce high-end phones?? A lot of my friends use Sony Xperias' like Go, Sola, P and so on. They are all in the same age group as me.

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