Interview: Sony's Xperia Marketing Programme Manager answers our questions on upgrade cycles, differentiation, and more

Interview: Sony's Xperia Marketing Programme Manager answers our questions on upgrade cycles, differentiation, and more
We had the opportunity to sit down with Sony's Xperia Marketing Programme Manager, Benoit Obadia, during Mobile World Congress, and try and get his input on several topics that have been on our minds as of late. We started out by poking at the fact that Sony has now officially transitioned to a super-short, 6-month upgrade cycle for its flagships, and then turned the conversation in the direction of the all-new Xperia Z2 and what it has to offer.

Anyway, we'll let Mr. Obadia do the talking, so tune in right below for our interview.

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50 Comments

1. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

One thing i want too ask him why don't u put your phone on every carrier/pre paid in order too reach sales in the U.S. to go up against the SAMSUNG GSV

2. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Watched the interview. Judging by the questions Nick asked, the Z2 is a huge let down. That 6 month upgrade cycle is killing Sony.

4. adjou

Posts: 106; Member since: Jul 06, 2010

Sony needed the 6 month upgrade cycle. They needed to the extra flapship to play catch up. For example, Xperia S on the S3 snapdragon, when other competitors were using the S4, so they released the upgraded version, Xperia T with the S4 chip. Same as Xperia Z with the S4 chip and Xperia Z1 with the newer S800. Compared to 2 years ago, Sony came a long way, and the 6 month cycle helped.

5. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

It didn't help this time around. The Z2 is essentially a Z1 with an added gig of RAM and finally the ability to record 4K. Sony pulled an Apple and left 4K out for the next model.

10. HansGoneInsane unregistered

Smurf, give credit where credit is due! Z2 is a great phone and going for 6 months update cycles is hurting Sony itself because the company cannot seize economies of scale and scope. Sony only did that to catch up which they finally achieved.

12. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

It's a great phone, but the hype it's getting is the most overblown topic since the 5S. There's literally nothing different about the two besides 4K and speakers. That's it.

16. adjou

Posts: 106; Member since: Jul 06, 2010

Well, S5 is basically a S4 with water resistance, fingerprint scanner and 4k then? And it took Samsung a year to release this minimal upgrade. Also, Sony added front facing stereo speakers and in built noise cancelling.

22. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Is everyone ignoring the jump from S600 to S801? Samsung using ISOCELL? Improving on battery life? Revamping the UI? Improving on build quality? Z2 has a ever so slightly faster processor that will NOT show a difference. 4K and ffs is all that's new. Nothing more and that's depressing.

24. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

but im really excited with isocell. i think people are just disappointed with the design. it makes the s5 look bulkier than it actually is.maybe if they did an all black front with chrome accents on the sides, things would been a little different.

26. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Don't expect Apple or HTC designs for Samsung products. I'll take removable backs over built in batteries any day. It's basically the same size as the G2 so size isn't an issue.

23. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

no, it should be the Z1. the Z1 should have not existed. poor battery performance despite the big battery. ugly display made uglier by the awful wallpaper. tinny sound. unoptimized camera.

27. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Exactly my point. Sony flooded the market to play catch up. The Z2 is what the Z1 should have been and that's what I've been saying for the past 24 hours.

44. THE_Hulk

Posts: 55; Member since: Feb 09, 2014

no smurf... you must give them the credit man. The rival of S4 was Xperia Z, not Z1. and if you compare on that 1 year cycle- Snap 801** vs snap 600* 2.3 ghz** vs 1.5 21.7mp cam (with that huge sensor)*** against 13.1 IP58 vs IP57 Stereo speaker**** vs mono speaker IPS display**** vs TFT display mature and rugged design vs the looker better viewing angles**** vs nightmare 3200 mph*** vs idk 2300 something mph and 4k video**(the most unnecessary thing people are shouting about. I mean how many time would you use that?! the file size is gonna be huge) and slo mo***(I kinda like that) vs a s**tty 13.1 cam you gotta admit man.. despite the 6 mnth upgrade, if you judge them according to the one year cycle of Samsung, it's a huge bump both in specs and quality. why you all are comparing the 6 mnth cycle with 1 year cycle?! Ya I admit it should be the Z1.. but Z vs Z1 was just 6 mnth diff. Consider the Z1 as a bridge between Z nd Z2.. those have a 1 year diff in bet them. moreover, I like their 6 month cycle. Though it's bad for them, they need it for DOCOMO and why man?! that's preety sweet for us ;-) why?! because the arrival of Z2 makes the Z1 more affordable, thus Z1 made Z affordable and thus it happened before that..... Specially in Asia that's really sweet :-P :-P because after the arrival of Z1 the Z's price came so low that we could afford it much easily. So what's the prob of that with us(consumer's) when it helps reducing the price drastically every 6 month where it happens every 1 year with other manufacturers?!

47. Sonny_09

Posts: 49; Member since: May 24, 2013

Would you buy an Xperia Z which came under so much criticism? Or would you be a proud owner of Z if you knew there is a better, though pricier Xperia Z1 out there? I'm really doubt you will buy Xperia Z, even though it is much cheaper, especially when you are well-rehearse with the info in the smartphone world.

21. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

no, they need it because that's what is required of them in japan, the market where they can still have some lead. docomo requires a new device every six months. since they have to comply with that, why not release something new for the whole as well?

7. HansGoneInsane unregistered

You wish, Samsung fanboy. Sony had to catch up with competition, that is why they have an 6 months update cycle. Now, they have catched up. I am pretty sure that the 6 months cycle is going to end soon.

13. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Everything in the Z2 has been available since October with the Note 3. Sorry not sorry.

17. adjou

Posts: 106; Member since: Jul 06, 2010

Not water resistance and stereo speakers... You're welcome

20. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

really? snapdragon 801? front facing stereo speakers? noise cancellation? waterproofing? 20mp camera?

25. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

S800AB is barely faster than the 800, you won't notice a difference. AC > AB > 800. The Z1 camera is a hit or miss really. Only new addition is ffs and 4K, something HTC and Samsung introduced last year.

36. Sonny_09

Posts: 49; Member since: May 24, 2013

To be fair, Sony Z1 should be released with Z2's specification last year, and this 6-month upgrade cycle is like giving Sony an excuse to pass up an overdue homework. I mean, you should have get it right first time. From a consumer point of view, it has no benefits at all.

9. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

You're a huge let down. AAAAAAAWWWWWWW

38. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

u can clearly see NICK have a Ipad so he's a iphone lover doesn't ask serious questions bout the phone itself. Hate when guys like him never ask the right questions with his BIAS review or interview

45. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

He's using the LG G Pad, not the iPad.

41. THE_Hulk

Posts: 55; Member since: Feb 09, 2014

no smurf... you must give them the credit man. The rival of S4 was Xperia Z, not Z1. and if you compare on that 1 year cycle- Snap 801** vs snap 600* 2.3 ghz** vs 1.5 21.7mp cam (with that huge sensor)*** against 13.1 IP58 vs IP57 Stereo speaker**** vs mono speaker IPS display**** vs TFT display mature and rugged design vs the looker better viewing angles**** vs nightmare 3200 mph*** vs idk 2300 something mph and 4k video**(the most unnecessary thing people are shouting about. I mean how many time would you use that?! the file size is gonna be huge) and slo mo***(I kinda like that) vs a s**tty 13.1 cam you gotta admit man.. despite the 6 mnth upgrade, if you judge them according to the one year cycle of Samsung, it's a huge bump both in specs and quality. why you all are comparing the 6 mnth cycle with 1 year cycle?! Ya I admit it should be the Z1.. but Z vs Z1 was just 6 mnth diff. Consider the Z1 as a bridge between Z nd Z2.. those have a 1 year diff in bet them. moreover, I like their 6 month cycle. Though it's bad for them, they need it for DOCOMO and that's preety sweet for us ;-) why?! because the arrival of Z2 makes the Z1 more affordable, thus Z1 made Z affordable and thus it happened before that..... Specially in Asia that's really sweet :-P :-P because after the arrival of Z1 the Z's price came so low that we could afford it much easily. So what's the prob of that with us(consumer's) when it helps reducing the price drastically every 6 month where it happens every 1 year with other manufacturers?!

3. matty1323

Posts: 43; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

I dont think he really answered the 6 month upgrade policy question at all....Or maybe the accent had me struggling to really understand his response to that question? I just got a Z1s from Tmo and I love the phone, but I'd absolutely love to pick up the Z2 as it improves on the viewing angles and display in general. The camera features are just a bonus to me as this phone already performs very very well for everything i've thrown at it. Frustrates me a bit that there is a successor already when FINALLY a US carrier picked up their Flagship for once.

6. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

According to John's display comparison, the display has improved over the Z1, but still isn't up there against other flagships. The display also appears to be over saturated like the G2 was and they both sport IPS.

8. HansGoneInsane unregistered

Z2 beats S5 anyway.

14. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Not with that ugly UI it doesn't.

28. YodhaMali

Posts: 49; Member since: Jan 05, 2013

I admit you are entitled to your opinion, but saying Sony's UI is uglier than Samsung's Touchwiz reveals how juvenile you are, like, a kid, who likes cartoonish icons and over-saturated colors and other eye candy. On a personal note, you should try to keep your hatred towards Sony to yourself. Spamming the comments' section won't lessen your frustration. Better write down all your spiteful comments on a piece of paper and shove it up somewhere tight. Hopefully that will be of help to you.

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