Poll results: What is it that is holding Sony's lower-ends back?

Poll results: What is it that is holding Sony's lower-ends back?
Last week, after Sony confirmed that the financial year is looking even gloomier than earlier in the year, we decided it's time to poll you, the community and prospective Sony buyers: What it is it you felt is holding back Sony's lower-end devices (the ones mainly responsible for the poor performance of the company)?. And you spoke up.

As we expected and have often pointed out in our reviews of non-flagship Sony devices, the way the company prices those simply undermines their visibility and viability to consumers, especially if you consider that those are targeting a very price-sensitive portion of the market. An overwhelming 42% of you agree that this is the main reason Sony is under-performing. The second largest group, with over 16%, seems to feel that those devices' visibility precisely is the reason they aren't selling well -- Sony simply isn't marketing them aggressively enough, and, as they say, out of sight - out of mind. With 10.44% and 10.09%, respectively, the two next larger groups suggest that low resolution screens / poor regional availability are to blame for Sony's financial woes. You can see the rest of the split below.

In conclusion, there's a theme to your opinions: Sony isn't investing enough in making it slower-ends accessible and visible in enough markets, while, at the same time, charges the few people that do nevertheless notice them too much. It's no surprise, then, that its low- and mid-range suffered a defeat, and we, for one, agree with your assessment.

Poll: What is it that is holding Sony's lower-ends back?

Price
42%
Design
7.02%
Low resolution screens
10.44%
The conservative, stock-like interface
5.29%
The camera
4.25%
Regional availability
10.09%
Insufficient marketing spend
16.38%
Other - I'll let you know in the comments section
4.53%

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35 Comments

1. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Dear Sony, Please dont stop making phones.

23. aksa123

Posts: 366; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

Dear Sony, Please make decent midrange phones with reasonable price.

2. redmd

Posts: 1926; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Its the price and features.

10. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Price is right. It's a Sony brand. "Why compromise " The weak Cpu, and 1gb Ram, is useless. On Android.

20. tadaa

Posts: 267; Member since: Apr 18, 2013

i think this is the first year sony mid-rangers were underpowered and overpriced. previous years were compelling (sp,zr,l,m,c,u,p,sola,pro,active,ray,x8) and sony's media apps have always been one of the better, attractive and most feature packed

28. the_matchless

Posts: 64; Member since: Apr 01, 2012

So right you are. This indeed is the first year otherwise they were the only top manufacture holding their ground up against the dumping of rebranded Chinese phones. Now this dumping makes the whole competition so unfair since the product out there is exactly the same being sold under various names across the developing world. Which also means that while the cost of R&D is born by companies like Sony, the dumping takes away a major chunk of the market leaving little to no room for them to get back what they'd spent over R&D. Add to this the strange speced devices Sony has launched this year. They could start by not bringing the omni balance design to the lower end and rather stick to lets say the arched design of Xperia L or the strip of the SP. What I mean is that they already have that great mix and all they needed to do now was to improve on the specs of the said phones and it might have worked. They can also choose to go for MKT over Adreno or something... Here's hoping that Sony makes a strong come back to this market segment or else I'd be very very sad...

34. Siapaya

Posts: 17; Member since: Jul 24, 2014

i hope sony's cuting price their Z series

3. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

It is the fact they are losing grip in almost all of their product lines because they are expensive. Most of their tvs are untouchable to a lot of people, and so are their phones.

4. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

This may be regional issue, but where I live Sony is way cheaper than any competition. Great midrange phone like Xperia SP is cheaper than the likes of S5 mini or G2 mini jet is better in almost every aspect. And lower price is obvious in all segments. Z2 is by far the cheapest flagship on the market. But then, Sony is doing just fine here. Only heavy hipsters buy Apple or Samsung, HTC is reaching Apple prices and people generally don't trust LG and view them as "cheap Chinese manufacturer". But I guess that larger markets like China, India and USA is where Sony is stumbling.

9. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

I'd have to agree on availability. It's hard to find if you don't live near a Sony store or a carrier that carries the Xperia line. As for pricing I can buy an Xperia Z2 for around $550 USD which is a bit cheaper than the flagships. Waiting to see how the pricing works out on the Xperia Z3.

24. michaelny2001

Posts: 326; Member since: Aug 01, 2012

yes, but the flagships are available to all major carriers for 200 bucks. Sony is 600-700 plus tax. F that. this is their main problem, and then advertising and then the rest.

26. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

Whole buying through carrier BS is mainly US problem since rest of the world mostly buys their phones normally. Also, how is Sony not advertizing when it was a general sponsor of World Cup 2014, most watched sporting event in the world?

5. jedpatrickdatu

Posts: 169; Member since: Jan 24, 2013

It's the price. I've seen their models that have higher prices than Samsungs yet have lesser specs. They need to be more competitive with the pricing, because they have some really good-looking phones.

6. calim

Posts: 40; Member since: Mar 09, 2013

Marketing. They'll never beat Chinese OEMs in price, but they lose to Samsung and LG due to marketing.

7. surethom

Posts: 1662; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Design, every Sony phone that has been released the last 3 years all look the same.

11. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Why change, when it's perfect. Looks Stunning, and slick, then fugly iCurves. Oblong, with sharp corners.

14. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

because perfect is boring ☺

8. vuyonc

Posts: 1089; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

The T3 shouldn't have been made when the T2 Ultra was much better, the M2 shouldn't have been made the M2 Aqua was coming. The E1 shouldn't have been made if the E3 was coming. Pool all your midrange ideas into one versatile budget phone and nothing else for 2015. I'm oversimplifying but designing few, solid phones seems cheaper than designing many, average, similar phones. Like a Snapdragon 610 Xperia SP successor with 13MP/5MP cameras, 2 GB RAM, front facing speakers, decent IPS display, high IP rating, sturdy plastic chassis in time for your Android L release. Basically a premium Moto G 2014.

18. Hyde_Yamato

Posts: 23; Member since: Mar 26, 2012

O w ma God, i am so hardly agree with u. i wish sony release SP2 with that specs. also agree with those statement, T3 price even more expensive than last year big flagship z ultra. sony is poor in managing price. other than that, some times sony really made good quality phone.

21. Odiin

Posts: 373; Member since: Apr 23, 2013

+1 Well said!

12. ryq24

Posts: 875; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Sony should also stop their 6 months cycle!

13. rahul.niks

Posts: 86; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

Design is the only factor i prefer sony for a low end or mid end, no other brand is close in design factor. But the problem is that they don't compromise in their pricing. Sony brand was huge, but not anymore, its still big but not huge as before, so as to get their share back, they need to compromise on pricing. And rather looking for much profit, look to increase their market share.

15. swiekekodok

Posts: 58; Member since: Jul 19, 2014

Where's the price,there's the quailty......thats the way Sony...

16. Bondurant

Posts: 780; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

Why the hell do i always not get the chance to vote

17. M5OOO

Posts: 11; Member since: May 15, 2013

The people who vote on price , actually they don't see the price of other brands and just want to cut down!

19. vishalaestro

Posts: 81; Member since: Dec 08, 2013

though their camera sensors are top notch they don't produce good results with their own product and their radio chip is not good at receiving even lower signals.my friends lumia 520 was able to show 2 bars where my xperia l showed emergency calls only .even after i move to an open area where signal was adequate the sony phone didn't detect the signal at all .at the end i have to restart my phone to get cellular coverage.

22. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

They need to fix their low end designs, I saw the Xperia M2, the L, the E2, they all look so horrible and cheap, the plastic felt even more cheaper than the plastic on Samsung's low end phones. And IMO, Sony should ditch their boxy omnibalance designs, it feels so bland.

25. Loubielou

Posts: 603; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Sony Need to Bring back the Home button on there phones,an Stop making Everyone the same,Sony as always let there phones down with the Speakers they put on there phones,o.k the might be worried of increasing there prices,but you need better Quality to Attract buyers

27. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Price is the biggest problem. They want $300-400 for hardware that you can get on a >$200 phone. Software features don't make up that big of a price difference.

29. paul4hp

Posts: 14; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Important to note that most of that reported loss had nothing to do with operations, rather related to an accounting adjustment for "goodwill" concerning the acquisition of Sony Ericsson. The price isn't the issue either as they are usually cheaper than the Samsung equivalents here in the UK (and generally better software and hardware all round). What happened last year was that Google decided to heavily subsidise the Moto G to boost Android adoption and because Google doesn't depend on hardware sales to keep their lights on -- something which shocked the whole market, and Google hasn't exactly been acting as a fair and non-partisan controller of the supposedly "open" Android platform. Google has now sold off Motorola to Lenovo, so their won't be another shock like that but certainly they are now pushing all the El cheapo Asian phone cos to make the hardware profits as miniscule as possible. Will be good for consumers on the short-term but I don't want to see the phone market going like laptops whereby there has been years of stagnation and next to no innovation on ways that are actually useful (E.g. Most mainstream laptop screens are still terrible) due to the rush to the bottom.

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