Why did Sony's smartphones lose their popularity?

Sony is one of the world's most popular brands but its smartphones are becoming increasingly rare. What caused the tech behemoth to lose its standings on the mobile market? Read inside to find out!
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51 Comments

26. GoTstan

Posts: 386; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

4 things: expensive. Confusing phone names. Outdated uninspired design. Nonexistent marketing.... I want to get one with that said, they're getting better. Wish they didn't remove the 3.5

27. Nubrand9

Posts: 8; Member since: Dec 19, 2017

Sony also exiting SEA market, no carrier driven phone.. very difficult to find their products in local market here in south east asia

29. Playstation

Posts: 22; Member since: Dec 15, 2018

No human being on earth is talented or good at all things. I remember when lionel messi was critisized by maradona for not being the captain he and a lot of people on the planet expected of him. But you see, messi might be the best footballer to ever walk the earth but management and core leadership most likely is not one of his strength. The exact same thing is what sony is going through and am afraid, if nothing is done drastically now, irrespective of whatever there bosses are saying about industry shifts and patience, sony mobile is going to disappear soon. Sony mobile needs people that think differently on board, people with plenty of water in there skin, youthful and young people, people who knows what men crave for in such portable devices, in short, a lot of there mobile board members have to leave. And until that happens, sony mobile will definitely sink with there bags of know-how

31. emitchell4luv

Posts: 24; Member since: Jun 21, 2012

Personally Sony phones are over priced.........cheap chips....with huge price.....imagine using SD710 chip selling it for $700-800 they killed their market with their price.....they make good phones yes....but price is not worth it

35. D34ever

Posts: 228; Member since: Jul 14, 2018

For the sake of competition, I hope Sony will continue to make phones. The fact that their phones are irrelevant doesn't seem to bother them. So that's a good thing.

36. Shamoy

Posts: 112; Member since: Dec 28, 2013

The XZ3 design is what they should've brought us back in 2017. Also the declining battery density trend since the Z3+ is very peculiar, especially considering the size of SoCs getting smaller and headphone jack removal. On top of that lack of availability on carriers and lack of marketing are big downers.

37. dazed1

Posts: 800; Member since: Jul 28, 2015

Bezels first, everything else next

38. Blazers

Posts: 742; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Back in the 2000's, they could count on the home market of Japan for their business. That has definitely changed, as iPhones are the most popular phones there now, with 68% of the market.

39. cheetah2k

Posts: 2256; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Sony who? You'd never know they made smart phones from the lack of advertising and market penetration is next to zero because of this. Samsung, Huawei, Apple are all over the marketing side and as a result they sell millions of handsets. I remember seeing an article written by the CEO of Sony a few years back essentially stating "The mobile division is just a hobby" - and, well, if you speak like that, then this is the end result.. What I don't understand is that Sony has a massive console division, selling millions upon millions of PS4's and yet they don't even advertise their own products on this platform... Its a massive loss of free advertising market right there. They should take advantage of the console gaming market and get those fanboys spending.. It just doesn't' make sense TBH.

40. sleepypandaeyes

Posts: 373; Member since: Apr 12, 2015

Which black xperia phone is that on the main image. Xz1?

45. georgi.z

Posts: 12; Member since: Aug 07, 2018

It's the Xperia XA2 Ultra.

41. brucechap

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 21, 2018

I recently bought an S9. I like the S9, but also looked very hard at a couple of Sony phones. Design, availability on major carriers, and other reasons you cite really played no role in my decision. I went with the S9 for the simple reason that it was available for $520 in pre-Christmas sales, while Sony was offering no significant discounts. Sony's stubbornness on prices may not cost it many potential sales to people who look for cheapo phones, but when they pretty consistently ask more than a company like Samsung for comparable-spec phones, they are not likely to gain market share.

42. emjoigently

Posts: 152; Member since: Aug 22, 2017

A lot of it is Samsung destroying all. Getting their marketing, supply, retail contacts all sorted out. HTC and Sony had just as good...better... phones for a while, but Samsung was just better at selling them. And now they've lost the race. They can't keep up with the juggernaut.

43. mixedfish

Posts: 1555; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

I never understood why they didn't make hardcore niche phones: Chinese companies are making gaming phones now, so why didn't they make a Xperia Play 2? Vivo, LG etc made phone with serious DAC built in, so why didn't Sony put in their proprietary S-Master? Sony has been so willing to use OLED across all their products since 2010, so why was Xperia so slow? Sony has partnership with Zeiss on Alpha cameras, so how come their phones continually use plastic 'G-lens'? Where's the RAW support? List goes on and on, no point in looking at the past, these are all missed opportunities.

44. Zokayi

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 18, 2019

I totally disagree with this sentence: «Sony wanted to be the apple of Android». It's a completely insulting expression to this operating system. Why do you think all Android devices are weak and just apple makes a high-quality smartphone?! Please open your eyes wider and don't say such a nonsense anymore

47. Farcaster

Posts: 159; Member since: Apr 16, 2018

I will never buy a Sony phone again. Owned three Xperias (Z, Z1, Z3+). All had hardware defects and service refused to fix them. One time, my Z1 had squeaky vibration motor (common issue online), I called service and they literally laughed at me and told me it wasn't a known issue and that I shouldn't trust online experiences of others since they could have easily made it up.

48. Vogue1985

Posts: 459; Member since: Jan 24, 2017

When the Z2 came out, sold my Samsung S4 and bought a Z2, Z2 had everything, clean OS,solid build, but I was happy with camera in standard mode, vibrator issues, and overheating charging issues. Sold out and got a LG G3. Also the Xperia line was Expensive, and availability was limited too and little marketing.

49. kevin007in

Posts: 327; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

srsly haven't seen anyone holding a sony device here in canada.

50. civicsr2cool

Posts: 269; Member since: Oct 19, 2016

Potato quality cameras and no heatsinks in flagship compact models are a huge reason. Not to mention the drm stuff they pull when trying to unlock the bootloader. Sony software is some of the worst software in the android world.

51. RangoX

Posts: 77; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Bezels, huge bezels when all companies were trying to cut them down

52. kosso1

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 23, 2019

Customer service is very bad, had two Sony phones never again, there were issues from the start they refused to fix them because they had a small scratch on the back of both phones. Scratch had nothing to do with what was wrong with the phone. I really hope they continue to lose market share as they deserve it and eventually exit the mobile market. I have put lots of friends of purchasing Sony phone, I show them the email I received along with the pictures, they could not believe they refused to fix the phone for that scratch.
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