Sony to offer Chinese rival's app store on Xperia 1 III, future models

Sony to offer rival's app store on Xperia 1 III
Sony seems to be making a extra push to break into the Chinese market with a new announcement on a collaboration with a rivalling Chinese smartphone maker.

Chinese phone brands have always been the most popular in China, and while Apple did hold 14% of the Chinese smartphone market share in Q2 of this year, the most highly sought-after brands were home-based smartphone manufacturers Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi, and Huawei, respectively. Until now, Sony has constituted a very meager part of the remaining 15% of the "other" existing brands.

Last Thursday, however, Sony declared that it was entering into a collaboration with Chinese consumer electronics company Meizu, in an effort to give its own share a bit of a boost. If you can't beat them, join them—at least in part—must be Sony's strategy, as it plans to start offering parts of Meizu's own well developed aftermarket firmware, Flyme, along with an app store and several other widely popular services.

These new features will soon be offered in China particularly on the Xperia 1 III and "subsequent new products," the company promises.

Although just like Sony, Meizu holds a rather miniscule portion of the Chinese market share, Flyme seems to be the most popular custom firmware across China, boasting completely redesigned apps, special performance optimizations, and improved one-handed usability as some of the key features that have drawn over a hundred million users to use it, as Sony says.

This explains Sony's decision to adopt parts of the Flyme skin onto its Android-running latest Xperia model, although the mother company, Meizu itself, holds less than 1% of the Chinese smartphone market share.

While the Xperia 1 III won't be facing a full OS modification, the popular Flyme app store will now come pre-installed on future models, along with Flyme's weather, news, and e-mail services (although which ones will come pre-installed or only able to be installed, is still unclear).

The announcement, translated from Chinese by Google, reads:

In order to give Xperia users a more comprehensive localized experience, Sony (China) Co., Ltd. and Zhuhai Meizu Communication Equipment Co., Ltd. have formally reached a strategic cooperation recently. Sony, as the first batch of manufacturers to start cooperation after Meizu Flyme opened up external cooperation, demonstrates the sincerity of Sony Xperia series in listening to users' voices and enhancing user experience.

The strategic cooperation between Sony (China) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Sony") and Zhuhai Meizu Communication Equipment Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Meizu") focuses on Flyme's application adaptation and supplementation of the localized experience of Xperia mobile phones. Sony plans to pre-install or provide users to download some of the applications adapted for Flyme in Xperia 1 III and subsequent new products, while maintaining the original ecological Android operating system.

The wording suggests that this development will be implemented by Sony in China only, although Android Authority has already contacted the company with a request on information on any potential global availability of Flyme firmware on the Xperia. Sony has yet to provide any such details, which may be of interest to international Chinese smartphone users, or even curious global citizens in general.

Sony's also got another thing cooking

In other news, Sony has recently confirmed a special announcement coming our way in exactly one week's time, on October 26th, at 12:00 Japan time (11 PM on October 25 for the US East Coast, or 8 PM for the West Coast). 

Sony has promised the announcement of a new Xperia product on their YouTube channel in that hour—and we have no idea as to what exactly that might entail, as it seems far too early to welcome another Xperia 1 IV into the market, and the company has hardly spilled any other clues as of yet.
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