Sony may give up on creating entry-level smartphones and focus completely on creating only high-end handsets.
Stephen Sneeden, the Xperia product marketing manager, stated,
“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.”
Dropping the entry-tier from its smartphone productions, Sneeden believes that producing phones in the mid-to-premium tier is the most likely scenario for Sony’s future. Sneeden also said that features from Sony’s flagship devices will likely trickle down to its mid-range phones.
Sneeden also said that Sony “cannot compromise on the experience that the company is trying to show to the customer”, and added that even if the phones are sold at a lower price point, it must still have a “story to resonate”.
Stephen Sneeden’s comments were also shared by Calum MacDougall, the director of Sony’s Xperia marketing program. He said that Sony’s flagship smartphone, the Sony Xperia Z, emphasizes everything that Sony wants to associate with its mobile brand.
MacDougall said that Sony still has “residual good will among consumers” as a premium electronics brand. He stated,
“If we can take that premium brand story and bring it into a smartphone, we think that’s an offer that consumers will be interested in.”
Sony also wants to put more emphasis on its entertainment and content libraries. Sony’s Xperia smartphones has access to Sony’s Music Unlimited subscriptions service, which includes access to over 18 million songs, Sony’s Video Unlimited subscriptions service, which has access to up to 100,000 movies and TV shows, and the PlayStation store for PlayStation-certified mobile games.
“It is fair to say that it is our strategy to be able to offer a consistent experience through multiple devices through these media applications.”
Sneeden also wants to emphasize that the new power button on the Sony Xperia Z is a key aspect of its design and he wants consumers to be able to tell that a device is a Sony smartphone based off of that alone.
I would love Sony to compete in the big leagues with Samsung and Apple. It landed in 3rd place last year in the smartphone market, so it could become a very fierce competitor in the coming years.
However I don’t believe Sony should give up entirely on entry-level smartphones. They shouldn’t emphasize their entry-level smartphones, but giving up entirely on them could be bad for business.
Those entry-level smartphones don’t cost a lot of money to manufacture, but they help in terms of market share and profits, and if Sony can find a way to implement their Music Unlimited/Video Unlimited subscriptions into those phones, well they’ve just found a great way to make a huge profit off of a very small investment.