Telecom Lead @ Mobile World Congress 2013: Sony Mobile says it wants to play a major role in the premium smartphone and tablet space.
To take on Apple, Samsung, Nokia and BlackBerry — in the premium smartphone space, Sony on Monday announced that its Xperia Tablet Z and Xperia Z smartphone will be available across 60 countries.
Since it is targeting the premium market, Sony Mobile will not be able to reach the top 5 smartphone category (based on volume shipments) in 2013.
The Xperia Tablet Z replaces Sony’s Xperia Tablet S, which was recalled last year due to a gap between the screen and hardware.
Sony is committing more to the mobile segment after it broke its joint venture with Ericsson.
Its first strategy is to bring all smartphones and tablets under a single brand — Xperia.
Plus, it will rely on Android OS-based smartphones and tablets for gaining market share.
Ovum says Sony Mobile gave its Xperia Tablet Z a global launch at Mobile World Congress 2013 following an advanced launch with NTT Docomo in Japan in January.
The Android-based device comes in both Wi-Fi-only and combined LTE/Wi-Fi versions and is expected to go on sale in May. Carrier partners have not yet been announced outside of Japan.
The Xperia Tab is intended to restore Sony’s core values in the minds of consumers rather than change the tablet market status quo. The company only has modest expectations for sales of the device, which is very much aimed at the premium end of the tablet spectrum.
Tony Cripps, devices and platforms analyst, Ovum, said: “It is certainly not cheap and has Apple’s iPad as its primary competition after all. However, in terms of design, build quality, features (including excellent sound and display), usability, and exclusivity, the Xperia Tab may prove to be a key product in Sony’s rebirth.”
The Xperia is an excellent showcase for Sony’s revitalized Xperia smartphone range, especially the top of the range Xperia Z. It is also a valuable shop window for Sony’s premium content services.
These are front and center of the device user experience and an important point of differentiation over the majority of its device rivals. Whether or not Sony can fully capitalize on its revived opportunity remains to be seen. However, its broad asset portfolio, which also includes the newly-launched PlayStation 4, should have increasing resonance with important segments of the broader consumer technology market.
READ Mobile World Congress 2013 HERE
Xperia Z and the Xperia Tablet Z feature Sony’s technology, content and applications that are suited to fit it every aspect of people’s lives.
“2013 will be a breakthrough year for Sony in the mobile sector. We are delivering on our objective to combine the best of Sony for an outstanding user experience,” said Kunimasa Suzuki, President and CEO of Sony Mobile Communications.
“Xperia Z and Xperia Tablet Z offer consumers a unified and consistent cross-device user experience with premium specifications and the best of Sony technology,” said Kaoru Kato, president and chief executive officer of NTT Docomo.
Sony is showcasing its premium Xperia Z smartphone, and its market variant Xperia ZL, and Xperia Tablet Z at Mobile World Congress.
The Xperia Tablet Z is the world’s slimmest LTE tablet and will be available globally from Spring 2013.
The Xperia Tablet Z runs Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) with the ability to upgrade to 4.2 after launch and has a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core 1.5GHz processor with 2 GB RAM. A microSD card slot allows up to 64GB of expandable memory. The Xperia Tablet Z will be available in May the 16GB or 32 GB versions will go for $499 and $599, respectively.