Sony’s smartphone revival.


Today brings news of a renewed energy at Sony Mobile, as the manufacturer climbs above RIM (Makers of BlackBerry) and HTC – Sony have not held such a position since the days of its K Series phones.

According to research firm Canalys’s latest figures, Sony sold 8.8 Million handsets in the third quarter of 2012, compared to 6.2 Million in the same quarter last year4.4, a full 41.1% growth year-on-year, thus seeing Sony claim a 5.1% market share.  Sony’s more driven and well placed marketing campaigns, alongside the re-introduction of ‘Brand Bond’ in ‘Skyfall’, has made for some huge gains at the Japanese smartphone maker.  Sony also looked strong in their home market of Japan, as the Xperia GX and SX (both LTE devices) accounted for over 14% of all smartphones shipped.

 

While Apple and Samsung lead by quite a margin, Sony have seen steady growth.

 

HTC and RIM both saw drops in both sales and market share – somewhat expected after HTC’s rather rocky journey earlier this year (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19638862).  RIM, much akin to a falling superstar, have had their troubles well documented, with talks of sales (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/telecoms/9468187/IBM-considers-buying-RIMs-BlackBerry-server-unit.html), and heavy losses despite misleading surges in share prices (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/sep/28/blackberry-rim-problems).

With Sony’s latest portfolio (which includes the superb Xperia P, and the former flagship Xperia S) led into battle by 007’s ‘Xperia T’ – has the change from ‘Sony Ericsson’ to ‘Sony’ been a good one?  Well, according to the general feeling amongst consumers, yes.  When it’s backed up by cold figures?

Most definitely.

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The Bond Phone has arrived – Xperia T preview.


So, Sony has finally bestowed upon us the mighty Xperia T – its a beautifully crafted design, matched to Super-spy specs, from the stunning HD Display, to the 1080p capable, 13 MegaPixel Exmor R camera – the Xperia T from Sony truly is ‘The Utimate HD Smartphone’.

However, the Xperia T isn’t just all about the specifications, its design echoes the same arc inspired lines as the Xperia arc and arc S before it (While running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with a promised update to Jelly Bean) – while the UXP Overlay from Sony keeps everything looking clean and crisp.  Watching videos is quickly taken care of on the 720p 4.6” touchscreen with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine, while the 1.5GHz Dual-core Krait processor keeps things moving along smoothly (The Xperia T comes with 16GB memory onboard, plus a microSD slot for expansion) – lets not forget that the Xperia T is a PlayStation® Certified smartphone, meaning gaming on this device is a real premium experience.

From an audio perspective, Sony have it nailed – they have introduced the ‘WALKMAN’ app, which aims to deliver the highest quality sound in the business – coming from the creators of the original ‘Walkman’ – Xperia T may just have what it takes.  The Xperia T features xLoud, a proprietary Sony Audio loudness enhancer, which can boost loudspeaker performance, without distortion, and to top it all off, Xperia T is HD Voice certified.  This means that you can talk normally and be heard clearly, without having to raise your voice, even in noisy environments – and this s something that truly has to be heard!

Other features such as NFC make their way into everyday usage through Sony’s ‘One-Touch’ sharing technology – an excellent way to share not only content, but also a superb way to link your wireless devices effortlessly.

Sony are also currently offering the Xperia range with the added benefit of a 60 Day FREE Trial of Music Unlimited – Sony’s answer to iTunes, and Spotify.  Its a superb service, with an excellent catalog of music (expected, considering Sony have their own record label in Sony Music).

So, have Sony finally introduced a device capable of running with the big competitors, or is this simply a case of Mission Failed?

Well, its only fair to say that considering independent benchmarking tests have seen the Xperia T outrun its closest rivals*, this is mission,  is very much a success.

Sources;

*Business forum, 2011.  Xperia T Gets benchmarked, proves its a worthy flagship. [online] Available at: <http://blog.gsmarena.com/sony-xperia-t-gets-benchmarked-proves-its-a-worthy-flagship/> [Accessed 17 October 2012].