“The first generation of handsets in our portfolio was about getting the capability out there”, Steve Walker (Acting) global head of marketing for Sony Ericsson told Pocket-lint, in a one-to-one interview at CES in Las Vegas.
“It’s important to remember that 2010 was the first year for mass market Android handsets. Yes there had been one or two things out from HTC previously, but when we started to design our 2010 handsets in 2008, nobody really knew the dynamics of the Android smartphone market or even what the smartphone market was going to be”, explains Walker in respect of a range that hasn’t been too well received over the last 12 months.
“None of us could predict 2 years previously, to what extent users would switch into smartphones. None of us could really predict what would be more important and less important for consumers”.
Walker acknowledges that the company learnt “a huge amount last year”, but says that Sony Ericsson is now considerably stronger because of it.
“As we do every year, we’ve taken those learnings and applied them to the new products in the new portfolio. We do think we’ve taken a big step forward for 2011”.
So what went wrong last year?
“We talked a lot about the platform and the software. The hardware was important but the hardware played second fiddle. What we think is different in 2011 is that consumer attention is swinging back to hardware once more. That’s not to say people aren’t focused on software, but that they are a little more in balance now”.
But it’s not just the hardware that Sony Ericsson admits it didn’t get 100 per cent right:
“Last year we didn’t anticipate the strength of feeling that consumers would have towards the Android release. And again that was a learning experience of the first year of mass market Android smartphones”.
Walker says that the new Xperia Arc announced at CES, and expected in the shops in the next couple of months, “is just the first of many products we will show through the year”, and the first of many to embrace the learning’s of the last 12 months.
“If we hadn’t done what we did with the X10 and the X10 minis we wouldn’t have been able to do what we’ve done here today”, he told Pocket-lint looking down at the new Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc in his hand with a big smile of pride on his face.