Sony puts smartphone focus in Europe and Japan, not the US
Sony, the seventh-largest smartphone manufacturer worldwide, has been making notable products as of late, including the Xperia Z and its Ultra brother. But, the company will need to reinvigorate its plans if it wants to jump to a better spot like third.
Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai revealed to Reuters the company has no plans to put focus in the US and China markets right now, which are the two largest smartphone areas to attack. "[Japan and Europe] are the most important areas for us and we'll put substantial resources there," Hirai said. "But not yet for the U.S. and China."
Availability of Sony's flagship smartphone the Xperia Z is limited to T-Mobile in the US, the fourth-largest carrier. Unlike other manufacturers like HTC and Samsung, Sony hasn't taken a multiple carrier approach to increase exposure in the country. Brand recognition for Sony's smartphone line is considered low in the US, according to industry insiders. In markets like the UK the story for Sony is a little different, with its smartphone line available across a slew of carriers including EE, Orange, Vodafone, and more.
The move may not be surprising, because the company has been able to make a dent in the Europe and Japan markets. Sony took the wraps off its fiscal Q1 2013 earnings in August, when it most notably showed solid growth in the smartphone sector. It moved 9.6 million smartphones in the first quarter of financial year 2013/14, up from 7.4 million year-on-year - substantial growth if you ask us.
"It's not realistic to try to do everything at once," Hirai said. "In the U.S. we'll start gradually."
Sony wants to sell 42 million smartphones for the fiscal year. We wonder how much that number would grow if the company put more resources into the US and China quicker. Perhaps Sony is seeing something others in the mobile space aren't, though.