MANILA, Philippines –– Determined to leapfrog other Android smartphone vendors in the world today, Japanese electronics brand Sony on Wednesday unveiled two new smartphones which, it said, will cater to users who want to take their entertainment content mobile.
The two new phones in Sony’s Xperia lineup of Android-powered smartphones –– the Xperia ion and the Xperia neo L –– follows the recent local release of the three Xperia mobile phones solely branded as Sony’s, following the end of the company’s 10-year joint venture with Ericsson early this year.
The new additions to the Xperia portfolio were crafted to suit the entertainment needs of mobile users, executives said, with the Xperia ion brandishing a wide 4.6-inch high-definition display, and with the Xperia neo L sporting a feature called xLoud, which tweaks sound output for the phone to make it louder without sacrificing quality.
Patrick Larraga, head of Sony Philippines’ mobile division, said sales of their new Xperia lineup have been favorable over the past months since launch, with the low-cost Xperia neo V taking the lead in terms of number of units sold.
Asked how they are able to attract customers even with the stiff competition among Android phone manufacturers, Larraga said: “Because it’s Sony. The brand is very strong, and there are a lot of features that make it unique.”
Larraga, however, was tight-lipped about the company’s plans to launch a smartphone powered by a quad-core processor, even as rivals Samsung, LG, and HTC have each announced their respective high-powered mobile offerings.
But this doesn’t seem to deter the mobile giant from pushing its unique mobile offerings to the market and winning new customers. According to a recent report by ABI Research, only Sony and Samsung were able to record positive growth in the first quarter of 2012, as other manufacturers take a hit from the financial crisis in some regions of the world.
Such growth is a rare feat, considering Sony doesn’t have current models retailing at sub-P10,000 levels, an area which Larraga said the company is not too keen on competing in. “We have models that retail for under P10,000, like the Xperia Mini Pro, but those were released a year ago,” he said.
In contrast, Samsung has assaulted the market with phone models in every market segment and screen size imaginable, giving it a commanding lead of the Android market, shipping some 43 million units during the quarter according to the same ABI Research report.
Executives said the strategy is to appeal to the customers’ various usage models that, according to a recent internal study shared with the press, tend to veer more toward social networking, watching movies, and listening to music on their mobile phones.
“Entertainment has really gone mobile,” Larraga declared, adding that the phone has become a versatile companion for mobile entertainment, a segment which Sony, as a whole, has the capability to compete in, given its subsidiaries in music, movies, and mobile gaming.
The Xperia ion is being targeted to movie buffs, what with its 4.6-inch high-definition display and a whopping 12-megapixel camera. It features a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 16GB of internal storage, and a 1900 mAh battery. It will retail for P29,990 locally.
The Xperia neo L, meanwhile, has been built as a successor to the widely popular Xperia neo V, as it keeps the curved backside and glossy finish that has become a hallmark for the latter device. It comes with a 1 GHz processor, an Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS, and a 5.1-megapixel camera. It will be sold locally for P12,490.