Sony Mobile wants to be known as a premium manufacturer, may exit low-end market to reach its goal

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| January 11, 2013

Sony Xperia Z

Sony's been on a bit of a high-end smartphone streak lately with the introduction of devices like the Xperia V, Xperia T/TL and Xperia Z/ZL, and new statements from company executives suggest that we'll be seeing Sony focus on more of the same going forward. Stephen Sneeden, Sony Mobile's Xperia product marketing manager, recently told CNET that Sony is "ready to be a premium smartphone provider." Since entry-level devices typically achieve a low cost by excluding the premium features that Sony wants to be known for, Sneeden says that that's a tier that the company might allow other manufacturers to take care of. He went on to say that the "mid- to premium tier" is a likely place for Sony to settle since high-end features often slip down to the mid-range.

Calum MacDougall, the head of Sony Mobile's Xperia marketing program, shared a similar statement with FierceWireless. MacDougall explained that the new Xperia Z has several high-end features and that that's something that Sony wants its customers to equate the company with. He added that he feels that many consumers still see Sony as a premium brand, and in order to get the public to associate that with its smartphones, Sony plans to kept touching on the fact that the Xperia models are linked to its other products like the Music Unlimited service and the PlayStation store.

While Sony did introduce a couple of lower-end handsets in the first half of 2012, more recently it's been hammering on the high-end. As MacDougall noted, the Xperia Z appears to have a premium look thanks to its smooth tempered glass body, and it's got a pretty high-end spec list too. Sony isn't exactly a name that many people associate with high-end handsets like they do with the likes of Apple and Samsung, and while it remains to be seen whether the Xperia Z/ZL can make that happen, it's certainly not a bad way to try. What do you all think of the Xperia Z/ZL? Do you think that the two devices can compete with high-end models from other handset manufacturers?

Via CNET, FierceWireless