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Sony to Focus on India-Exclusive Budget Android Smartphones to Build Market Share

April 27, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

 

Sony as a brand carries a good deal of weight all over the world, having been known for audio equipment over the years, and now for the PlayStation brand with the PS4 and of course their Sony BRAVIA line of TVs. For all the success that the company has enjoyed over the past decades though, the company has been sailing through some rough seas over the last few years, and where mobile is concerned things don’t look so good. The company recently resolved to ship less budget-minded handsets and focus on the high-end of the market where there’s more money to be made. However, in a region like India where there’s progress to be had, smartphones that cost big bucks just won’t work.

That’s why the company is said to be focusing on Indian-only devices that will be both affordable and cut from the same cloth as other Sony products. Speaking to the Economic Times, Managing Director of Sony India said that “For instance, in smartphones, Sony may not globally have models in the Rs 8,000-10,000 range, but we have to launch such models in India to survive in this tough market where there are almost 100 smartphone brands.” It’s rumored that he will fly to Japan and talk to Kazuo Hirai in the coming weeks to talk about these plans as well as manufacturing devices in India and marketing them as “made in India”. It’s a crowded market in India, where brands seemingly launch a handful of new devices each and every month.

There’s a lot that Sony, as a brand, can offer consumers in India, like integration with their PlayStation offerings, a quality camera experience and waterproofed smartphones. How Sony capitalizes on all of their brand strengths with Indian-only devices remains to be seen, but we’re sure that they’ve been thinking long and hard about this. Right now, the Japanese brand has 10% market share in India, and the hope is that they can boost this to 15% before long. Treating the Indian market as a priority for them will definitely help the Indian consumer to warm to their Xperia line of products, but they will definitely need to be good value. Often, Sony smartphones are very expensive compared to the likes of the Moto G and Indian names, so if Sony wants to be successful in the market, they will need to compete on price as well as features.