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Android Headliner: Why Can’t Sony Mobile Get it Right?

October 10, 2015 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Earlier this week, Sony’s Kaz Hirai stated that this would be a “make or break” year for the company’s mobile division. For years, Sony’s mobile division has struggled to sell phones and make money. The company still believes that it is an important part to their entertainment future, after all they are a movie studio as well as having the PlayStation brand there. But it seems like Sony just isn’t willing to make changes. On Friday, a few sources coming out of China, stated that the Sony Mobile division is not going to be up for sale or shut down if things don’t change next year. But more that they will start looking into what they are doing in the mobile side of things. By the end of 2016, isn’t that kinda late? Why can’t Sony start looking into things that need to be changed in their mobile division today? We can name a few things for them.

First, no more 6-month release cycles. The industry can’t handle it, and it’s a big reason why Sony has been failing to sell tons of Xperia smartphones. Stick to one flagship a year. Maybe shortly before IFA, so that the press will cover just Sony, and not all of the other products that are being showcased at IFA in Berlin that year. Even better, release a smartphone in the fall, and a phablet in the Spring. There were many people that loved that Xperia Z Ultra with the 6.44-inch display, and we have yet to see a follow up. Tying into that whole 6-month thing, Sony needs to get their phones into the US sooner. Sony has a tendency to release a phone in the US around 5-6 months after it hits the rest of the world. And with a 6-month release cycle, it means that the phone is already out of date when it comes to the US. Not cool. Not to mention that Sony usually puts their phone on one carrier in the US, usually T-Mobile as of late. Sure T-Mobile is growing like crazy, but that’s a small amount of people in the US, that would actually buy the phone. In this day and age, many aren’t going to jump carriers because that carrier has the phone they want and their current carrier doesn’t. Sony, we need the Xperia Z5 on all four US carriers, and available unlocked at a decent price.

Now when it comes to specs, Sony isn’t lacking at all. I mean they just put a freaking 4K display in their Xperia Z5 Premium that they showed at IFA last month. They always have top-of-the-line specs in every category. Whether that’s the processor, RAM, camera, or whatever the case might be. However, they may need to change up the design. It is a good design, don’t get me wrong. But it is a bit tiresome. The Xperia Z, Z1, Z2, Z3, Z4 and Z5 all look almost the same. We need a bit more variety here. Sad thing is, those 6 phones are their flagships for the last 3 years. Seriously.

Before you start thinking that I hate Sony and all that other non-sense. The smartphone that I own, and pay for every month is a Sony Xperia Z3 (I also have a Sony camera and PlayStation 4. I might be a bit of a fanboy). I know that Sony makes good products, I just wish that Sony would market their devices better, calm down with the rapid release cycles, and actually bring their device to the US in a reasonable amount of time. I believe that if Sony released the Xperia Z5 in the US at the same time as it hit shelves in Europe, they would sell a lot more Xperia Z5’s. If not for just the PlayStation features that are a part of the ecosystem they have built.

We’ll be keeping our eyes open to see what Sony does. Hopefully they come to their senses and start pushing their mobile devices, like they should.