It is no secret that Samsung seemed to take a page out of Sony’s playbook with the water resistant and dust proofing of the new Samsung Galaxy S5. Sony could look at it two different ways, the first way, is flattery. The second possible way Sony could take it, is as a threat, but Sony execs say they are not worried about the move by Samsung. Sony’s flagship device is definitely a premium device, built with premium material, and toting premium features. One of the main features Sony has advertised just about everywhere, is the water resistant and dustproof aspect of their latest phones and tablets. Now that Samsung has used a similar feature on their 2014 flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy S5, which isn’t the first device they have done this on, no one would blame Sony for being a bit concerned about the competition. Instead, Ravi Nookala who is head of Sony’s U.S. division, has told Cnet “We started the waterproof trend, we’re not worried about it.” Sony is a well known brand, music devices, televisions, gaming consoles, they have a definite fanbase. Though that fanbase has yet to translate over into their mobile division, where they are still trying to get their footing. They hope that in the US, they can use the already existing fanbase for Sony products to take care of that problem. Even though Sony’s mobile division is still somewhat lacking here in the U.S. Currently, the Sony Xperia Z1s is only sold through T-Mobile. That said, nobody wants to go back to the days of carrier exclusive devices, and offering a device on multiple carriers can only improve sales.
As Sony moves forward into the U.S. markets, they need to work as one. They have so many different divisions of the company, that things could get scattered and confusing for consumers. In the past, each division seemed to work as it’s own entity, instead of as part of a whole, but Nookala says they are working to change that. In fact, Nookala says he is talking with other divisions of Sony at least once a month. The idea behind communicating, is using advertising and marketing together, to give reasons behind purchasing multiple products. Sony hopes that one of those products will be a smartphone. The Xperia Z1s comes pre-loaded with Sony Playstation app. They also offered a deal a discount on the Xperia Z1s if you purchased a Playstation 4. Sony has an awesome opportunity to capitalize on their family of products, like sound systems and bluetooth products. Simply market them together, work as a single company instead of multiple smaller companies.
According to Nookala, this is exactly what they plan to do, and they are going to be paying more attention to the US. Though this doesn’t mean that we will be seeing the Sony Xperia Z2 in the US anytime soon. Unfortunately for us, the Xperia Z1s, just launched earlier this year,though it was only on one carrier rather than multiple carriers. Still, Sony wouldn’t want to pull the attention off of the Z1s just yet. Sales have done better than they expected on T-Mobile, and they are happy with the way things are going. Sony’s presence in the US mobile market is growing, and becoming more recognizable. They just need to get partnerships with other carriers as well, which if the past of any OEM is an example, this prove difficult for Sony. Like we said earlier, launching a flagship device on one carrier in the US is not beneficial to anyone, consumer and OEM’s alike. So as talks continue with carriers in the US, consumers just need to be patient. Sony has said they are planning on becoming a top three device provider in the US, they just don’t want to provide a low end device. Instead, they want to provide consumers with premium options and keep a good name amongst those who use their products.
While we wait for Sony to catch up, and boldly step into the US market, they still aren’t worried about Samsung. Instead, they look at the blatant copying of their feature basically free advertising. According to Calum Macdougall, Sony’s director of product marketing, ” It starts a dialogue for waterproof, and helps us tell our story.” Having trained 30 people to go into T-Mobile stores, and training the staff, Macdougall hopes when people ask about the S5 and the waterproof feature, that T-Mobile sales reps will also bring attention to Sony devices. Using tanks of water, T-Mobile reps, can demonstrate the power of the Sony Xperia Z1s, and divert attention away from the Galaxy S5. Though the S5 is where the conversation will start, since it is more well known. Think of it like being friends with a famous person, won’t you, in turn, become famous for hanging out with them out on the red carpet? It is safe to assume the Sony Xperia Z2 will be making it’s way to stores in the US, the questions are when? and on what carriers? Hopefully, by the time Sony releases the device, they will have more carriers under their wings. What do you think, should Sony be worried, or is the idea of free advertising ingenious?