Sony Struggles With Smartphone Strategy: Early Adopters Or Developing Nations?

By James Geddes , Mar 04, 2013 04:33 PM EST

Sony knows it can't beat or even come close to competing with Apple and Samsung, so it is now focusing on competing for the third spot with rivals like Motorola, Huawei, and ZTE. Sony's head of mobile, Kunimasa Suzuki told reporters in Tokyo of Sony's latest attempt to try and establish itself in the smartphone world.

The problem Sony seems to have is that it is always changing its plans for making the company a serious player in the smartphone world. Just a few weeks ago, Sony's Xperia Product Marketing Manager Stephen Sneeden told CNET Sony would focus on competing with Apple and Samsung by possibly abandoning the entry level smartphone market:

"We're ready to be a premium smartphone provider, logically then, at the very entry level is where you lose the 'Sonyness'. And it's where you cannot implement some of these wonderful things from Sony at such a low cost, we might leave the very entry tier to some other manufacturers," Sneeden said.

He added, however, that Sony is continually evaluating the different markets, and said that the "mid- to premium tier is the more likely scenario" as features from flagship devices would likely trickle down to its midrange products.

Sneeden followed up by saying that the company "cannot compromise on the experience that the company is trying to show to the customer," and added that even if it's a product with a lower price point, it still must have a "story to resonate."

Sony's Head of Mobile, Kunimasa Suzuki and Xperia Product Marketing Manager Sneeden really should meet and discuss Sony's future, as both are making public comments that seem to contradict each other.

According to Reuters, Suzuki told reporters today that the company may focus on and produce cheaper model smartphones for developing nations, to move into the number three spot of smartphone market share..

In the most recent global smartphone market share conducted by IDC shows Sony is currently ranked fourth with a 4.5 percent market share, with ZTE following close behind with 4.3 percent of the market. A word of advice for Sony: do a better job communicating with other high-ranking Sony officials before making contradicting public statements. It's these kinds of issues that show there's no clear focus at Sony; until that is addressed, it doesn't matter what your plan is.

(Edited by Lois Heyman)

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