We are a bit late with this post, but despite that we thought it was still worth sharing. Both The Verge and GSM Arena recently posted some insightful interviews with Sony Mobile staff. The Verge interviewed Stephen Sneeden, the US product marketing manager whilst GSM Arena spoke to Nikolaus Scheurer, Sony Mobile’s Director of Marketing and Planning.
Interesting titbits from the interviews include the fact that the Sony Ericsson liquid energy logo will be phased out shortly as well as something close to a confirmation that we’ll get of a new Sony Mobile flagship in H2. We’ve included a few of the highlights below, but do click through for the full details on each site (links are at the bottom of the post).
The Verge’s interview with Stephen Sneeden
On the Sony Ericsson liquid energy logo
The (Sony Ericsson) marble is being phased out, it’s just that there’s some residual design and engineering left over — the work that went into creating the P and U predates the buyout. It’s reasonable to expect that the marble will disappear from devices launched later in 2012.
On unified branding
Sneeden says that all future Sony phones will carry the Xperia brand.
On the Xperia Play
“We kind of missed that boat a little bit by saying, hey, it’s a productivity tool… when there was a very select audience that we needed to really try to hit specifically and try to generate that awareness.”
On the relationship between Sony and Sony Mobile
There aren’t currently any products being co-developed by Sony Mobile and other groups within the company — they share some support staff, but the products themselves are entirely siloed. Likewise, Sneeden made it clear that Sony Mobile isn’t responsible for Sony’s Android-powered tablets.
Following the article, Sony released the following statement to The Verge
Sony Mobile Communications is part of the Sony Group and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation. Sony and Sony Mobile Communications, formerly Sony Ericsson, have collaborated very closely on product development since the start of the Sony Ericsson joint venture. The integration between the different divisions of Sony will continue to grow and evolve. Now as part of the Sony group, Sony Mobile Communications is in an even stronger position to bring connected entertainment experiences to consumers and to bring these experiences to market even faster.
GSM Arena’s interview with Nikolaus Scheurer
On the Xperia NXT design
The designer for the Xperia NXT series is a former Sony designer, and was actually deeply involved, if not the lead, into creating the monolithic design for the Bravias. Knowing that, you can actually read into this design with much more an understanding. ‘Oh, this follows a certain design style.’
On the Xperia NXT design roadmap
So the design work for the Xperia NXT Series; now as the first generation of Sony smartphones, started about two years back. So that’s a long cycle—where you explore design roots, where you talk to consumers, where you see mega-trends in design, architecture and as well consumer behaviour. So back then what our designers said was: all of the smartphones, all the big screens looked alike; one like the other. All black slabs, no real differentiation. And you need to stand out. Not only in the store but as well, if you want to purchase a smartphone, you want to have something that tells all your mates that you want to make a statement. That’s part of your personality, it’s always with you.
On the next Sony Mobile flagship
What you’ve seen from us when we were still Sony Ericsson is that the refresh cycle is, especially in the top end of the portfolio, extremely short. And so is the attention span. Like yourself, you said ‘Oh you’re coming only with the next flagship in a year, isn’t that a bit long?’ Nowadays, that is. I’m basically implying there will be a new flagship earlier than this because that’s how the market is, right? The Xperia S will be an absolute flagship product, even a half year in and hopefully as well a year from now, we will drive this as an absolute aspiration of the product and it will be portrayed like a hero to our brand. But at the same time you will see product refreshes, new technology, new services, even more Sony going forward.