Where Apple gets it right

by XB on 14th September 2012

in News

The technology news sphere has been dominated over the last few days by Apple’s iPhone 5. It has been impossible to ignore with pretty much every technology site (and non-tech site) writing endless column inches about the device, specs, colours, carriers and pre-order availability.

Regardless of what you think about the iPhone 5 and its ‘underwhelming’ launch, there is no doubt Apple have a very successful formula and the company will stick to it, at least in the medium term. A new Apple product launch generates a kind of buzz that many other technology companies can only wish for, including Sony.

Where Apple gets it absolutely right though is that they can convert that initial buzz into orders and cold hard cash. Less than two days after the iPhone 5 was announced to the world, pre-orders opened this morning with the initial batch of stock already sold out. One week today, many people will be opening their new iPhone 5 handsets like a child on Christmas Day.

Turning to Sony, it announced new Sony Xperia handsets at the IFA tradeshow two weeks earlier on 29 August. We have been getting so many questions about when can we expect to see the Xperia T/TX/V launch (not any on the Xperia J I’m afraid!) The Xperia TX has already launched in Asia and the Xperia T will most likely launch in the UK at the end of this month – but all of this has been worked out on a bit of detective work and updated retail information.

As for the Sony Xperia V, which appears to be the most popular handset, we have no idea on launch date apart from a vague Q4 2012 release. We also don’t know what regions will officially get the handset. The worse example from Sony Mobile this year was the Xperia ion, announced in January 2012 and launched in June 2012 – a five month wait. That’s just crazy given how fast the tech world moves.

We know that in the past Apple has looked to Sony for influence and now Sony needs to look over their shoulder and see how people’s buying habits are changing. Soft launching a product with no firm details on pricing and availability is a thing of the past. This is something that companies such as Apple and Amazon (with its Kindle e-reader and tablet launches) recognise.

Of course, Sony isn’t the only company guilty of this. Recently Nokia did the same with the Lumia 920 and 820 launches and Microsoft has done it with the Surface tablet. With competition as fierce as it is, vague launch information does not cut it anymore, transparency to customers is crucial.

We do believe that Sony is getting better in this regard. The launch of the Xperia Tablet S so soon after IFA was very encouraging and we know that one of the big focuses of the company is to shorten the time to market. As we move into 2013 we really hope to see more evidence of this.

  • I totally agree.

  • I totally agree.

  • scorpio

    sony,just release a single smartphone per year and you’ll see.

  • Yeah… In android world new products should be available asap… Because product life cycle is half of a year… When this Sony phones will be available… other will be announced :)

  • Soeren

    Glad to see this addressed.

    I consider myself in the market for a new phone. The one I currently own is 2 and a half years old and getting long in the tooth. I have been hoping to see an awesome phone emerge with a great high res screen, great camera and a battery efficient processor (like the S4 series).
    I was hoping to see Sony deliver that, but I find it a great shame that the Exmor RS camera tech is not ready for the TX or V. Had the V been available RIGHT now, I would have ordered it nonetheless.

    Nokia announced the 920, awesome camera tech but I just don’t feel the Windows 8 vibe yet.

    Apple does it again, great specs (screen could be bigger), great engineering quality, but EVERYBODY has the iPhone and I just don’t feel like going down that road and becoming like everybody else. But the phone is available so soon that it actually is tempting. You know when you can get it and you know it is going to be a high quality project.

    I still lean more towards the Xperia V but just wish it was available now so I wouldn’t have to start thinking if it is better to wait out the assumed launch of a new Nexus phone which may or may not (at all) be an Xperia Nexus. Would the camera be better in that phone, or would Sony be shooting down their own line of devices by spec’ing a Nexus phone better than their current line-up.

    So many thoughts/speculations – just release the V already!

  • cp2020

    As much as I Love Sony it’s an undeniable fact ; they struggle on today’s market because of things like this, late launches and updates, ppl just hate waiting and this also is a fact they just have to learn from this. I personally don’t like apple and never have but they launch 1 phone every couple of years and everyone goes mental about it. Maybe this is the way to go : make one super Xperia phone with all these features that are scattered across the whole range of handsets( and we’ve got few now). I am aware that there’s more to this kind of policy but they got tech, style and resources, it’s all possible. Come on Sony

  • mobiousO

    I agreed with XBlogger. Sony needs to release phones quickly after announcement and ride on the hype that it builds. The hype decreases with time.
    The TX may be a good example but so far it was only released in China.
    The rest of asia and the world is still left waiting and wondering…..

  • lovebmw

    What makes Apple a success
    1 launch dates are close and accurate
    2 prices are announced
    3 there is only one phone, not a confusion between t, txt, and a v
    4 accessories are limitless
    5 software always on time
    6 phone and features are administered, not just mentioned.
    7 one version of the phone, works in every country. Nothing specific for different markets
    8 happy customers, no quotations asked return policy. It’s so easy to replace your iPhone for another for something defective.

  • and what really makes apple a success is “CLOSED SOURCE”
    …. Yeah right..

  • Soon Please Sony

    You are right Sony is late to launch their phone…… but maybe Sony just skip it after Iphone 5 Ship and Then Launch Their Real New Flagship ( Xperia V ) ….

  • goldenblls

    Great post! It just seems such a waste that Sony have a lot to sing and dance about with the new Xperias and IFA should be a lauch pad for the new handset, from where people can look forward to having the phones in their pockets in weeks rather than months.

    My contract is now finished and if the V was available now, Sony would already have my money.

    However, by the time the V appears, which is now looking like the end of October, we will probably already know what will be appearing at MWC in February, where new, more powerful hardware will probably be shown.

    Credit to Sony Mobile for giving us four brilliant, powerful and beautiful Xperias – The V is the under-rated giant killer. The J looks like being fantastic value and the T/TX’s are great flagships.

    We just want them now!

  • lovebmw

    with this many broad phones, its impossible to manufacture all at one, first the TX, then the T, and finally the V….. whple has one phone to worry about

  • Sony, may I suggest that you should only release 3 handsets per year just like the way Nokia used to do. Every segment of the market should be catered (class A, B, and C – the filthy rich, the middle class and the lower class), and if you do this IMHO you’ll be the star of the mobile world.

  • Arie

    Point no.4 and 5 is Apple bigger advantages!
    Xperia accessories is limited and hard to find….
    And Apple only launch 1 smartphone a year, so they can really2 focus on it.

  • No! Personally I do not like Apple way. Sony is always releasing a high performance phone, a low performance phone and another one in the middle. They take everyone into consideration, not only the rich and not only the poor.

    I love that strategy (This is followed by almost everyone phone manufacturer except Apple), but what is missing in Sony’s plan is that they should release new announced phones, as soon they announce it, and not wait several months.

    When they announced the Xperia SL, I said to myself, I am definitely buying it. A few months later, they announced the Xperia T,TX and V before releasing the SL. Now I will not buy the SL, but I will be waiting for the V. Had they released the SL earlier, I would have probably bought both of them!!

  • Danny, that approach is ideal… assuming they can actually get the phones to the people that are eager to buy them! I agree in the whole low, mid high approach… but Apple’s sales figures have proven that hype has to be backed by product availability. Otherwise you just waste all your marketing hype and people lose interest.

  • Metanol

    Indeed, Sony should release 3 phones a year .
    And what would be best is to
    release a real flagship with all the options they may propose (shutter
    button, bravia 2, latest CPU and GPU, big internal memory, sd card, etc

  • Aj

    Every sony phone is first released in china

  • Kaminori Chan

    Yes & they will see bankrupty in less than a year!
    I don’t know why some people say Sony release a few phones. More options are always better not only for consumers but also from a business viewpoint. I believe one of main reasons behind success of Samsung & Nokia(in the past) was the sheer number of diverse and various phones they release. Sony should go for variety and also for their VITA OS

  • aj

    I think people should grow up now and just buy the phone they like and is availaible and be happy with it for 2 years….u will always be hearing about better phones after every 2 months…..so just buy a phone and dont waste your time othervise your mind will become messy

  • malih

    not necessarily, Apple actually has low-priced phones – not by releasing value model, but – by keeping previous model in production and lowering it’s price, and keep updating the OS on these older phones, without the exciting new features introduced on the latest phone (this is maybe what Sony’s trying to do currently, they’re updating the 2011 phones but without the 2012 phones’ Media apps).

  • xperia


  • DeepUnknown

    I agree with the single smartphone strategy, for example I got an xperia Arc S on november 2011, 4 months later it turned out to be useless compared to Xperia S !! while iPhone 4 users waited two years until they felt their phone is old.

  • Xperia Blog, appreciate you guys for mentioning items in your article as I think its the word of many Sony customers through out many years and many waits. We all have been witnessed many times and thought that Sony has learned a lesson but its obvious that system still lacks some responsibility against its customer. Now new Sony strategy to flood the market with handsets, has confused many including me to what to buy next to the point you are affraid that what you buy will be out-beat in 4 months by another Sony handset. I hope Sony starts changing process and think more on better design, better materials and faster updates on software and of course fast release with more information on when it will happen. Quarter timing doesn’t work anymore as we are all tired of waiting. Great article here.

  • so true, we need availability and pricing in a quick time frame. Furthermore, products should be on the market within a fortnight.

  • Good day! As with P990,and other phones from Sony(Ericsson) they feel/think” Good-looking” syndrome, or maybe just working the work week and not weekend, word of mouth to support their phones.You(Sony) want to be the Universe leader, not just Asia/Middle East. Money/paper/ends is everywhere! There is a Martian, on the planet “Mars” waiting on the “V” right now! Here in America, AT&T, hardly no one knew about any “Sony” phones.So get some type of Rep. to visit these places, or their reps. to promote phones- bonus. You should have working Dock, with t.v. (ion) at these places.No excuse! ” Step your Game Up! Sony! Lover of products,since 1970’s.Oh, yes the”Movies” do help.

  • Chelios

    Don’t forget that thet keep their value very well, which is important if you’re thinking long term. A Sony, or every other android/windows phone for that matter, drops in value much faster than an iPhone.

  • Chelios

    Actually, it does. It might be a very closed OS and limited in possibilities compared to android but everything it can do, it does very well. You should try one out sometime.

  • The Truth Must Be said

    iphone 5 pwns GS3, Xperia T, Xperia V, Xperia TX and OneX

    Apple FTW

  • Samuel

    If you could list out which all are the specific features that you believe makes the iPhone 5 superior to the devices mentioned, we’d have given you the respect of having a well thought out opinion.

    But instead, you resorted to a blanket statement without any facts which makes you come off as an Apple apologist.

  • The Truth Must Be said

    iphone 5 sales gonna talk and make you and every haters shut up

  • “Really Focus on it” so by focus u mean adding 2 or 3 new features and keeping the same design? yeah i think so..

  • ibassanova

    “We know that in the past Apple has looked to Sony” but now Sony just stay stand looking at Apple’s successful with lost? Think about it. This could bring all Sony’s property. Forget believes was made then make it BE LIVE! Otherwise, be leaved and sayonara!

  • Arie

    By focus i mean long term support, even 3GS get iOS6…

  • jack

    Prove the fame with a perfect final prototype each year or every few years.

  • Samuel

    What Sony should have is a well defined, 3 tiered mobile platform distributed as high-end, mid-end and low-end.

    The high-end should have the whole shebang in terms of both, hardware and software. The mid-end should have competitively priced phones but with a tad bit less features as compared to the high end, but feature rich, nevertheless. The low-end tier should contain the budget phones with inexpensive hardware and lesser software features as compared to the mid-end.

    Plus, there must be a fine distinction between these phones. The current line up with the S, P, U, T, TX, V and so on and so forth are quite confusing. There is quite the confusion on whether the V is mid-end or high-end and why it has more features than the flagship models and whether it will be priced higher than the flagship models.

    There should be something in place so that the consumer can recognize in which class the device falls into. For example, Xperia Z series ought to be the high-end, the Xperia M series the mid-end and the Xperia A series as the low-end. Each model or variant gets the class designation and a letter, for example Xperia ZE or Xperia MX or Xperia AI. In this fashion, the consumer is easily able to discern what price/feature category the device falls into and associate the second letter to when the model might have come out.

    Samsung and HTC used to go into phone line-up frenzies but as of now, they’ve streamlined their product portfolio with the tiered One series and the new Galaxy series. I sure do hope Sony sorts out their 2013 product line.

  • lovebmw

    Yes i agree… can you imagine had the V been on sale by now? many many poeple woud have bought it

  • Abe

    1 trillion flies agree, eat poo

  • mostly of android high end phones has the capability of beating the iphone in terms of performance aspects specially sony, there is only one reason these companies still struggling and cant outperform the iphone…”the fluidity and stability of OS” no matter what processor or the capacity of ram these android phones are using its still useles coz android os is still laggy and blame google(android) for that…android engineers must work for the stability of their os not just depend on hardware upgrades..

  • does sony read here, seriously this is what sony should take into serious consideration. My sister is seriously considering getting a xeperia V, but with the lack of any launch details, I think she will probably ended up getting a iphone 5. Already lost a potential sales.

  • lovebmw

    i would not mind three phones a year, and an upgraded chip 6 months down the road…. but they need to start looking at super phones, and getting the phones out quickly.

  • Samuel

    So your argument of a devices superiority is solely based on your estimated iPhone sales volume? That is hardly an argument and does not solely speak of the technical merit of the iPhone over others, as you claim. It rather speaks of Apple’s PR and marketing teams and their success at advertising the device.

    I do not hate Apple and I appreciate what they’ve done for the industry. I used to own an iPhone 4 as well. But that does not mean I should be blind to quality devices put out by other manufacturers.

    Choosing to ignore other brands and deeming them as inferior without even giving them a go is foolish and is akin to a child who has his ears plugged with his fingers and screaming, refusing to listen to reason. This approach only breeds more ignorance, hence giving the false sense of superiority as logic and reason is lost on them.

    Give other devices a chance before judging them as inferior, as each is not without its merits and demerits, both iPhones and Android devices included.

  • Kaostheory

    Will the ps3 be capable of screenmirroring via bluetooth?

  • r41nier

    Combine the features of T,V, add Lumia 920 like camera, latest snapdragon chip.

  • i’m gamer

    yeah that’s clear
    apple support its specs for 3 years ,
    but what about sony ??!!
    they support our xperia play just for 1 year with so many lie !!!

    apple hear the customers and their requests ,
    but what about sony ???

    all gamers wants xperia play , they sent mail , the beg too sony …

    but sony never hear us !!

  • paul4id

    Sony need to execute every single phone with PERFECTION (no dropped features) and have a CLEAR DIFFERENTIATION between products and their purposes so consumers are not confused. Unlike what other people here they can release several models, but SHOULD NOT GIMP any of their models as they are wont to do in stupid ways (bar say a maximum of 2 entry level devices).

    e.g. Xperia Go has no front camera an a low resolution screen. This is stupid.
    Xperia S has sealed battery, no expandable memory and dodgy temperamental Android buttons. This is stupid.
    Xperia P looked very promising and stylish but has non-expandable memory and small battery. This is stupid.
    Xperia Arc had no front camera. This was stupid.
    Xperia V has no camera button. Stupid.
    What is the point in releasing the Xperia SOLA? What differentiates it other than the touch-hover? Why not just release a decent Xperia Go instead of both the SOLA and U?

    Remember also that many people DO NOT LIKE EXCESSIVELY large screens, yet still demand a top-end camera and performance. Many people also DO NOT LIKE TOUCH-ONLY PHONES and want a QWERTY slider with the best camera and performance (cough! where is my Xperia Pro II?).

    Xperia V and T are looking better, but IMO are looking too physically large in terms of dimensions. It is also confusing that they are also throwing Xperia SL and Xperia SOLA onto market at same time with little differentiation there. And where the hell is the Xperia SX? — this looks superior to the U (though I think the on-screen Android buttons are stupid and waste space on a small device).

    In terms of industrial design, Apple are just copying what Sony Ericsson feature phones did back in 2006 with high quality brushed metal finishes. I have no idea why Sony dropped the ball and dropped their build quality towards a worse plastic finish (a Japanese influence???) but they got it right again with the P (but gimped P in other ways). The new V is better and also looks ergonomic, but still does have a partially ugly plastic in places. WHY?

  • paul4id

    No it isn’t. IMO most of their devices to be objects of technical perfection. They need a high end with a large screen and a high end with a medium sized screen. Many people don’t like the “phablet” trend and it shows with the 3.5-4″ success of the iPhone.
    There should also be a “pro” version of every device with a slide-out QWERTY.

    Their 2011 product differentiation was almost perfect from a consumer perspective — each device was clearly distinct from the next.

  • Khiem Diep

    Man I went to Sony store yesterday to get a Xperia Tablet. They were SOLD OUT! That’s crazy! ALL MODELS SOLD OUT (16gb, 32gb, 64gb)! Announcing it early to release date is a smart move companies. Do it!

  • Im a huge Sony fan, ive been a fan for many years but these last couple of months im slowly starting to believe it is not gonna get better with Sony, their TV’s do not get updated with cool features like Plex or any other smarttv apps like Samsung and others are doing.

    On the mobile front they are trying but indeed with every phone something is missing so again I have no other choice to look at an iPhone once again in October. From one side Im soooo waiting to be able to switch to an Xperia but it just doesnt get there. I blame it on the lack of Sony’s marketing, them waiting way to long before releasing new phones and features and ofcourse the little things like battery life.

    I’m still awaiting Sony to come back and show us all that they can still be what they used to be but right now Im sticking with my iPhone, it is for me seriously most stable, fastest and best atm.

  • iDroid

    just buy a ipod touch and a android phone and you will get the best of both worlds

  • Avery Navas

    agree… always the same…

  • Pavel

    I had an iphone 4 for 2-3 months and i didn’t like it,yes it has some good points,but than i switch it to the xperia arc S,and i understood,that iphone popular and best seller but arc S is rally better in many aspects which is important for me!)I didn’t use yet iphone 5 and Xperia TX,but i already prefer TX!))

  • Paul

    The problem with Sony and many other companies constantly trying to beat Apple with their latest products – is a wrong (other word – obsolete) strategy.

    Say, Apple releases one phone per year overally. Apple’s current products besides being familiar to use are also compatible with other Apple’s solutions like iTunes on Mac and iPhones, iPod, iPad and Apple TV. Just one new product of each kind per year, simple to make use with everything you already have. (btw, making new connector slot in iPhone 5 is a wrong decision in that matter).

    In the mean time I bought Xperia S like what, four months ago, 4 months since its launch at that time, a Sony’s flagman phone at the time, thinking I bought myself a new phone. Yet today on Sony’s page I already see 8 (eight!) new products, Xperia S isn’t even on the main page! Again, none of them is connectible to Sony PS3 or my Sony Bravia TV, I can’t stream music or videos, nor connect it as an external drive. Just see my photos over Wireless LAN, maybe using it as a remote control. I even had trouble finding a car kit for that phone and a spare freaking charger! Yet they already launch 8 “new” products waiting to be sold, losing grasp on products they sold just half a year ago.

    I think you see the point. Dear Apple’s rivals (Google, Motorola, Samsung, HTC etc.), we don’t need over 9000 Android phones every year with more or less same features, rare updates, loss of support two months since purchase (as happened with my SE Xperia mini and all of my previous HTCs). This strategy is going to ruin the whole idea and your companies involved. I may also point out, it’s not good for the environment. Those are major problems and setbacks that disgrace Android as otherwise a wonderful platform. We need compatibility with products of the same brand, we need good support, we need updates and solid choice, not “pick and buy one or the dozen models of the same thing we have!”.

    Sorry for the long post but I still can’t believe they don’t realize this simple difference between them and Apple.

  • Sales doesn’t mean satisfied customers

  • itr0ll1

    Why are you talking about this on a Pro-Sony blog?

    You have a terrible crew working at this silly blog. WOw….

    That’s like Microsoft employee bragging how good Mac OS x is……….

  • Sony needs to hurry up and give official release dates for all of the countries they are currently planning on selling in. This is why their products don’t sell well, people don’t like waiting when they don’t know how long they will need to wait for. So they go out and buy a different phone that’s close.

    Personally I like Sony’s marketing strategy on the phone types but I think they got it slightly wrong this time. They should do 3 phones a year (or 1/2 year). 2 High end phones -> 1 with a large screen 4.4-5.xx and 1 with a smaller screen 4-4.3. These should have exactly the same features, just one is smaller (I personally don’t like overly large screens). Then their 3rd phone can be the “budget phone” that is a cheap phone marketed to people who just want a smartphone. Everything they put in the V should have been in the T. (honestly I don’t like camera buttons much but it wouldn’t bother me to have one again)

  • Aj

    That just shows that sony is coming back and i personally feel that they r doing great with their smartphones

  • Nicely Written. Thumbs Up!

  • Where they get it right- their ‘Brainwashing The Masses’ department is top-notch…Sony need to invest in that direction….

  • I’ve always been a real loyal fan of Sony an O.G but seriously guys Sony has been disappointing us with release dates and the prices while other brands keeping real to the fullest with their customers and if Sony will release these phones I’d purchase one of em in a heart beat, however I will never go for some other brand like iPhone cause this product simply is overrated and I do believe now apple is copying some other players ‘n the game so I will keep wait for Sony and I hope they’re not taking that much for releasing the phones and of curse the JB 4.1.
    So dear Sony can you meet us halfway ?!

  • APai

    there are pluses and minuses for every phone/ manufacturer.while apple has a lot of positives it has a lot of negatives too which keeps me away no matter how good their hardware is.

    let me talk only about their negatives:
    – phone itself is very expensive (at least in india), you can buy a class leading phone like SGS3 or an ion for 30% lesser.
    – horribly expensive accessories. from car chargers to adapters and connectors, etc.
    – they make decisions that leave you in the dust, if you are on the wrong side – example: if i were to buy a new iphone 4s say about 8-10 months back with a heap of accessories, i will be burned to find the dock/ connectors will go waste – each of those would easily be above $25 each. i don’t know stateside it might be cheap, but purchase parity wise it makes it even worse in India.
    – they have closed systems – this for me is the biggest bummer, random decisions made by their god.
    – does not play with others, you end up buying all of their closed system devices which will burn more than a hole in your wallet.
    – itunes.
    – content on the app store is fantastic, but at a cost, someday your favorite book/ album might just disappear despite having bought the thing. in effect you never really buy anything – you simply happen to hire it indefinitely at their whim.
    – killswtich, i don’t want any fbi or others having a backdoor entry. nor the killswitch in a control freak company’s hands.

  • Well said. As sony’s CEO said, their key goal is time to market.

  • Sarah

    I want the Xperia V so bad since my current Xperia Arc is broken. Neither do I understand why Sony wouldn’t announce the exact release dates! I guess I’ll just have to be patient.

  • ruuteris

    100% agree !

  • Julio Spinoza

    but no full upgrades, in 4s you can have siri, but not in 4 o 3G. Android doesnt do that, you recive full upgrades, no matter wich phone you have

  • jacky0012151

    Sola + Go = ideal phone 4 me :)

  • adhi

    100% agree with you! Plus:
    Don’t launch product with confusing name and differentiation, like xperia t, tx, and why xperia v has good camera with HDR but no camera button!

    I give you clue!
    1 walkman phone, with the best design
    1 cybershot phone with the best camera, and
    1 Xperia phone with all best of the best Sony technologies!

    Other than launching stupid xperia sl, t, tx, ion, acro s
    Your marketing strategy is just embarassing!

  • Jonas

    Sony should launch less phones a year….thats right!!
    One or two phones for less money and for the one who hasn´t a smartphone ever before ;)
    One or two phones in middle price class
    and than
    One phone in the highend class!! -> with best Sony technoligie!! best camera – but with camera buttom please, all the sony technologies for the screen (like white magic and bravia – and soon oled hopefully!! ;) ), and like the v they can give it dust and water resistance :)
    And because Sony only launches 5 or 6 six phones a year…they can uprgade ALL sony phones to the newest androind platform ;P
    Also they have to launch faster after announcing!! i got an xperia arc (soon i´ll get a new Sony ;D) and i waited too long till they lanched the phone!!
    two weeks are the maximum to wait, i think…;)

    But one thing Sony is the best in: They normally have the best camera resolution :) i mean…the galaxy s III – 8 megapixel; xperia t and v: 13 megapixel :))


  • Arie

    Full Android upgrade but not on a 3 years old phone…..
    My X10 Mini Pro doesn’t even get gingerbread

  • Julio Spinoza

    Strange, all X10 mini pro i have seen, are running GB, maybe you should take a look at pc companion or SUS

  • jack

    Yeah! Agreed indeed. And they have to work harder on vary devices with variously Android updates. Legendary too much failed! Why so …!? Never ever easy at once!

  • paul4id

    Indeed, too many devices just makes it harder for them to support all these devices with updates and bug fixes to the high standards required.

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