Most of you will be aware that Google announced a new family of Nexus devices on Monday and with it changed the landscape for Android OEMs including Sony. The Nexus 4 smartphone and Nexus 10 tablet are priced so aggressively with cutting edge specs that it will make it very difficult for other Android manufacturers to compete in our view.
However, one of the most attractive features of the new Nexus devices addresses one of the biggest gripes we hear about on this blog, the Android update schedule. The Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 will both launch with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and then will see vanilla Android updates as and when they are released.
As a quick reminder on the specs, the Nexus 4 has a 4.7-inch (1280 x 768) display, quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset, 8MP camera, 2GB RAM, 2100mAh battery, NFC, HDMI and wireless charging. It will come with 8GB or 16GB internal storage and no memory card slot. However, you get all of the above for just £239 and £279 respectively. That pricing is frankly astonishing.
Case in point, let’s take the Amazon UK price points of new Sony Xperia devices such as the Xperia T. It is currently on pre-order for £394.99. Now considering that price premium, why would Average Joe consider buying the Xperia T? Yes you get a better camera, design and memory card support, but is that really worth over £150 to the basic consumer? Especially when you consider what advantages the Nexus 4 offers over the Xperia T including quad-core chipset and software support.
Sony will have to look at pricing just to remain competitive, but with margins as paper-thin as they already are, can the company afford to bring its prices down further? If not, it will have to try even harder to differentiate its offering from other OEMs through design, hardware (Cybershot?) and software UI. Sony will announce its Q2 FY13 results tomorrow morning so we’ll get a sense of how much progress the company has made on the mobile front.
So over to you, how dire do you think the situation is for Android OEMs such as Sony? Does the Nexus pricing set a new precedent for flagship smartphone pricing? Has it convinced you to buy a Nexus over any other OEM and if so how big a part does the Android updates play in your decision? We’d love to hear your views in the comments below.