Sony set to lower smartphone targets again?

by XB on 22nd October 2014

in News

Sony XperiaThe Wall Street Journal is reporting that Sony may be planning once again to cut smartphone shipment forecasts for FY14 (year to March 2015). Back in July, Sony had reduced its smartphone estimates from 50 million units to 43 million units. To give you some context, Sony sold 39 million smartphones in FY13.

WSJ says that Sony is “likely to trim its smartphone sales target by several millions of units”, which could mean it is expecting a similar number as the prior year i.e. a broadly flat position.

This forecast reduction came on the back of a strategic review of its mid-range portfolio, given the struggle in emerging markets against fierce competition. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean a truly disastrous result, especially if the mix of those smartphones have much higher ASPs (average selling prices) due to a bias towards the premium segment.

By all accounts and purposes, the Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact have been receiving widespread acclaim from the media. For the first time, Sony Xperia devices released this year appear to have equal standing from the media when compared to the other big Android giants such as Samsung and HTC.

Sony plans to update the market on its smartphone strategy at an Investor Day taking place in Tokyo on Tuesday 25 November 2014.

Via The Wall Street Journal.

  • After SP i say no to Sony’s low budget smartphones.

  • shhh

    If they are still going to make low-end and mid-range phones, make at most 2 of each and make them really stand out like the old ones (X10 mini, mini and mini pros, Ray, Neo, Active, Xperia P, U, SP). This year’s bunch look sh*t.

  • shhh

    No problem with the flagships though, just fix your goddamn camera. And make the volume louder. Oh and ditch the 16 GB and go for 32 GB. Probably a stronger LED flash?

  • MiB

    Is it really so difficult to sell ONE phablet and ONE compact each year???
    Focus then on the shocking after sale service because we still waiting on the z1 camera bug to be fixed …

    WAKE THE F$&@!! UP SONY!!!

  • Guest

    Why? It was a good phone! Definitely the dark horse. Sony should have just been truthful about the updates from the start. They should bring out a successor, no other phone has that light bar.

  • I hate this phone, it was a waste of time and money. Many bugs in system and factory issues.

  • gameboy

    after sp, no more sony for mid range…

  • Ethan ‘blaze’ Parker

    Flash just ruins the image honestly. The EXMO RS does a tremendous job.

  • theskig

    Hope they won’t leave the phone business because of iPhone and Galaxy sheep.

  • XxRampage07xX

    Abandoning the two largest smartphone market in the world ( China and US ), I can already see Sony’s future :(
    Farewell then, Sony.

  • Guest

    Maybe if Sony did less phones (1 lower end, 1 midrange and 3 high end – normal, compact and ultra – per year), there would be more time for better updates.

  • lee jun-hoe

    No, Sony is pushing stronger into US market now with Z3. They’re pushing Z3v through verizon, and Z3 and Z3 compact unlocked through T-Mobile US. It’s a good sign. And I hope Sony can break well into the US market.

    I think Sony pulling out of the mid-end market in China is good. Cos Sony can’t compete with the Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi and Oppo that undercut them (even Samsung etc have problems).

    Basically Chinese customers: either they are go for cheaper phones like Oppo or Xiaomi (thus ignoring Sony), or they go for high-end brand just to show off. That’s why Apple is doing well in China, cos they have that “prestige label” and majority buy it just because it’s Apple. However in Europe and SEA, Sony is doing quite well.

  • Hendrik

    This article is not about low- and mid-range smartphones – it’s about lower number of sold units…

  • Zeke

    I’m in the camp of small light phones, which Sony has largely deserted.
    The Xperia Z3 Compact is really the only every day phone in the whole range.
    They should make one(1) entry/mid-range phone based on the Xperia Z3 compact, with say 8/12MP camera, 8GB(6GB user storage) internal storage, and something like a chipset with an Adreno 405.
    But no, they made the Xperia E3 which weights over 10kg more than a Z3C and considerably larger than a Z3C with a smaller low-res screen and again, only 4GB(2GB user storage) NAND.
    You’d have to be mad to buy an Xperia E3 when a 2013 Moto G with planned Android 5.0 is still available.
    Why couldn’t they be like Motorola and run with the Xperia M and just improve it with better camera, more storage, new chipset, maybe LTE…but no.
    Why all these low end-chipset, heavy, approx 5″+ screen ‘phones’????
    I only have Sony phones from the Sony Ericsson T610 onwards, but may never buy a Sony 64bit chipset phone at this rate.

  • W

    I’m not a mobile industry insider, but I do have experience with the PC industry.

    Sometimes you can’t get just the chips you want. It’s not like you call up Intel and ask for “x” many particular types of chips, and no others. Intel will offer you a bundle of chips (it’s all negotiable, but not to zero).

    My suspicion is that this is the same for mobile. So even if Sony wanted an all-high-end strategy, they can’t – if they want any Snapdragon 800s, they also need to take in a bunch of 400s.

  • EB

    I would say make the flagship as good as iPhone / Galaxy S (matching screen, storage, ram etc) and release it yearly (with a Compact in tow), release the phablet (Ultra line) in between. Discount the older flagship to mid-range price, and just one or two low ends.

    Ditch the Xperia UI and go for Stock Android but make all the Sony specific apps exclusive. Since stock Android will improve update and less to worry about bugs (read 4.4.2!) and I don’t think the Xperia UI is the USP for sony phone unless it’s for those who can’t stand Samsung’s UI.

  • BMX

    Oh, look at the whiner whine!

  • Gutt Grinder

    Yep!! Thumbs up for the volume… Its very strange listen music from the walkman app the volume if low.. While your listening to FM radio it sounds louder….

    I hope will release a mid ranger that allows users to removw the battery, has noise cancelling tech and uses IPS panel (specs from the 2012 high end sony devices and the ones i first mentioned)

    Keep the water proofing feature to the flagships and the removble battery to tge midrangers…

  • Gutt Grinder

    Don’t expect any bug fixes to sony.. They did update my xperia v and provided the video camera bug.. Lol

  • The Truth


    sound quality is just normal

    camera is unremarkable

    less smart software features

    less unique innovations

    software updating comes too late

    have Sony Pictures and Sony Music’s artists but can’t use them for marketing

    have Video and Music Unilimited services but can’t allure people with VIP/privileged experience like three free months for Xperia Z series owners.

    People realise that Sony Flagship phone is nothing special, there’s better choices like Galaxy S, Note, iPhone and Nexus

    And the mid-range market umm… Thinking bout the bad behaviour that sony did with Xperia SP owners, Sony still think people(except old blind fanboys) will buy Sony phones again???

  • QRIO

    I hopefully Sony will change the yearly strategy for XPERIA division, Sony release smartphones too much but product characters are unclear and people will get confused.

    Seven Xperia models per year… That’s enough!

    – Q1:

    1) Xperia Z series (5″ Cyber-shot phone)

    2) Xperia W series (5″ Walkman phone; Walkman music app, Great sound chip)

    3) Xperia P series (5″ PlayStation Phone; dual-boot android/VitaOS, PSVita card game slot, detachable controller)

    – Q2:

    4) Xperia M series (4.7″ mid-range phone)

    – Q4:

    5) Xperia Pad series (8.9″, 13″ tablet for entertainment and creative, responsive and sensitive display that can use finger, pencil or any stylus to write note and sketch, water and dust resistant)

    6) Xperia One series (5.5″ truly One Sony smartphone, combine all features of Xperia Z,W,P series and Xperia Pad into One smartphone, newwest breakthrough technology, Mind-blowing features, premium material, classy design, water and dust resistant)

    7) Xperia E series (4.3″ entry-level phone, water and dust resistant)

    and most of all, Sony gotta care about the software updating as much as possible, make software updating to be the strongest point that other competitors can’t do.

  • Steven Khoo Skkl

    I have seen this post before..The exact same post…Probably from earlier this year or something like that..But this is a ridiculous idea..By having all those standout features in individual phones,you’ll actually be having more flagships.

  • XxRampage07xX

    Hopefully what you say is right :D
    Honestly, I never want to see Sony die.
    But if this keeps up, sooner or later, Sony will lose a lot of cash. Why?
    -No PR. They should learn from Samsung. No one will ever buy your phone if they don’t even know its existence.
    – Software. Although I truly am a Sony fan, I have to admit Sony is doing pretty bad at software aspect.
    – Crappy strategy: 1 years 2 flagships. And what are the major differences between them? What are you even thinking Sony? Focus on only one Flagship and spend time polishing it! It will be much better.

  • Vignesh Raja

    Nah, I don’t think so. If they do, they will be selling mobile accessories on the streets of Japan.

  • MiB

    what a joke.. age old company that cant even get the basics right

  • lee jun-hoe

    Well I agree that Sony needs to work on its software. I subscribe to Music Unlimited, because it offers the best sound quality among the other streaming services like Google and Spotify.

    But the app itself is slow and clunky, and crashes often compared to Spotify. It’s gotten minor improvements in terms of speed, but nowhere near as stable. Kinda a bit like good hardware, but needs to work on the implementation.

    As for the 6-month cycle, it doesn’t bother me too much. Just like PC there’s always gonna be something newer. But I think the 6-month cycle is a bit costly, cos you need to spend more on marketing and production for a new product every 6 months.

  • lee jun-hoe

    Good idea. Maybe a flagship series e.g. Z3 and Z3 compact, and then a mid-range inspired by the flagship e.g. E and E compact.

    But that should be it. Sony shouldn’t offert too many varieties of phone.

  • Jaywalker

    Is that a surprise?

  • roeshak

    Anyone who thinks there’s no problem with the flashships must be smoking something heavy! The dumping the blame on lower end devices because it’s more palatable.
    Apart from the original Z, don’t think Sony’s had any good sellers. The z2 could have done well but it’s chances were scuppered by delays in getting it to market.
    The 6 month cycle doesn’t inspire much confidence in the brand so there’s only one way sales could go and that’s down. They need a serious rethink of strategy

  • Shaik Farooq

    Sorry sony We only buy Z series after what you did to Xperia SP.

  • Alex

    No support for low and mid range -> No money.
    I sell my Sony Xperia SP before end of warranty because of no support.
    I preffer to buy mid range phone and now I’m not SONY customer.

  • Mark


  • Dreams

    That is Sony’s fault though, the people who did the software updates. The actual phone is pretty good and unique, long battery life, nice size, light bar, etc.

  • I dont care.

  • shanefalco

    Dear Sony the people want an equilibrate (or balance) medium gamma, this is an example: 4.3″ 960×540 ips (256ppi) snap 410 (64bit) 8mpx (with good quality not as m2) 8grom+sd 1gram at 199 euro. Ok??? Not big screen with ridicolous definition!

  • XxRampage07xX

    To think that the smartphone market is gradually saturated, Sony should find another way to make them stand out from other brands on the market. In term of design, Sony absolutely has no problem at all:D However, when it comes to software, Sony is doing bad. With its superior hardware such as camera sensor, Sony phone could have outperformed any other phones in the world. However, it is the software holding its potential back, which is a pity! :(
    Hopefully, I can see all-new Z4 with with all-new design as well as camera technology. If it turns out to be true, I will be very happy :D

  • KF

    say what you want about their flagships, they are selling pretty well

    and here’s a compariosion between the z2 and the s5 so please tell how the s5 is more ‘special’…

  • paul4id

    They need a two-tone flash like the iPhone. Ultra-bright if you need it (or for torch purposes) along with one which is less harsh for skin tones (or even better just a single one that has quite an adaptable white balance).

  • paul4id
  • Jil

    Selling well? Really? So tired about stupid fanboys like you

    Lick what you want about Sony man, whatever Sony set to lower smartphone targets again and again!

  • Sumo

    Take it slow and with patience for a counter attack….the calm before the storm… at least Sony is starting to do things right. I root for them all the way.

  • Jumbo

    YOU AGAIN?? What are you, a hermit calling yourself the truth?? So like you said, a better choice of a phone you mean the iphone 6 with it’s bendable qualities???

  • Jumbo

    At least they don’t have a stupid name like Galaxy Ass or ibone…. And seriously, so tired of fanboys like you too… Pfft… (rolls eyes)

  • KF

    in my country at least (no it’s not japan)
    and next time don’t act like an a$$

  • KF

    and btw did you watch the video?

  • Rob

    With stock android it would no longer be Xperia..

  • Ethan ‘blaze’ Parker

    I only use it for torch purposes actually. :p EXMO RS REALLY does a tremendous job, turn that flash off and try taking a picture in completely dark room, then try the same with flash. Results are INCREDIBLE!

    Z2/Z3 without flash > M8/iPhone with flash as per my comparison

  • Paul M

    If I was upgrading my wife’s phone, the Z3 Compact would be top of my list.

    I’m still hoping for a Z2 Ultra/Z Ultra2.

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