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.

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