Sony’s (SNE) Xperia Z was probably the biggest surprise hit of February. It sold out substantial early shipments from Japan to France and is currently dominating the U.K. smartphone market outside the Apple (AAPL) – Samsung (005930) axis. This has been a very painful experience for HTC (2498). The launch of the new flagship HTC One was recently delayed until the end of March and it looks like April shipment volumes are going to be very thin, most likely due to camera module sourcing problems. Wasting no time, Sony is now rolling out its cheaper Xperia models at lower than expected price points. The Xperia SP will launch in some European countries below 400 euros and the Xperia L will debut below 300 euros in Netherlands and Italy. More →
Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation Vita, a powerful but pricey portable console, had an awful year in 2012. In its home market, the Vita has often dipped below 10,000 units per week, getting outsold by as much as 10-to-1 by Nintendo’s (NTDOY) 3DS. In the week of March 3rd, Sony finally bit the bullet and cut the price of the Vita under 20,000 yen, or about $215. That sliced just 20% off from the Wi-Fi version launch price. Nevertheless, the sales of the Vita rocketed from 11,000 units to 62,000 units. This in itself wasn’t a sign that Vita has a future; price cuts often give doomed devices a short sales spike. But in the week of March 10th, something fairly magical happened: Vita unit sales stayed above 60,000 units and a new Soul Sacrifice game sold more than 100,000 copies. More →
Remember the last time Sony (SNE) had a hit smartphone? That’s a trick question because Sony has never had a hit smartphone. But there’s a first time for everything and unnamed sources have told Digitimes that Sony’s new Xperia Z smartphone has sold out of its initial stock in Japan, France, Germany, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The Digitimes report backs up previous reports we’ve read about showing the Xperia Z selling well not only in Japan and France but in Italy and Spain as well. The Xperia Z’s strong sales are somewhat surprising given Sony’s previous lack of success in the smartphone realm and the fact that Sony launched the device in the same quarter that both HTC (2498) and Samsung (005930) launched flagship Android smartphones of their own.
Over the past few months, much ink has been spilled over whether Nokia (NOK) or BlackBerry (BBRY) have a chance to stage a strong recovery. After a dismal two years, Sony’s (SNE) chances in the smartphone market have largely been written off. However, over the past month the new Sony Xperia Z has shown remarkable strength in Europe and some Asian markets. In the second half of February, the Xperia Z sold out in Japan and France during its launch. And this wasn’t a small volume sell out — the phone shifted 140,000 units at Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo in one week. More →
Sony (SNE) is looking to beat out its Chinese rivals and become the third largest vendor in the global smartphone market, Reuters reported. The head of the Sony’s mobile business Kunimasa Suzuki hinted that the company may soon begin producing cheaper smartphone models that target developing nations, noting that it plans to “alter smartphone development for each market.” Sony’s rumored quad-core Xperia smartphone could also help the company increase its share in markets across Europe and the United States. More →
Gamers around the world are excited for the holidays following Sony’s (SNE) recent PlayStation 4 unveiling, but not everyone will want to shell out an estimated $500-$600 on the company’s new console. As such, budget-minded gamers who aren’t afraid to adopt a current-generation system on the eve of a new launch will be happy to know that PlayStation 3 pricing is likely about to plummet. More →
A new rumor suggests that Sony (SNE) plans to release a new flagship smartphone later this year that will compete with the HTC One and Galaxy S IV. According to a report from the Xperia Blog, the company’s upcoming smartphone, codenamed Xperia C670X, will be equipped with a 4.8-inch full HD display, a 1.8GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, Adreno 320 graphics and a 13-megapixel rear camera. The device is also said to include 2GB RAM, 32GB of internal storage and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The Xperia C670X is reportedly scheduled to launch sometime this summer.
There may come a day when diehard video game fans ditch their consoles completely in favor of PC gaming. Following the unveiling of Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation 4 console, and just ahead of Microsoft’s (MSFT) next Xbox’s debut, the CEO of leading game lab Crytek offered Eurogamer a grim dose of reality: neither of these next-generation consoles can compete with PCs in terms of the technology that powers them. More →
Samsung (005930) stared down an army of critics when it launched the Galaxy Note in 2011. The 5.3-inch screen was viewed with deep suspicion by many industry experts. By August 2012, Samsung had sold 10 million units. Now the handset industry is set to face the onslaught of an armada of copycats. Huawei’s Ascend P2. ZTE’s Grand Memo. UMI’s X2. HTC’s (2498) One. Sony’s (SNE) Xperia ZL. And on and on. These smartphones all have display sizes ranging from 4.7 inches to 5.7 inches, and most of them are fairly close copies of the Note concept. More →
Although we still don’t know what the PlayStation 4 will look like, Sony (SNE) has continued to release additional details about its upcoming gaming console since announcing it at an event last week. Shuhei Yoshida, the head of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, revealed in an interview with The Guardian that every single PlayStation 4 title will be available digitally and only some will be offered on discs. More →
Whereas the seriously unimpressive Xperia Z tablet poses no threat to any tablet vendors, Sony’s (SNE) new Xperia Z smartphone is poised to make a slightly more significant mark in the smartphone world. With the requisite laundry list of impressive specs, the Xperia Z leaves nothing to be desired in terms of sheer brute force. More →
Sony (SNE) has largely flopped in the mobile market because it hasn’t given Android fans any reason to spend money on its smartphones or tablets. They don’t have the top-notch hardware of HTC (2498), nor do they have the stylish design that has made Samsung’s (005930) Galaxy series a hit, nor do they have an especially attractive skin that enhances Android’s usability. Sadly, this trend persists with Sony’s new Xperia Tablet Z, which actually marks a regression of the tablet form factor as a whole and would be considered subpar even by 2010 standards. More →
Global adoption of smart TVs grew in 2012 as the prices of connected TV sets from the likes of Samsung (005930), LG (066570), Sony (SNE) and discount vendors continued to fall. According to a report released this week by market research firm IHS iSuppli and picked up by Twice, smart TV shipments climbed 27% in 2012 to reach 66 million units. By 2015, the smart TVs will make up 55% of the market as global shipments climb to 141 million units. ”Despite a decline in global television shipments in 2012, consumer demand for Internet-connected televisions soared during the year — and the surge in sales shows no signs of abating,” IHS analyst Veronica Thayer said. “Smart TVs are rapidly joining the mainstream as manufacturers refine their products to add new features and to make them easier to use.”