Sony (SNY) has had a tough run in the smartphone industry. Its feature phones were once highly sought-after thanks to sleek designs and class-leading cameras, but the company was never really able to carry its success over to smartphones. Its most recent handsets have clearly been a step in the right direction and yet Sony still can’t compete with industry leaders like Samsung (005930) and Apple (AAPL).

In a recent interview with Financial Times Deutschland, Sony Mobile’s sales boss Dennis van Schie acknowledged the company’s shortcomings but said Sony “will create, in the near future, a flagship model that can compete with Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S III.”

Hopefully Sony has learned at this point that specs alone simply can’t cut it, so we’ll be looking for some compelling differentiation when Sony announces its new flagship smartphone.