Sony Unveils Flagship Telephone Regardless of Cellular Struggles

Sony has unveiled a excessive-finish flagship smartphone, marking a dedication to its cellular division regardless of scaling again operations within the struggling enterprise.

The 5.2-inch Xperia Z4 comes after the corporate confirmed hundreds of job cuts in its cellular division earlier this yr. It additionally stated it might scale back the variety of smartphone fashions it might launch in an effort to spice up income.

Query marks have been raised over the way forward for Sony’s smartphone enterprise amid the Japanese big’s large restructuring undertaking, which has seen its private pc arm and TV division being spun off.

In September, CEO Kazuo Hirai insisted to CNBC that Sony wanted to stay within the smartphone enterprise. Nevertheless, at a briefing earlier this yr, the corporate head stated he would "not rule out contemplating an exit technique" from the smartphone enterprise.

This is able to have vital implications for the corporate, with analysts highlighting that such a transfer would see Sony lose a big a part of its shopper-dealing with aspect of the model.

The Xperia Z4 seems to be similar to the earlier Z3 mannequin, however has an aluminium case. It has the identical 20.7-megapixel rear-dealing with digital camera and is available in 4 totally different colors. Like many smartphone gamers, Sony is discovering it troublesome to distinguish on design, analysts stated.

The telephone will probably be out there in Japan in the midst of the yr, however Sony gave no additional particulars on worth, worldwide availability or a selected launch date. The corporate’s cellular unit introduced in 9.three billion yen ($seventy eight million) in working revenue within the third quarter of 2014 — making it one of many firm’s smallest models by that metric.

The newest system pits the Japanese electronics big towards rivals Apple and Samsung, following the latter’s launch of its Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones. The excessive finish of the market is dominated by these two gamers, whereas the mid-to-low finish has seen the likes of Xiaomi grow to be a serious participant. Thus far, Sony has been unable to get a strong foothold in any one in every of these segments.

In an effort to fight this, Sony launched a mid-vary smartphone referred to as the Xperia M4 Aqua at Cellular World Congress in March, as an growing variety of shoppers search excessive-spec units at lower cost factors.

With the Z4, Analysts stated Sony was specializing in retaining its present cellular clients.

"Sony seems to be focusing extra on protecting the purchasers it already has versus making an attempt to seize new clients," Ben Wooden, chief of analysis at CCS Perception informed CNBC by e-mail.

"The Z4 will tick the packing containers for patrons that beforehand owned a Z-collection system, however shall be a troublesome promote to new clients given the dominance of the Apple iPhone and engaging new units from Samsung, supported by an eye fixed-watering advertising spend."

First revealed April 20 2015, 6:24 AM

Arjun Kharpal

Arjun Kharpal is a Information Assistant for CNBC in London. He took on the position after interning on the firm for 3 months. Arjun has beforehand written for the Occasions, the Telegraph, the Guardian and the Mirror in London. He holds a BA in English Literature from the College of York and an MA in Newspaper Journalism from Metropolis College, London.

… Increase Bio