Sony to discontinue ‘Premium Standard’ smartphones, to focus only on flagships

Sony plans to differentiate its products from other OEMs handsets by shipping technology on its products that “only Sony can deliver.”

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Highlights

    • Sony drops “Premium standard” Xperia X & Xperia X Compact handsets
    • Plans to focus more on flagship devices
    • Two new flagship expected to be unveiled in the second half this year

Sony Mobile has announced that it will no longer release smartphones under the ‘premium-mid range’ segment. The company revealing its smartphone plans for the year has confirmed that it will drop the “Premium Standard” devices from its “future smartphone portfolio.”

The handsets in this segment include last year’s Sony Xperia X and Sony Xperia X Compact that offered nearly high-end specifications at a reasonable price. Sony at its annual Investor relations Day said that it will only focus on flagship models like the Sony Xperia XZ and Sony Xperia XZs and mid-range Xperia XA lineup. The company explains that while the “Premium Standard” saw 85 per cent volume targets in Japan, but outside its home country it could accrue revenue of only 31 per cent.

The lack of resonance outside Japan led to the company only hitting 43% of its targets in this segment globally,” Sony wrote in Xperia blog post.

Source: Sony Mobile
Source: Sony Mobile

With the intent to recover market share in 2017, Sony plans to differentiate its products from other OEMs handsets by shipping technology on its products that “only Sony can deliver.” These premium Sony features include the Motion-eye camera system with 960fps super-slow-motion, 4K HDR display which will comprise of streaming and downloading 4K HDR content from Amazon Prime Video and ‘unique antenna and RF technologies’ that will enable download speeds up to 1Gbps.

Source: Sony Mobile
Source: Sony Mobile

Sony is still looking to ‘do well’ in North America, and it has confirmed that it plans to put more focus in those regions where it can “leverage its brand strength.” The company has also mentioned the smartphone market India, which it is trying to figure out cautiously as it is predominated by “lower-value smartphone products” with “razor-thin margins.”

The Japanese tech company is planning to announce two new flagship devices in the second half this year. And if it follows its tradition, Sony will presumably launch the two new Xperia flagship during IFA 2017 that will be held in September in Berlin.