SonyEricsson, the Japanese giant’s partnership with the Swedish telecommunications equipment company Ericsson, for most part has failed to make a splash in the highly competitive smartphone market. Deciding enough was enough, Sony at last acquired Ericsson’s share in the venture in February. Sony Mobile Communications, a wholly-owned subsidiary, was born. And as the battle for smartphone supremacy intensifies, Sony’s new mobile arm is adamant to produce a much-needed iPhone killer. But why stop there? According to its mobile chief, an upcoming flagship handset will as well take direct aim at Samsung’s Galaxy S III.
A badass Sony phone that can compete with both the iPhone and Galaxy S III, each super-popular in its own right? That’s a tall order. Sony’s killer phone is officially due early next year and looks like it’s gonna pack some serious oomph. The question is, will folks care?
This information was first picked up by Don Reisinger of Cnet on Friday and sourced from an interview with Financial Times Deutschland, which sat down with Sony’s new mobile head Dennis Van Schie to talk mobile, Apple and Samsung.
He said Sony “will create, in the near future, a flagship model that can compete with Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S III”, a wording implying its existing flagship doesn’t.
But Sony won’t be putting all their eggs in the same basket. The company is watching closely how Windows Phone 8 develops and won’t be caught on the wrong foot should Microsoft’s platform pick up steam, Dennis tells the financial paper.
He wouldn’t talk specifics, but the rumor-mill thinks a device code-named Odin might be the flagship phone Sony’s readying. The company more or less confirmed the rumor with a purported press shot representing an unreleased Sony Xperia C650X Odin, seen below.
Is the upcoming Xperia Odin Sony’s iPhone killer?
Akin to the HTC J Butterfly and the Droid DNA, the Odin is thought to have a full HD 1080p five-inch display at 440 ppi. A 13-megapixel camera and a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with four 1.5 GHz Krait cores and 2 GB of RAM are also said to be part of the package.
I sure hope Sony isn’t playing a specs game here because braver companies have failed touting speeds and fees in an effort to dethrone the iPhone.
Truth be told, we have no idea whether the Xperia Odin is Sony’s response to the iPhone and Galaxy S III. We’ll soon find out as the device will be showcased at both Consumer Electronics Show and Mobile World Congress trade shows in the first quarter of next year, Dennis confirmed.
Of course Sony’s mobile chief is singing praise for the upcoming flagship – it comes with the job. I’ve always liked Sony and wish them all the best. But if history is an indication, it’s gonna have to turn a miracle or two to divert people away from the crop of high-end Android handsets and the iPhone 5.
As nice as Sony Ericsson handsets have been, they haven’t really caught on with consumers who predominantly chose smartphones by Apple or Samsung. The same goes for the Xperia lineup. Here’s Sony’s advert for the so-called James Bond phone.
It’s maddening to think Sony had all the technological pieces in place to make their own iPod and iPhone and iPad before Apple, but didn’t because corporate bureaucracy wouldn’t favor risk takers. And don’t get me started on Sony’s unfathomably poor integration between its phones and the PlayStation platform.
The entire company has seen better days. Sony’s mobile business is lacking. Their Android tablet lineup is as forgettable as any other.
Sony had to cut the annual profit forecast after its first quarter loss widened. The gaming unit is still covering the losses of other divisions, namely flat TVs. Matter of fact, the entire company has been reporting losses for four consecutive years now.
Things are bad at Sony and could get worse before getting any better, especially with the economy like this.
Once the biggest name in consumer electronics with products such as the Walkman and the PlayStation, Sony is now playing a catch up game to South Korea-based rivals like LG and Samsung, in addition to Apple of California and Microsoft.
Though not (yet) written off in my book entirely, I’m afraid Sony’s problems run deeper than the company’s inability to produce a branded flagship smartphone people would proudly carry on them.
What’s your take?
Can you imagine a Sony smartphone beating Samsung and Apple at their game?