This year has seen the arrival of some really interesting Sony smartphones; we just brought you our Xperia Z1 review the other week, and while we came away a bit underwhelmed by the phone’s camera performance, the overall package was a joy to use. Should we be seeing hardware like this as a sign that Sony is really trying to step up its smartphone game and grab some more significant market share? Well, that may be the company’s ultimate goal, but the way it intends to do so is a little unusual, with the company confirming its intention to avoid some key markets going forward.
Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai says that his big goal is moving Sony up from something like seventh place in the market to third, behind only Apple and Samsung. However, don’t expect that to mean that you’ll soon be seeing Xperia models on the shelves of your local Verizon store; instead, Hirai says that Sony plans to continue largely ignoring US and Chinese sales.
For Sony, it’s really a matter of doing the most business where it can, and it sees competition in China and the US as just too heated to launch a successful campaign. Instead, it will focus its growth on Europe and its native Japan. Presumably, if Sony’s able to build its smartphone business up in these areas, that growth will enable it to wage more successful campaigns in the US and China further down the line.
That’s unfortunate for US smartphone fans who have long been desiring Sony handsets from afar, but you can always track one down and pay full price, even if carriers aren’t stocking them.
Sony says that it’s working to bump its total smartphone sales up by an impressive 27% this year, to 42 million units.