Tablet 'key' for Sony mobile strategy

2013-05-29 10:00
The Sony Xperia Tablet Z is water resistant. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

The Sony Xperia Tablet Z is water resistant. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Sony Xperia Tablet Z

2013-05-29 09:44

Mark Fenzel, sales director for Middle East and Africa at Sony Mobile Communications, illustrates why the tablet is the next step for Sony in this YouTube video.WATCH

Cape Town - A mobile strategy that is focused on user experience is key to generating growth, Sony has said.

The electronics giant is under pressure from investors such as Daniel Loeb to sell off the entertainment business units as TV and DVD player sales decline.

The launch of the Xperia Z smartphone and Tablet Z is an indicator of the mobile focus, Sony said.

"The tablet is part of the strategy and Sony is pushing mobile very hard and mobile is everything you can bring across," Mark Fenzel, sales director for Middle East and Africa at Sony Mobile Communications, told News24.

On Monday, the company re-entered the tablet market in SA with the Xperia Tablet Z which is geared toward digital content consumption.

Standardised format

The device sports a high-definition display and four speakers built into a robust body that is also water resistant.

Fenzel dismissed suggestions that success in the mobile arena could cannibalise TV, camera, PC and DVD sales.

"It's not only about hardware right; it's also about how you connect all those devices together."

He was careful to point out that the company has already produced tablets. The S1 and S2 were renamed as the Xperia tablet, but the company has re-invigorated the format as it tries to capture market share from competitors.

The Tablet Z supports a more standardised format with Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi and micro-SD card slot that expands the memory of the 16GB device by 32GB.

"It's how you can connect all those devices and get the consumer a fantastic experience in terms of making it easy; make it simple," said Fenzel.

The device also has NFC (Near Field Communication) that allows it to communicate with similar devices and peripherals. Content sharing is done at a touch and though there's no dedicated keyboard for the Tablet Z, Sony says that any Bluetooth compatible device should work.


The price of budget tablets in SA has fallen to around R1 000, but the Sony is adamant that the premium market has a better ability to support its device.

"We are aiming for a R9 000 which in that segment, is still a good price because if you look into the premium tablets - that's what we're going for - we are going for the premium segment and we can't compare really with what's out there in the tablet market," Fenzel said.

One of the cheapest tablets in SA is the Protab 27 which runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and the basic device with an 18cm display retails for around R999.

The budget 16GB iPad 2 sells for around R4 500, though in several international markets suppliers have said that they are out of stock, fuelling rumours of an imminent release of a new version.

"You can do a lot of things with this tablet so you can't compare with lower priced tablets that are out in the market," Fenzel argued.

He added though, that although tablets are increasing in popularity, they still some way off from replacing PCs.

"What I see and from the discussions I have in the industry, the tablet has come to a point where it's doing fantastic things... but still, if you look into high-end computers can do and what kind of processing power they have, there’s still a way to go."


Industry tracker the IDC reported on Wednesday that sales of PCs would continue to fall as tablets gained momentum.

Sales of PCs are expected to decline by 7.8% in 2013, while tablet shipments will grow 58.7%, eventually outselling laptops. The IDC predicts that tablets will outsell all PCs by 2015.

"Many users are realising that everyday computing... doesn't require a lot of computing power or local storage," said IDC analyst Loren Loverde.

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Read more on:    sony  |  mobile

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