Sony Ericsson launches new Xperia in SA

2011-08-03 11:28

Johannesburg - Sony Ericsson has launched the Xperia Arc and Neo in SA in a bid to shake up the smartphone market.

The Android device represents the firms attempt to blend functionality with ease of use and also features Google Maps Navigation which was also launched on Tuesday.

"For us it is really important to partner up with Google for the launch of Navigation here in South Africa," Patricia Wand, head of marketing MU Africa, told News24.

She said that SA was one of the most important markets for the company.

The Android platform has been growing exponentially and while many different manufacturers use the operating system on mobile devices, Sony Ericsson said that the new Xperia range had some extra features that differentiated the device.


"We see the Android operating system as bring us to the race; we have to have it to play in the race," said Colin Williamson, marketing manager for Sony Ericsson South Africa.

Entertainment is key for the smartphone which was released internationally in March 2011.

"The whole thing behind our Xperia brand is that we want them to be the most entertaining smartphones," said Williamson.

He said that the device was different in that they could draw on the Sony technology and design.

"We feel that we need to differentiate ourselves in the market.

"The way we are going to differentiate ourselves is with what I call our 'Sony-ness'. Sony has a huge amount of mobile assets that we can bring into our mobile phone," Williamson said.

The device offers a range of features including the Bravia engine that drives Sony TVs and HD video recording with an 8-megapixel camera.


"We put our own user experience on top of the Android operating system so there is certainly a lot of Sony Ericsson differentiation there as well," said Williamson.

The company is not hiding its desire to be on top of the pile in the mobile market.

"Our ambition as Sony Ericsson is to be number one in Android," said Wand.

She conceded that that the company had fallen behind, but added that the new range of devices would make an impact into the smartphone market.

"Currently in South Africa we know we have fallen behind a little, behind Samsung and HTC. We have now had delays in some products but with the new range you will see we are quite confident," said Wand.

The launch of the device would also include an ecosystem of accessories, the company said. Potentially, this could dramatically increase sales numbers as fans customised their device experience.

"This year we're going to put a lot of emphasis on our extras. There's a huge raft of accessories that we're going to be bringing into South Africa," said Williamson.

The Xperia Arc is available on contract from Vodacom at R249 and R319 per month from MTN, while the Neo retails for R179 per month from Vodacom.

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  • DABOSS247365 - 2011-08-03 12:05

    LOL, desire... thats a HTC handset & a market leader for android. HTC has implemented the sense interface, which really does bring it to the front of the android pack. Samsung may have more vivid screens, & even a great build quality at a reasonable price, but the difference between a sense handset & a plain android is massive in terms of user interface & usability.

  • Voltage - 2011-08-03 13:10

    One word for SE, "Updates". A repeat of their first response to the Xperia x10 update request, "Buy our new model", will win not them any more customers. You need to give your customers updates on you phone for at least 2 years. Here, SE are still selling the X10 mini and Pro and have said that there will be no further updates for them.

      Thabiso marumo - 2011-08-04 08:30

      I have a X10 mini updated it to 2.1 and the phone works like a dream, never have any problems with it the update, Sony did a good job with the X10 mini and don't think it needs anymore updates.

  • Sbonelo - 2011-08-03 14:39

    "Features Google Maps Navigation which was also launched on Tuesday" - Duncan you have no idea what you are talking about Google Maps has always been available on the Android Market

      ToneDef - 2011-08-03 15:35

      Dunno about that, Sbonelo. I've also had Google Maps on my phone as everyone else has, where you can get Directions to any destonation, but the actual Navigation part is a different story. Previosuly, when I've tried to activate Navigation it said 'not available in SA'. I've just tried now, and yes, the Navigation is now active, even though it says 'still in beta'. Cool! Will be comparing it to my TomTom unit the next few days. P.S. Sell your TomTom and Garmin shares NOW !

  • bigshowj - 2011-08-03 15:58

    I have the Xperia X10, and its just rubbish! When the iPhone 5 becomes available,i will be first in line.I will not sell my SE X10,or pass it on,or give it away for free, i will take a drive on the N1, get up to 120km/h, and i will throw this rubbish out the window,into a overpass,watching it shatter into a million pieces,and maybe a small fire will result from the battery,while a friend takes a video in my new iPhone 5. That will be a happy day!

  • Budeci - 2011-12-21 15:22

    To all South Africans. If you are interested in buying this phone (Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc or ARC s ) you in it for big disappointment. Dealers like MTN and Vodacom are selling this phone through contracts with packages excluding all accessories such car chargers, bluetooth,etc. You only get normal charger, usb cable and headsets while the phone packed with so much technology which will just be too useful for nothing. This phone has poor battery life compare to other brands yet it has a Navigation application on it, without a car charger in the whole of South Africa, this will be a pain in "some" place. Worst of all is that the the dealers like MTN, Vodacom and inclusive of Sony Ericsson South Africa franchises are only interested in making money without caring about customers' satisfaction. They are taking South Africans for granted. They put more into a good marketing front for this phone but no proper support for it. Imagine if you blow up or loose your normal charger,usb cable, headset,etc. how are you going to replace them. When you call the dealer, you are only adviced to go through a costly exercise of dealing with only Sony Ericsson to fix you phone or whatever included in the package. As compared to other brands, you get accessories from almost anywhere - dealers,electronic shops, free market,etc. your options are not limited as compared to this phone. For such a great phone, I am very very disappointment.

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