Sony targets competitors with Xperia Z

Sony will offer the Xperia Z as an alternative Android-powered smartphone. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)
Sony will offer the Xperia Z as an alternative Android-powered smartphone. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)
Cape Town - Despite taking a beating from Samsung in Android smartphone market, Sony is convinced that it has the brand awareness in SA to generate a sales success.

"I still think Sony has fantastic brand awareness in South Africa. Looking in some of the studies that we have done from last year and also this year, Sony is still a fantastic brand and people recognise it, people are aware of it," Mark Fenzel, sales director Middle East and Africa for Sony Mobile SA told News24.

Sony is preparing to launch its Xperia Z smartphone in SA and the company has been touting the tough build quality of the device which is water resistant.

The Xperia Z sports a massive 12.7cm high definition display and Sony has re-employed its successful Bravia engine to enhance the graphics on the device.

The device is aimed squarely at the latest Galaxy S4 from Samsung as Sony looks to take the fight to the South Korean electronics giant.

User experience

It has fitted the Xperia Z with a 1.5 GHz quad core processor mated to 2GB of RAM.

Unlike some manufactures, the Xperia also supports a micro-SD card slot to expand the 16GB of internal memory.

"What Sony brings to the South African market is not only a premium device. What we started last year was really to roll out a portfolio in different segments: With the Xperia Go, Xperia Sola, now with Xperia J - it's across different price segments. It's only about a premium phone," said Fenzel.

He conceded that Sony had a massive mountain to climb if it hoped to beat Samsung, but would not comment on reports that over 200 000 Galaxy SIIIs were sold in SA.

Sony has played down the 13 megapixel camera on the device that runs the Android 4.1.2 (Jellybean) operating system, and instead focused its messaging on the user experience.

"I still think it brings the best of Sony to the device and really, as a consumer, you enjoy a lot of entertainment," Fenzel said.

Data

Unfortunately for Sony fans, the company said that it was not yet ready to launch the Sony Entertainment Network in SA.

Fenzel, though, didn't hide Sony's ambition to top the smartphone market and rejected suggestions that data cost would prevent mass adoption of smart devices in a developing country.

"I don't think so because even though it's an emerging market, you see that it's picking up. There are other manufacturers out there - big competitors offering the same Android experience and we're trying to be better than them."


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