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Sony Moving Slowly to Tackle the U.S. Smartphone Market

by Ron Duwell | October 11, 2013October 11, 2013 10:00 am PDT

Sony Xperia Z1 - 46_Xperia_Z_1

Sony CEO Kaz Hirai has stated that taking its smartphone business overseas is not the company’s biggest priority now.

Sony’s Xperia series has been gaining a lot of acclaim around the world from those who have used it, especially its most recent model the Sony Xperia Z1 “Honami” phone. Hirai acknowledged to the Japanese press that smartphones are the devices that would help the company turn around its financial woes, but right now it’s focus is more at home than in the USA or China.

“Our biggest priority is maintaining our share in Japan or increasing it,” Hirai said. “Next, we want to actively fight to increase our share in Europe, where we have a fairly high share. These are our two top issues, we are pouring a lot of management resources into them.” He went on to add, “But getting into the U.S. market requires a lot of resources and marketing, so we have to go one step at a time.”

Roughly 60 percent of its smartphone sales are found in Japan and Europe, a figure Sony will no doubt want to protect. In the U.S. only T-Mobile supports its phones, and it has not even attempted to break into China on a large scale, leaving Sony ranked ninth throughout the world as a handset maker.

Sony’s attention is no doubt focused on Apple right now rather than its world standings. The iPhone has just been made available through Japan’s largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo, and it will have enough of a hard time keeping its name recognition as the one of the most respected in Japan, a challenge Hirai is ready to meet.

“We have strong brand recognition here for Xperia’s hardware and services,” Hirai said.

Sony has set a goal of 42 million phones to be sold this year worldwide, a figure which would put it as number 3 on the worldwide list after Samsung and Apple and replacing Nokia. With official support from only the United States’ number 4 carrier, think it can manage?


Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...