Sony not focusing on US as company looks to increase smartphone shares elsewhere [UPDATED with T-Mobile Z1]

sony xperia z1

While never the first to come to mind, Sony’s Xperia line of handsets has produced quite a few Android gems. While fans of their beautifully designed hardware have been hoping for a bigger push in the US, the plans of Kaz Hirai and company couldn’t be more opposite.

Sony has seen the most success in their home country of Japan, with Europe trailing behind as their number two region. Together they account for 60 percent of Sony’s mobile business. Enter Apple’s new iPhone models, which have been competing strongly with Sony’s offerings. Because of this, the electronics giant will be toning down on efforts to raise awareness of their smartphones in countries such as the US in order to focus on maintaining their brand at home and in Europe.

Hirai says Sony is “pouring a lot of management resources” into tackling the task. Establishing a stronger foothold in the US is an uphill battle when facing established brands like Apple, Samsung, and even the floundering HTC. Lining up the necessary carrier partners and generating the proper marketing push is an expensive, arduous task even for a major global brand like Sony. The company feels its resources are best used firming up their position in current markets.

Looks like we won’t be seeing the Sony Xperia Z1 anytime soon here in the States, and that’s a bit of a shame.

Update: Or will we? @evleaks just posted what appears to be a Z1 with T-Mobile branding. Take that for what it’s worth.

[via Electronista]

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  • Keith Young

    That leaves me hopeful that I might get my hands on the new Xperia Z1 mini in Ireland.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/ViLLyViLLz?feature=mhee $pruce Yee

    Sony, i dont know what to say. *Sigh*

  • Fel Pe

    The best front door to the USA mkt is the British market. Conquer Britain and the USA door is open.

    • james ortiz

      please elaborate on your marketing logic.

      • Fel Pe

        Americans really don’t like to believe that they are being influenced by other people, however they do tend to “pay more attention” to influences coming from the UK much more than anywhere else. I think Americans tend to think that, for some reason, the British have good sophisticated taste. Anything that’s consider posh and hip in the UK have great chances to have the same qualification in here (US), the same thing doesn’t seem to happen as much with other developed countries (Germany and France, for example). Sony has a great renown name in Europe and would probably be easier for them to focus on the “old america” first and more intensively. Before NY they should conquer London, it just seems like a better more logical path for them. Samsung kinda did that and it worked out pretty well for them.

        • Barry D.

          The thing is though, Sony has very good brand recognition over here. When people see Sony, they typically think top of the line. They just had poor marketing, and don’t want to make CDMA phone’s probably (I don’t blame them.)

          • Fel Pe

            Hmm really? 10 years ago yes, Sony and top of the line were almost synonymous. I don’t think that happens anymore tho. Talking smartphones Sony really don’t have any presence here yet, for example, I’m from Brazil and over there Sony smartphone is like an Audi of smartphones (putting Apple as Mercedes and BMW Samsung). Here this is far from happening. Sony is kinda like Microsoft in here, everybody knows, uses something that they made but nobody thinks it has a cool factor to it. If Sony can be the next big thing in the UK (again) then they are gonna have great chances to repeat here. As you said it is very tough and there’s no guarantees.

          • Barry D.

            I was referring to their other products like TV’s when it comes to brand recognition. I just think if they would market their phones better maybe they would have a better chance do to that brand recognition.

    • K.

      Sony’s smartphones are always released in the UK (if they come to Europe of course). The UK is even one of the first European countries to receive the phones. I clearly don’t understand what you meant by your comment.

      • Fel Pe

        I elaborated more below. Hope it helps. :)

  • Jerel Butler

    I would buy one I just hope i can get a nice tl before they are gone

  • Modman

    Americans are stupid Douches brainwashed by apple against all reason I don’t blame Sony totally. Samsung has the money to fight in the waste of time market. Apple is again holding back technology progress. I so wish they would go out of business.

    • Fel Pe

      You’re stretching way too much. I agree that Apple is somewhat holding back, but 3-5 years ago they were the ones pushing it forward at full speed. Americans are awesome, you own most of your belongs to american minds so chill out bro.

      • AsakuraZero

        not really fel pe.. USA its not the birth place of all the great minds, credits to where they should go

        • Fel Pe

          It’s not the birth place of ALL the great minds indeed. I said MOST tho.

          • AsakuraZero

            not Most but i accept that many (recogniced) are from the USA, most of the Intel development team is on israel for example iirc they made the C2D iirc which was a great success and a great chip for intel

          • ari_free

            Don’t forget Pressy. It will change the phone like you’ve never imagined it before.

    • Barry D.

      I think it has more to do with CDMA carriers. They have to make special phones for every carrier over here verses just making an international model that covers a lot of other countries. I don’t blame them one bit. It cuts cost in a very competitive market that already has 2 dominant brands. I think it sucks though. Sony makes great products and I would love to try out one of their phones.

      PS. Not all American’s are Apple fags. I’m American, and I hate Apple, and will never ever own any Apple product.

  • Modman

    Don’t care about the past. they are limiting choices in the us because Lasy people do not read or try new products because they are brainwashed and buy only from Apple. And I have to stay quiet at work and in public. This is my place to vent.

    • tomn1ce

      Why do you stay quiet at work and in public?

    • malcmilli

      a successful manufacturer cant rely on consumers to “do research,” its the job of the manufacturer to convince consumers to buy their products. I don’t think i’ve ever seen a sony phone advertisement on TV. That’s THEIR fault.

  • Canon User

    Dial back efforts?!? They never even tried over here! I have been so impressed with their recent offerings, I was hoping they would ratchet it up over here. They have a long-standing consumer awareness of their brand (outside of phones), all they had to do was just actually LET PEOPLE KNOW they had awesome phones, AND put out CDMA versions of them.

    This is a truly disappointing turn of events.

    • ari_free

      I think it has more to do with the fact they just don’t want to bother with CDMA.

      • shonangreg

        Sony already makes CDMA versions for au / kddi in Japan.

  • Jordan Caviness

    Well that’s Fu¢ked up.

  • Jeremy Beasley

    That is horrible! I have been hoping against all odds the Z Ultra would come to Verizon in the US

  • Unorthodox

    Dammit Sony, just at the moment when I was about to jump from Motorola back to Sony phones. I really wanted Z1 mini.

  • Alfonso M. Camacho

    Considering Z1 is about to be launched in Mexico, I don’t see why US wouldn’t get it.

    • AsakuraZero

      apple is the answer

      • Alfonso M. Camacho

        Well, Samsung absolutely dominates the market down here, Apple would be second, and a distant third place would be LG. And still, we’re getting it. Maybe US will still get it.

  • Alan

    As a Brit, I doubt that we have that much influence on the American culture, not in the same way that America has influenced us. The US is such a powerful force in culture, that it has changed Britain spectacularly from the 1950’s, could Britain have done it to the States. I doubt it, but it is nice to see Britishisms creeping into the American language in the same way that Americanisms have become part of British English.

    PS. The Moto X would be welcome on this side of the Atlantic…

  • Dan

    Too bad, I really wanted this phone to be my next upgrade

  • Barry D.

    Well this just plain sucks.

    • InspectorGadget80

      Completely SUCKS

  • John Andrew Stuart

    I certainly hope the Z1 comes stateside. :( I’ve been holding out to upgrade to that phone.

  • vikings football

    come on, tmobile user here, ive been waitin for the z ultra…or even the mega 6.3, either one will do, i want a big screen!!!

  • Alan

    I’d be surprised if Sony can conquer the UK, or even make a dent in the market. The phone market here is dominated by Samsung and Apple. All you see are Galaxies and iPhones, with the odd HTC. It is going to take one hell of an effort for Sony, Motorola, LG, Nokia and Blackberry to come back…

  • Steve Drucker

    It’s no wonder…Sony customer service absolutely sucks! The worst experience in my life. They simply don’t care; if they lose a customer, they’re bottom line won’t even show a blip. My experience with trying to get a Xperia TL repaired made me a Sony hater. After two months in they’re Laredo repair center with my brand new (2 months out of the box) phone they finally admitted it was “unrepairable” and sent me a refurbished phone as a replacement. To make matters worse, the refurb phone is older that the one I sent in!

  • tendoboy1984

    T-Mobile has had Xperia phones before. Too bad they aren’t sold on the other three carriers. Sony makes great products, but they’re missing a huge opportunity by not focusing on the US market.
    Looks like my first Android phone will be either Samsung, HTC, or LG. I may consider Motorola if they make more phones like the Moto X that aren’t carrier exclusive.

  • tendoboy1984

    Good thing LG and HTC aren’t pulling out of the US market. Imagine if Sony decided to keep the PlayStation brand as Japan exclusive.

    • Fel Pe

      They’d go broke lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

    Looks like I’ll be importing my Z Ultra 2 next year.

  • http://www.animenews.biz Humberto Saabedra

    There’s a reason Sony sells phones unlocked and direct with full US band support. I don’t blame them for not wanting to bother dealing with US carriers. AT&T and Verizon half-ass marketing if it isn’t Apple, HTC or Samsung and that’s backed up by years of marketing from both carriers. The Z1 on T-Mobile might even be the last carrier-branded Sony device that it’ll bother with marketing here, otherwise I don’t see Sony replacing Samsung or HTC in the US.

  • Delmar

    Terrible news considering how good the xperia z was imo

  • simon t

    Wow, I feel sorry for the Americans, thats really bad news. Sony are my favourite brand of mobile phone.

  • disqus_7zCKYC2BSD

    They would sell if they threw some advertisement dollars to promote their products(phones) besides the playstation.