Sony Xperia ZL Gets Price Drop: Good Business or Troubling Sign?

Sony Xperia ZL Beach

If you’ve been thinking about getting the Sony Xperia ZL (not to be mistaken with the waterproof Xperia Z), then you’re in luck. On the official Sony website, the company has just price dropped the Android smartphones to $629.99, down from $759.99. If the price still seems high, that’s because till we hear otherwise, Cincinnati Bell will be the exclusive US carrier that will offer the phone for $250 with a two year contracts. The $629.99 instead nabs you unlocked model, compatible with AT&T 2G/3G, T-Mobile 2G/3G, Rogers, and Fido. While a win for consumers, it begs the question, why did the Xperia ZL get a price drop after only a month on store shelves?

Regular readers will know of my stance on smartphones and carrier support in the US. I believe that, without proper carrier support from the big four telecom companies (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile), a phone has little chance of being successful. While the rest of the world is used to paying full price for a phone, in the US, we are accustomed to carrier subsidies that lock us in for two years and in return, dramatically drop a phone’s price. Sony, in the past, has had trouble working with carriers and the Xperia ZL seems to be no different. While having Cincinnati Bell is better than nothing, chances are that a majority of you have never heard of the carrier.

Mix that with the Xperia ZL only being available as an unlocked phone at Sony stores and online retailers like Amazon and Newegg, it comes as little surprise to learn that a price drop, only a month into the device’s retail life, may have been prompted due to poor sales. Of course, I have no way of confirming this but chances are, you know of no one around you who owns a Sony smartphone, let alone the Xperia ZL. Not helping matters is the low availability of the phone which corners its purchasability to the tech enthusiasts and not the casual public that determines a device’s success or failure. Which begs the question,

Discuss:

With the Sony Xperia ZL already getting a price drop, is this a preemptive move and a good business decision by Sony or is this a sign that the Xperia ZL might be doing poorly in sales?

[Sony]

  • Andy T.

    And why no price match honored for those who bought the phone at the higher price a few days over a month? Nice trick Sony waiting with the price drop so early adopters would be left behind. Sony has the worst customer service in the world.

  • Mark

    Agreed, I bought mine full price, you would think they could reward us with free accessories or something. But I truly think it’s poor sales, I live in a city of over a million people and never seen the ZL. While I have seen sprinkles of other Sony phones, it’s amazing how little of them are out there. I had to go the AT&T store to get my LTE working on my ZL and the sales associate who was a techie and very familiar with all new smart phones has never seen one! He loved it of course but had no idea it existed. While I love the fact I have something unique and beautiful, it does worry me that Sony may abandon the US market for phones. I too feel jipped by the price cut but I truly feel it’s bad sales.

  • http://twitter.com/DannyMiamiBlade Danny M

    I want to buy this phone but it is too expensive. Newegg has it at $590 and I currently have the xperia TL and was wondering if i should sell it and use that money to help me buy the Xperia ZL.

  • http://www.about.me/sohrabosati Sohrab O.

    What is this phone worth to you? And would you rather straight up buy it or do a 2 year contract?

  • http://www.about.me/sohrabosati Sohrab O.

    Yea, I live in LA myself and talk with a lot of people in the tech industry. Equally, for a great many people out here, money is not the first concern and I’ve yet to see any Sony smartphone.

  • http://twitter.com/DannyMiamiBlade Danny M

    I ended up buying it for $525 New. Good deal. If they had it on a carrier I would do a 2 year contract, but from what ive read they are not going to. My xperia TL is good but its been having problems lately and after 7 months its already 1850 mAh battery life has decreased a lot. I also cannot put custom firmware on it, but I will be able to on the Xperia ZL. Sony phones are great I just wish they could be a bigger competitor instead of Apple and Samsung.

  • http://www.about.me/sohrabosati Sohrab O.

    I’m guessing your in the US correct? If so, yea, unfortunately carrier support is nearly none existent here and without that, Sony can’t hope to compete with Apple and Samsung

  • http://twitter.com/DannyMiamiBlade Danny M

    Correct, I don’t understand why Sony doesn’t try enough for the U.S market even though they are relevant in all the other markets like in Europe and Asia. Apple is just hype and Samsung phones are not that good as they make it seem. Its full of plastic, and their AMOLED screens arent that good. Sony is a superior product. They could easily capture this market aswell