Sony Xperia XZ is the most popular Android flagship in second half of 2016?

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Many people wondered what the demise of Samsung and their Galaxy Note 7 fiasco would mean for the greater mobile market and more specifically Android. Some had predicted that it might be the newly launched Google Pixel that would sweep up users left behind or Apple with iPhone 7 (something that Tim Cook himself denied). Well according to a new study by Apteligent Data, it was actually Sony and the Xperia XZ that benefited the most.

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As you can see from the graph above, as the Galaxy Note 7 began to be recalled and sales nose dived, it was the Xperia XZ that saw a big uptick in sales during the second half of 2016. That rise seems even more dramatic if we take the Note 7 out of the equation all together.

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While this sounds good for Sony and I’m not arguing it’s not, the overall effects of it are still unknown. Part of the problem with the above graphs is that they lack any form of quantity, think of them as Jeff Bezos charts, where things just go up. I’ve argued many times that the following two quarters for Sony Mobile will likely determine their 2018 plans and Samsung’s troubles may help keep the mobile division chugging for a bit longer.

Sony’s 2017 sales figures will determine if this particular situation was just an outlier with Xperia sales reverting back to their decline or if there was truly a shift in the market with consumers moving onto other brands like Sony. After all, it’s not like there won’t be a Galaxy 8 Note or whatever Samsung will call it in 2017 which could have this entire trend revert back towards Samsung being the dominating player.

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It’s also worth pointing out that this is all really just a blip. As you can see from the graph above, Samsung continues to dominate the Android space with Sony, HTC, and LG failing to crack the top 10 list for 2016. It’s also unfortunate that Sony was given this opportunity to capitalize on the Galaxy Note 7 and didn’t really do much about it. Any uptick we’re seeing in sales for Sony, although it’s welcome, has little to do with Sony kicking marketing and promotions into overdrive and more to do with the Xperia XZ offering the next best solution and consumers choosing it on their own.

If it appears that I’m being pessimistic on the outcome, it’s because I still see this as a wasted opportunity for Sony. As I wrote in October:

 With Samsung now out of the picture and without a flagship phone till next year, where the hell is Sony Mobile and their marketing? I’ve never been a fan of Samsung’s anti-iPhone tactics and in fact, I never favor marketing that needs to drag a competitor down or ‘poke fun at them’ in order to make gains or make themselves look good. For Samsung, it’s a matter of karma and clearly it’s a bitch.

So when I say where is Sony’s marketing, I don’t mean marketing at the expense of Samsung and mean marketing in the sense that there is a clear hole in the Android ecosystem – a vacuum that needs to be filled. While names like LG, HTC, and hell Pixel might mean something to you and I, for the mass majority of consumers, they don’t mean as much. A name that does however invoke some kind of emotion, trust, and/or recognition is Sony.

What better time for Sony to step up and announce to the world the Xperia XZ and tout its waterproof design, or high-end camera? What better time to show off the Xperia XA Ultra, a phablet phone with a price much lower than what the Note 7 was? Neither of those phones were designed to compete directly with the Note 7 but that’s ok. I highly doubt consumers wanted everything Samsung offered and so much of what the Note 7 had with its retina eye scanner to unlock the device was just a gimmick. Remember that previously Samsung tried to control the pause/play feature with similar technology. 

That sentiment still stands. Do you think this uptick in sales can actually be attributed to something Sony is doing or is it merely the right product at the right time?

[Via Apeteligent]

  • johala02

    I think Xperia XZ is a nice device, Thats why I bought one. But I think it had some minor flaws, why only 3 GB when most other flagship got 4 GB ram? Camera good on paper but little slow etc..
    Little smaller bezels would be great to.
    If Sony make their next flagship device a real beast with top specs I think it will be able to take on the next iPhone Pixel and Samsung flagships in a realy serious way. And it will be a future for Sony in the mobile market. And please let the customers in the US market have a fingerprint reader enabled.

  • Marko Požarnik

    I don’t know what people have with these bezels … For me even Z5P has to thin bezels because if I hold it horizontally i always press something unintentionally … They could add 1 GB additional RAM, but I don’t think it is really needed. I more miss the option to buy a 64, 128 or even 256 GB version … an expandable phone is great, but built-in memory is built-in memory, it works better, many apps can’t use sd card ram like they should …. and it would offer some additional money to sony, because they could sell 128 GB for twice or even more as much as sd cards and I would sure buy it. XZ is really a great and beautiful device and it was released in the right time – when samsung failed. We shall see what will happen next :)

  • johala02

    Even if the 1 GB extra ram is not needed, I think just for marketing purpose 4GB would be better. Every review or articles in tech sites point out that XZ “only” got 3 GB ram compared to the other devices.
    And I think it have hurt the sale of Xperia XZ.

    Yes I agree that maybe they could increase the internal memory. The Sony pre-installled apps take up a lot of space to. You can disable them but not fully uninstall them. So the base model should come with 64 GB even if they keep the micro SD card expansion.

  • Patrick Wilson Vetsch

    Xperia XZ is really a great phone. But Sony has wasted this opportunity. What should of happened was heavy marketing. Followed by black Friday deals, so that more people get this phone into their hands and in turn show it of. I got myself one back in October and everyone always is like “Bro that’s a cool phone” and then are shocked that is a Sony. More people need to be exposed to the Xperia flagship phones. I still think the Z5 s are the most beautiful phones ever created.

  • Marko Požarnik

    I didn’t mean to remove sd support … but it could have more memory internal and for aditional money more internal memory … I would prefer paying 3-times more for additional internal 96GB, for example, than for 128GB SD Card …

    I agree with you about marketing and 3/4 GB RAM.

  • Yep

  • The only real winner in this is actually samsung and samsung users. Galaxy 8 is shaping up to be a revolutionary device, Mi Mix type of revolutionary, but something unstained by the fact that it’s made by a Chinese company and thus “purchasable”. I think it will dominate the 1st half of 2017 sales, until iP7s/8 comes along and Note 8 released in the Q3.

    Oh yes, Apteligent Data who??! 😉

  • johala02

    Saw some rumours that the new Galaxy S8 only will be sold with curved screens. I am not a fan of curved displays, so I think its a market for other brands without it.

  • Perhaps, but most people on the net would say they don’t like curved TVs, yet samsungs keeps making them and sells more of them than any other company in the business. So like it not, the future is curved, until it will start to flex and bend 😉 And we all know what happens to things(aka companies) that don’t bend ;))

  • johala02

    LG say curved TV.s are not so popular after all:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/theres-little-evidence-of-demand-for-curved-tvs-says-lg/news-story/e73cd6060adb0d9108b03a3afecbaada

    Philips a known TV brand in Europe do curved TV.s to, but have stopp selling them here in Sweden, customers just bought flat TV insted of those with curved screens. So maybe its more like a marketing hype than real demands?

    Anyway my point was if Sony can sell their next flagship cheaper than the next Samsung Galaxy S8 by around $150 with a flat screen but with top specs I think its a opportunity.

    Curved displays might be popular in the future at some point, but I dont realy see any advantage for it yet other than it looks cool.