When you can’t beat them, join them. Fun fact, despite the whole Galaxy S7 debacle which had Samsung recall the entire lineup, the South Korean giant still reported giant profits for Q4 2016. The reason? Their components division which has the likes of Apple and others buying chipsets, RAM, and flash memory by the truckload.
For Samsung, it’s a win-win. Compete with Apple in the phone space but also sell them to as well. Profits roll in either way. Now Sony is finding itself in a similar situation.
Just a quick heads up – due to some unforeseen issues, the previously released version of Android 7.0 Nougat for the Xperia Z4, Z3+, and Z4 Tablet was pulled as Sony worked out the kinks. Now Sony Mobile is once again releasing Nougat for the mentioned devices under build 32.3.A.0.372. So if you have one of these devices, be sure to fire it up and check for any available system updates. As always, it tends to take Sony a bit of time to push these updates in every country so if you haven’t seen it yet, keep checking.
Nearly a month ago, a rumor spread that come MWC 2017, Sony Mobile would be looking to introduce a handful of new phones, including a flagship model with a 4K display. Now this ran contrary to previous leaks which pointed towards two to three mid-tier devices launching at MWC with flagship models being reserved till likely summer or fall.
Frankly launching five different phones at one event made little sense, seeing how much Sony struggles with inventory and marketing. Now, Elyse Betters from Pocket-lint is putting a lid on previous rumors and reporting that we in fact won’t be getting new flagship models until IFA, which is what the birdies I’ve spoken with indicated as well.
Just a follow up on the will Sony SmartWatch 3 get Android Wear 2.0 or will it not saga. Sony has officially weighed in on the subject and it’s the latter of the two situations. Though Sony doesn’t specify why, it’s likely due to the old hardware on SmartWatch 3 which debuted all the way back in 2014.
Android Wear 2.0 not coming to Sony SmartWatch 3 technically isn’t news in of itself. We’ve known for some time that Sony’s smartwatch, which came to market in 2014, was one of the older Android Wear devices and it likely wouldn’t meet the requirements set by Google.
However last month, a user on XDA forums claimed during an email exchange with Sony, the SmartWatch 3 makers confirmed that Android Wear 2.0 would in fact be coming to the now three year old watch.
The title pretty much says it all. Patrick Seitz from Investors:
Apple accounted for 18% of smartphone unit sales in the fourth quarter, but it captured a whopping 92% of industry profits, Canaccord Genuity reported Tuesday.
Apple has a long history of taking the vast majority of smartphone industry profits. In some quarters, it accounts for more than 100% of smartphone profits because other vendors lost money, according to Canaccord Genuity.
Among six major vendors surveyed, four were profitable in smartphone sales in Q4, Canaccord analyst Michael Walkley said in the report. They were Apple, BlackBerry, Samsung and Sony.
So where does that put Samsung and Sony?
Just a quick heads up: Sony Mobile has now released Android 7.0 Nougat for the Xperia X Performance in Canada, joining the
- Xperia XZ
- Xperia X Compact
- Xperia XA Ultra
- Xperia XA
- Xperia X
- Xperia Z5
- Xperia Z5 Compact
- Xperia Z5 Premium
- Xperia Z4 Tablet
- Xperia Z3+
Despite the hype today around Android Wear 2 finally launching after facing delay after delay, the truth is that Google’s vision of wearables, or lack thereof, is in free fall. Most original partners have all but abandoned ship, and with little attention from Google to truly push the platform forward, marketshare is quickly eroding.
For the average smartphone user, their phone can either shoot at 120fp or 240fps, depending on the video resolution, and that tends to be enough. For Sony, which is likely the sensor maker for your phone, especially if you own an iPhone, that’s simply not enough. As Micah Singleton writes for The Verge, Sony’s latest camera sensor can shoot
1080p slow-motion video at a blistering 1,000 frames per second. The new 3-layer CMOS sensor — an industry first — can capture slow motion video about eight times faster than its competition with minimal focal pane distortion
and that’s not all.
We’ve heard Sony speak out about how they want to beat all other OEMs when it comes to Android OS releases and with Android 7.1.1 Nougat, they did just that. In fact, the only company to release that build of Android before Sony was Google, which almost comes as a given. Now the Xperia makers have achieved another milestone – beating Google to the release of the Android February security patch. Here is Kris Carlon from Android Authority:
(note that you can click on all charts for a much higher resolution version)
It’s been a rather tumultuous week for Sony with news coming out that Sony Pictures would be responsible for a nearly $1 billion writedown which you can see in the above profits chart. Though Sony begs to differ, I think Sony Pictures is either quietly being put up for sale or that was the result of a sale falling through which meant Sony had to balance the division out but I’ll leave that for another piece. I’ve already broken down the earnings report for two divisions:
So where does that put Sony as a whole for Q3 FY16? Profitable, but not by a lot. Jon Russell writes this for TechCrunch:
A bit of news from our friends at XperiaBlog. As always with mods like this, proceed with caution and make sure the phone you’re installing the OS on isn’t your primary. Also, is anybody surprised that CyanogenMod imploded? Not sure how much appetite there is for forked versions of Android like this so I wouldn’t be surprised if we eventually see LineageOS go the way same. But let’s talk details.
Fitbit CEO James Park:
We are confident this performance is not reflective of the value of our brand, market-leading platform, and company’s long-term potential. While we have experienced softer-than-expected holiday demand for trackers in our most mature markets, especially during Black Friday, we have continued to grow rapidly in select markets like EMEA, where revenue grew 58 percent during the fourth quarter.
Are they actually confident? Of course as CEO of the company, Park will cherrypick positive information about the company but as today’s financial call noted, things are going anything but rosy for them. Matt Brian from Engadget reports about the financial challenges the wearable maker faces:
Android Wear went from the next great frontier for Google, with OEM partners lined up to conquer the wearable market, to a platform that only a handful of partners still support. In fact, at CES 2017, it was almost impossible to find Android Wear devices, including at the Sony booth where no SmartWatch units were on display. The platform itself has seen numerous setbacks with little enthusiasm from the public to the long-delayed Android Wear 2.0 which was to arrive in Fall 2016.
With the new OS set to arrive in early February, the big question for Sony fans is if SmartWatch 3 will receive it. As it turns out, the answer is a bit complicated.