We’ve always complained about Sony’s ambitions for the US market, or lack thereof. While the company has fared much better in Europe, Sony’s mobile efforts have seen little results with small deals here and there between carriers. Sony most recently announced a $2.1 billion net loss for FY 2014, due to slowing demand for their mobile division which was supposed to be one of the saving graces for the company and part of the new vision for Sony. While growing competition from mid-range Chinese smartphones is largely to blame for the huge loss which was previously estimated at $500 million, a lack of entry in the US market has also hurt Sony. All of this might change on October 9th.
Last week Sony revealed that the mobile division has been not been selling smartphones in the volumes that it expected and inadvertently revealed that they bet on the wrong strategy. The corporation as a whole is looking at a net loss of $2.1 billion for the financial year ending 2014 (end March ’15).
More than a few of us are surprised. The rising popularity of Xperia devices and their spread to other markets gave an impression that Xperias were gaining broad market approval.
Unfortunately, the mobile division has made some poor choices and even worse, it threatens the stability of the overall corporation, being an important third of Sony’s main income.
How did this happen and where is Sony Corp. heading?
Yesterday it was revealed that due to Sony Mobile’s inability to sell mid-range smartphones in significant quantities, the company will likely be posting a $2.1 billion net loss for FY 2014. Unfortunately for Sony fans, and more so Sony employees, the bad news does not end there. Previously, Sony was forecasting for a ¥50 billion loss but with the forecast now expanding to ¥230 billion for the fiscal year, Sony once again has to look internally to help save money and that means a reduction in its staff to the tune of 15% for the mobile division.
While China is big on the minds of many companies, thanks to their booming middle class, it should not be forgotten that India is also enjoying a rise in wealth. With a growing population that’s enjoying an increase in purchasing power, India is also an important market for manufacturers looking to expand their branch and reach. Like China, India is the target of many companies’ mid-range products that offer plenty of features without the premium price of flagship units. For its part, Sony has announced that the Xperia E3 and Xperia E3 Dual will be headed to India.
After the jump we talk price and the Xperia Z3.
The Sony Xperia T2 Ultra, one of the largest
smartphones phablets to ever grace the mobile world with its 6-inch 720p display, is about to get a boost on the software side. Specifically, Sony is releasing Android 4.4.3 KitKat for the Xperia T2 Ultra (D5303, D5306) which initially shipped with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The update (build 19.1.1.A.0.165) is good for the Sony Xperia T2 Ultra (D5303, D5306) and can be downloaded using a Mac or Windows machine or wirelessly. To look for your build number, simply navigate to:
Settings > About phone > Build number / version
Those looking to download the update over the air should go to:
Settings > About phone > Software updates > System updates
So what can you expect from Android 4.4.3 KitKat on the Sony Xperia T2 Ultra? We’ve got the details after the jump.
Poor Sony. I mean this from a emotional standpoint for a company that continues to endure loss year after year, which surely takes a toll on employees and moral. With an expected $2.1 billion net loss for FY 2014, I of course mean this in a financial aspect as well. Despite Sony announcing a surprise $261 million Q1 2014 profit, the company is expecting to lose $2.1 billion for the year, up from $500 million. So how does a company lose an additional $1.7 billion in one year? In short, smartphones. Despite what appeared to be a transitional period for Sony and a gained momentum in mobile, the division Sony has been most bullish about will drag down the company considerably as they struggle to move units, especially in the mid-range market.
In an effort to help curb the need to fiddle around with a cord to charge your phone, Sony will soon offer Qi wireless charging on the Xperia Z3. Specifically, the Sony WCR14 wireless charging cover is case for the Sony Xperia Z3 with a wireless charging mechanism built in. Available in black or white (pictured after the jump), the WCR14 can then be placed on the provided charging pad for wireless charging. Luckily the WCR14 also offers the ability for your phone to sit in landscape mode, making it easy for you to consume content while charging.
Just yesterday, we gave you the scoop on Sony’s newest tablet, the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact with a 8-inch 1080p display. Words of course don’t always convey all a product has to offer. To that end, Sony has put together a new preview video which can be seen above that gives you an overview of what you can expect with this ultra light tablet launches.
Tablets are all the rave these days. Ask Apple and they’ll proudly reveal that iPad is their fastest selling product in history. Digging a bit further into what has fueled growth for iPad will reveal when Apple introduced the iPad mini that offers a 7.9-inch display. Not only is the iPad mini lighter and easier to use with one hand, but it also carries a lower price tag than the iPad (now iPad Air), which helps break down barriers. Enter the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. Forget for a minute how horrible the name is and instead focus on what Sony calls the “world’s slimmest at 6.4mm and lightest (270g or 0.6lbs) compact tablet” has to offer.
We reveal all there is to know about the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact after the jump.
While the Sony Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact might be the bright stars in from IFA, Sony knows that not all consumers need that much power. In fact, chances are that most of us don’t need all the firepower in our current phones. In order to cater to those with something a bit more budget friendly in mind, Sony has announced the Xperia E3. According to Sony, the Xperia E3 features a “flagship design” with plenty to like and they’re quite right. Besides a nice sleek look which can be seen above, the Sony Xperia E3 also offers 4G LTE connectivity that sometimes budget phones skimp on.
More on the Sony Xperia E3 after the jump.
Along side the SmartWatch 3, Sony has also announced the SmartBand Talk. Featuring a 1.4-inch e-paper display (much like the Pebble), the Sony SmartBand Talk incorporates everything from the Sony SmartBand with a new twist. Thanks the e-paper display, the SmartBand Talk is capable of keeping up with you for up to three days. Sony has also put that display to good use which besides your activities, displays notifications (shown after the jump) from apps like Facebook and Twitter. Powering all of this is an ARM Cortex-M4 32-bit processor 2MB of flash memory that’s really meant for its own internal functions. Taking a cue from Sony’s other products, the SmartBand Talk is P68 waterproof and dustproof, making it a perfect companion during your most rigorous activities.
Connecting the Sony SmartBand Talk is also an easy affair thanks to NFC and Bluetooth. All of this, and especially the display technology already make the SmartBand Talk a unique product but that’s not what’s truly special about this device. More on that after the jump.
Leaked prior to IFA, the Sony QX1 and QX30 have officially been unveiled. As we’d previously reported, the QX30 will be compatible iOS and Android devices and offer 30x optical zoom. The QX1 on the other hand allows you to connect any E-mount lens that’s typically found on NEX cameras to your mobile device of choice while utilizing the QX1′s 20.1-megapixel APS-C sensor. More details after the jump.
Reaffirming their seriousness on wearables, Sony today announced the SmartWatch 3. Technically the 5th iteration to come from Sony, the SmartWatch 3 is the first of its kind from Sony that ditches the company’s own custom software in favor of Android Wear, the latest from Google which was announced over the summer. As you’d expect, the SmartWatch 3 can sync notifications from a compatible Android device. Thanks to the onboard 4GB memory, the Sony SmartWatch 3 can also store and playback music via Bluetooth without any tethering.
More details about the Sony SmartWatch 3, after the jump.
At Sony’s IFA 2014 event, the new line of Xperia smartphones and tablets, the Z3 line, was officially revealed. Along with the usual upgrades and refinements, Sony announced the Z3, Z3 Compact, and Z3 Tablet would be the first Sony Mobile devices to feature the ability to use PlayStation 4 Remote Play streaming.
During a post IFA keynote Q&A, Sony briefly mentioned that Xperia Z3 will come to the US this fall via T-Mobile. We’re looking into this and will update the post accordingly. Previously it was believed that the Xperia Z3 would come to the US exclusively on Sprint.
T-Mobile has confirmed that Sony’s Xperia Z3 will be coming to their lineup of phones this fall. More details after the jump.
In just short few hours, Sony’s IFA keynote will kickoff where it’s expected that the Sony Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3 Compact (pictured above), and Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact among other devices will be unveiled. Only an hour ago did Sony accidentally reveal the QX1 E-mount attachable smartphone lens price and release date by accidentally allowing the product to appear on their online portal. Now, thanks to another slip from Sony UK’s website description that appeared in search engines, we’ve been able to learn a bit more about the three devices and their industry leading water and dust resistant.
Later today, Sony should be unveiling the QX30 and QX1. While the former is more in line with previous QX models aside from an improved 30x optical zoom, the latter is an entirely different beast. Unlike the QX30, the QX1 is a 20.1-megapixel attachable E-mount smartphone lens with sensor adaptor so to speak, which allows you to connect any E-mount lens to your favorite iOS and Android smartphone/tablet. Thanks to Sony’s website, we’ve now been able to learn a little more.