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Sony predicts big things from Xperia Z

First shot fired in opening smartphone battle of 2013

Gulf News

Sony is banking on its new flagship phone — the Xperia Z — to grab more market share and fire the first shot in the smartphone competition ahead of others in 2013.

The Japanese giant has finally joined the quad-core processor battlefield and Xperia Z is the first big Android phone launch of this year.

Taiwanese vendor HTC will also be rolling out its flagship device on Tuesday in London ahead of the Samsung Galaxy S4, which is likely in May.

“This is the year for Sony,” Rudiger Odenbach, vice-president at Sony Mobile Communications Middle East and Africa, told Gulf News. “In a bid to penetrate the market more, we are investing more in our marketing budget. We are not concentrating on volumes right now but we want to be positioned in the premium category with added features.”

The five-inch full HD (1920x1080) device is powered by a 1.5Ghz processor and 2GB of RAM. It has a 13-megapixel rear camera and uses mobile Bravia Engine 2 technology.

The device packs a pixel per inch (PPI) of 443, leaving the other smartphones way behind. The iPhone 5 has 326 ppi while Nokia’s Lumia 920 has 332 ppi, the same as BlackBerry’s Z10. Samsung’s Galaxy S3 has a pixel density of 306 ppi. It is dust and water resistant and with a durable glass display — both in the front and in the back.

“Everyone is struggling, except Samsung,” Annette Zimmermann, principal analyst at Gartner Deutschland GmbH, told Gulf News. “All other vendors were not able to differentiate from the crowd.”

She said Sony really needs to put in a lot of effort to promote their brand and the content that comes with the devices to create loyal customers. Sony is well known and it is very strange that they are not able to “accomplish a positive or reassuring brand”. They have the content like music, games and video, but they need to create an ecosystem to sustain their future in the mobile business. They need to push more.

According to Odenbach, Sony has rolled out its entertainment services in certain parts of the world and it will come to this region but will take some time. There is a clear roll-out plan.