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Understanding Sony's message

Two 4K televisions, one smartphone launched at pre-CES press conference

Image Credit: REUTERS
Kazuo Hirai, president and CEO of Sony Corporation, speaks next to the image of a Sony Xperia Z smart phone during a Sony news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas January 7, 2013.
Gulf News

Las Vegas: There was no problem understanding Sony’s message at its pre-CES (Consumer Electronics Show) press conference on Monday night, provided you knew what all the acronyms stood for.

Kuni Suzuki, president and CEO of Sony Mobile Communications, threw out every hot technology catchphrase in an effort to show consumers the company is still able to compete with its South Korean and Japanese competitors.

There was NFC, which stands of Near Field Communications, a type of wireless communication that allows two device to exchange data by touching them together.

There was HD (high definition) and 3D, last year’s technology by any standard, but still viable.

The winner, though, for the hottest new tech jargon of 2013 is “4K”, and Sony rolled that phrase out for every new television, projector and camera that it could. The jury is still out on the demand for 4K, which is a simple way of saying “four times the number of pixels as standard high-definition screens”, but Sony is betting it will help is sell large screens.

Suzuki announced two at the show, one with a 55-inch screen and the other with a 65-inch screen. An 84-inch model had been previously announced. Both of the new models are expected to be available around March 15.

The company also previewed a prototype 56-inch OLED screen, the world’s largest. OLED technology is expected to allow the company to make screens even bigger and lighter.

But high-resolution screens are just one half of the 4K trend. The other is 4K media, which Sony media is expected to start rolling out later this year. The company said it plans to take much of its existing catalogue of movies and convert them into a 4K format. According to Spyros Gousetis, director of marketing for Sony’s customer unit in the Middle East and Africa, the 4K media service will likely be launched in 10 major countries, starting with the US and including Japan and Australia. There is no date yet for when the 4K service might be available elsewhere.


Smart phone:

The big product of the night for Sony was the launch of its Xperia Z and ZL smartphones, which Suzuki has attempted to label a super-phones. Again, the tech specs featured heavily in the companies promotions.

Izzat Kittaneh, director of business management and pricing for consumers units in the Middle East and Africa, said that showing consumer the Xperia Z has all the latest technology was the highest priority for Sony.

The devices will have a 13-megapixel camera, a quad-core processor (a Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chip), and a 5-inch, full HD screen. The phone will also come with a number of NFC features, which Sony is billing as its “One Touch” feature.

The phone will be rolled out globally starting in the first quarter of 2013.

Suzuki said the new technology “will make a landmark year for Sony”.