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Sony eyes 50% growth in MEA sales

Aims to become number three smartphone manufacturer this year

Gulf News

Dubai: Sony expects its mobile phone sales to grow by 50 per cent this year compared to 30 per cent in the Middle East and Africa region in 2013, a top official said.

“Our aim is to become number three smartphone manufacturer this year and attain double digit market share,” said Rudiger Odenbach, vice-president of customer unit at Sony Mobile Communications Middle East and Africa.

Sony has around three per cent market share in the smartphone segment in the region.

“Sony has not pushed really hard into the market and they are doing a slowed buildup. Sony is using high-end materials for its premium phones and they really cannot compete with rivals. They haven’t really catered to the $100 price band which is very huge in the emerging markets,” said Hamza Saleem, senior telecom analyst at research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

He said Sony is only targeting high-end to mid-tier phones but it has a difference when compared to other Android devices. They have exclusivity but it costs money.

Quoting a report, he said that 37 per cent of people moving from non-smartphones to smartphones are moving to Samsung. They are getting to Samsung because of its marketing activities.

Sony had said earlier that 2013 will be a breakthrough year for its mobile business with its Xperia range tablets and mobile phones.

“We have done it and made 2013 as a breakthrough year.” Odenbach said.

On why Sony is not growing as compared to other Chinese brands, he said other brands may gain for a short term but Sony’s strategy is for long term and everything is going according to our plan.

He said Sony is the only manufacturer to launch a premium smartphone every six months and “we will continue to do so. Out motto is to be bigger, better and bolder.”

“Sony will be rolling out its entertainment contents like music and movies to key operator-led countries like Turkey and South Africa this year,” he said.

On when it will be available in the Gulf, Odenbach said it is difficult to say and we have our own roadmap.