Sony, which launched its latest flagship Sony Xperia Z3 in India on Thursday, wants to have 30 new smartphone models by the end of the year. The company has launched the Xperia Z3 at Rs 51,990 and the Compact version of the same at Rs 44,990.
“With Xperia Z3, we are not just targeting existing Xperia Z series users, but also users of other smartphone brands, who want to upgrade to one of the most powerful and greatest smartphones till date from Sony,” Kenichiro Hibi, Managing Director, Sony India told IndianExpress.com. “It is becoming quite normal for two flagship models to be launched in the same year to offer an upgrade option for other smartphone brand”.
With the Z3, Hibi said, Sony was combining all of its best technologies in digital imaging, video, audio and entertainment (gaming) into one device, “all packaged in our signature sleek and aesthetic design”. The company is also offering a smaller, cheaper version of the flagship, the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. “The Compact packs all the path-breaking features and uncompromised performance of Xperia Z3 in an attractive compact size. The two smartphones cater to the segment of people who are technology enthusiasts and want to own the very latest and best products,” Hibi added.
The Z3 will stand out for its water and dust proof body as well as ability to shoot 4K video and stretch the battery life well over a day. The Z3 Compact has a smaller 4.6-inch screen size, but almost all the other features of the larger version.
On the changed market situation in India, where newer players with budget phones are raking in the volumes, Hibi said: “The Indian smartphone market offers potential for all players to grow. There will always be a market for lesser priced or discounted products and brands, as there will be for more premium brands that offer the best quality.” He said Sony had 30 smartphones models planned for launch this year, including variants and are focusing on the entire spectrum from sub Rs 10,000 segment, to high-end premium smartphones.
Incidentally, Xperia is the fastest growing product category for Sony India and is expected to contribute over 40% of total business in FY14. “In order to drive this growth, we have allocated Rs. 350 crore of our total marketing budget towards Xperia and have further expanded our distribution network to a solid 9,500 touch-points including 250 Exclusive Xperia Stores in FY14,” Hibi added.
Asked if expensive flagship smartphones were becomng niche in India, he said there is still a significant market of buyers who seek the latest and best quality phones, featuring the newest technology and the most innovative design. “Flagship devices drive technology and design leadership and are value drivers unlike budget devices, which are volume drivers,” he explained. Hibi said every segment has its defined audience catering to their specific needs. “Sony has seen strong sales in the mid-segment priced between Rs. 15,000 – Rs. 30,000 and we foresee continued strong growth in this segment going forward,” he said.