You may’be heard that the other day Sony announced an everything but bright outlook for its mobile phone business. Put into numbers, the Japanese company is foreseeing $1.2 billion loss, all while the entire smartphone market is booming; so what gives?
Sony, a premium product?
Sony has a problem explaining to the users its high prices. The Japanese company may stand for premium quality in other markets, but in the smartphone business, that’s not the case. Simply put, other companies are making better devices.
Take the newly announced Xperia Z3 as an example. Aside from a different design and few minor changes, it’s practically the Xperia Z2 under the hood. It has no metal body, no Quad HD display (like LG G3 does), and doesn’t rock the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chip. We keep pondering why Sony had to launch that phone in the first place.
Brand itself won’t get you a long way
Samsung has already realized this and has decided to add some metal to its phones (with the Galaxy Alpha). Sony should follow suit.
The Japanese company includes its own software with every phone and tablet it sells, but that doesn’t make for a huge difference in the eyes of customers.
Perhaps Sony could preload some of its movies with every device it offers, or they could preload some really useful software, like premium Evernote subscription. Samsung is already doing this; but I think there’s one thing they could do to make their products really stand out in the market.
Offer free keyboard cases / covers with flagship phones and tablets
You may’ve seen that Typo keyboard for the iPhone 5. Imagine something like that for your Android device. I would get one the second it was available for purchase.
Now imagine a great phone that comes with such keyboard case free of charge. Or tablet for that matter.
Said keyboard case is selling for $100 but I doubt it costs more than $20 to make. That additional $20 could make for all the difference in the world.
Smartphone margins, while shrinking, are still high. And this is where Sony’s brand could kick in – they would be able to keep their high margins, minus the cost of the case, while offering a really unique product.
Not just Sony
This isn’t something Sony could do, only. Pretty much every handset maker could benefit from this. Despite most users prefering all-touchscreen devices these days, there are still millions of people craving for a physical QWERTY keyboard. And as far as we can see from Typo, these users are willing to pay a hefty premium for the benefit.