back to article Sony confesses: we can't beat iPhone... yet

Sony has conceded that its Xperia smartphone range lacks a clear iPhone 5 beater. But it promises a contender will be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2013. "We will create in the near future a flagship Sony model that can compete with Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy S III," said Dennis Van Schie …


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  1. David Paul Morgan

    how is the T not 'better'?

    it has the right O/S with the latest version coming soon, it has a microSD slot, it's a Walkman, plugs straight into the TV, has a gorgeous screen and a super camera - and does not look like either a Samsung or an Apple product. Oh and has rfid, one of the latest dual-core processors and is LTE/4G.

    But, can we please Please PLEASE have more dual-sim handsets..?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: how is the T not 'better'?

      Being a Walkman is a plus now is it? What does a Walkman do better than an iPod? Honestly how many people want to physically plug their phone into their TV on a regular basis? (Why are Sony involved with Miracast if this is a satisfactory solution?)

      1. Bodhi

        Re: how is the T not 'better'?

        The Walkman player

        - Has a much nicer interface than the iPod on the iPhone

        - handles more formats than the iPod, with FLAC especially being a big plus

        - handles ID3 tags a bit better

        - has Visualisations and EQ presents (including Mega Bass!)

        - has much better sound quality than the dull iPod

        I use both daily, and trust me, the iPod isn't in the same league as the Walkman player, in fact its doubtful they are even playing the same sport.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: how is the T not 'better'?

          1) Subjective

          2) irrelevant for most users. FLAC is a pretty specialist requirement and is easy to transcode to ALC.

          3) trivial

          4) EQ presets are present on the iPod and iPhone. Visualisations are a good way of slurping battery power and add little to the listening experience.

          5) Is a function of the device, not the app. Has anyone done a blind A B comparison between the iPhone and the Xperia for sound quality?

      2. Chet Mannly

        Re: how is the T not 'better'?

        "What does a Walkman do better than an iPod?"

        No iTunes for one thing!! I also prefer the sound quality and interface from most Walkman branded phones (though I haven't heard this particular phone).

        "Honestly how many people want to physically plug their phone into their TV on a regular basis?"

        When travelling, lots. Instead of watching rubbish hotel cable or carrying a laptop I can travel light and just carry my SGSII and a HDMI cable.

        Its also awesome for powerpoint presentations, either stand alone, or as a completely functional emergency device should a laptop die or something. Again, throw in a single cable and you have a fully functional presentation device in your pocket.

        Its not like I use my phone to watch TV at home on a daily basis, but I definitely look for TV-out functionality when I buy a phone.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: how is the T not 'better'?

          Hehe... Walkman Vs iPod. Just seems like a non-argument to me.

          Sony might have had a chance at denting iPod sales way back when, but they put out machines that had the same 'flaw' as the iPod did- reliance on proprietary software (Sonicstage), and also early digital Walkmans only used ATRAC. I can only guess at the reasons- too much invested in Minidisc players perhaps, or pressure from their own music-publishing relatives, maybe. Sony had been designing UIs (indeed, their mobile phones had jog and scroll wheels, not to mention their video-editing gear) suitable for MP3 players for years before the iPod... how Apple got there before them, I don't know.

          I have a 2012 Sony Android phone, and very nice it is too. Its music player is very competent, no complaints, but I can would be surprised if it was significantly better or worse than an iPod. There was a niggle with it that caused me to consider buying 'PowerAmp', but I can't remember what it was so it can't have been too annoying.

          And I had to laugh when visiting mates and their Sony music system had a built-in iPod dock but no way of connecting a Sony phone, even armed with a 3.5mm>Phone 'Y' cable.

          Having a micro-HDMI out is a nice option, but these days people's televisions, games consoles and set-top boxes have mitigated the need for it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: how is the T not 'better'?

      Specs looks pretty bob on to me, not quite as powerful as the Nexus 4 but it still packs a punch.

      Sony are probably finding sales flagging because of their previous mistakes, like punting out pretty phones running last years hardware priced with the current best of the best or leaving users high and dry with Android updates.

    3. Mark .

      Re: how is the T not 'better'?

      I agree - perhaps they mean that can't beat on individual device sales, it's a myth that iphone has ever led in specs, either hardware, or software (where Sony will do fine simply by running android).

      Also i note that Sony refer to Samsung and Apple, where as the headline strips this down to just apple's device...

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Re: how is the T not 'better'?

      Dual SIM handsets will be back when operators will be forbidden to subsidize them as baits for their pricey one-year-minimal "all-included" contracts. No need to SIMlock anymore (how do you SIMlock a dual SIM phone?)

      Another example of the market's invisible hand alleged Infallibility caught being wrong.

  2. Beamerboy

    But will the new one... a Nexus 4 beater? (Runs for cover)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But will the new one...

      " a Nexus 4 beater?"

      Sure, everything with an microSDcard slot is a Nexus 4 beater.

      Something these corporate morons still don't get!

      What I just don't udnerstand is that Sony associate it's products with the upcomming james bond movie and show a non-NXT-smartphone yet their posters all show last-years NXT-series (the ones whom were finally original but came with too little internal storage and WITHOUT microSD-card slots and hence didn't sell). Their fools.

  3. Alan Denman

    what are they on,

    Their new phone is a 720p phablet.

    That's what buyers want. It just happens that for probably commercial reasons, iPhone is behind the trend.

    Their 4.6" phablet seems clear enough to me.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a solution

    Remove functionality and the MicroSD slot, reduce the camera quality and tell everybody it's the best thing ever and everything it's missing isn't needed.

    Voilà, 1 phone at the same level as iPhone 5

    1. BorkedAgain
      Thumb Up

      Re: I have a solution

      Close, but you forgot the blob of superglue to hold the battery in place.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I have a solution

      You already have those. It's called the Nexus 4... and I don't won't it!

      In fact all nexus have compromises in functionality compared to their non-nexus counterparts.

      The odd thing is that I believe the AT&T version o/t Optimus G DOES have a microSDcard slot. So its not that LG can't... it's again compromise and greed. Instead of building the full optimal optimus G... with 13Mpixel shooter, WITH SDcard-slot and WITH 16GB/32GB internal storage.... but nooo... It's again region A gets a 5Mpixel shooter,8GB internal storage BUT an microSDcard-slot, while another region gets the 13Mpixel shooter, 16Gb internal storage and no microSDcard-slot.

      And then there's the Nexus variant, the lowest camera, the lowest internal storage, no microSDcard-slot, no RDS radio (and whatever items missing) but you get the leanest Android experience.

      I hate this!

  5. uhuznaa

    "Not many tablets"...

    One tablet would be enough if it's good.

  6. Rampant Spaniel

    Odin and Yuga seem to be promising, 1080p phablets with 5 and 6 inch screens. S4 pro quadcores, 2gb ram and sd card slots. If it has a decent quality screen, removeable battery and 32 gb on board I'd like one. I freely admit my needs\wants are probably pretty niche but it would be awesome to be able to have a phone that doubles as a tablet (for ereading) and that can be hooked up to a hotel room tv and used as a laptop replacement for basic tasks or vpn client for more advanced stuff. The note 2 can do this, but 1080p would be nice! More quality competition will be good!

  7. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Sony should be using their playstation IP to make Android phones and tablets that are also great portable games machines but i guess that will hurt sales of the the vita so it won't happen.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      I think they intend to. They're just shaking off the last vestiges of being Sony Ericsson on their phones.

      Though if they really want the Playstation brand to take off on mobiles they should throw open the SDK to a consortium of phones and not charge devs for using it. Let any game use PSN as its single sign on and sport trophies and so on. They should really get Google to buy into it too since Android sorely lacks a gaming infrastructure.

    2. Chet Mannly

      "Sony should be using their playstation IP to make Android phones and tablets that are also great portable games machines"

      Like the playstation phone they put out a few years back.

      It was a little bulky, but the controller was light years ahead of any other phone - shame about the pretty anemic hardware they gave it...

  8. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    It would be nice

    if they could get round to updating Andoid on phones they sold eighteen months ago, before they worry about new phones. They started rolling out updates for the Xperia Arc LT15 in mid-June, and still haven't got round to mine. It seems they need to have dozens of different update packages for each model, all of which need to be tested separately - very, very strange. I don't think I'll be buying another Sony phone. Now, my Nexus 7 got updated yesterday - much is the Nexus 4?

    1. Adair Silver badge

      Mind you... Xperia P was updated to ICS quite promptly, whether Sony will bother pushing out later updates for it remains to be seen. Even so, a nice bit of kit.

    2. Paul 135

      Re: It would be nice

      I think the UK update blockage in this case has been due to O2-UK.

      Do yourself a favour and don't wait -- find the .ftf file on XDA and flash it with FlashTool.

    3. Marcelo Rodrigues

      Re: It would be nice

      I have an Xperia Arc LT15, and it is upgraded to Android 4.0.4 - by Sony.

      Silly question, but important: You do know the upgrade is NOT OTA? You must plug the phone on your computer, and run the Sony software to do the upgrade.

  9. Martin 47

    Its a sony, they are reaping the rewards of forgetting, for a number of years, how important paying customers are to a business. Not sure they have learned that even now to be honest.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It pains me when a company as good as Sony has little confidence in themselves. The Xperia T is not only equal but better than the Iphone 5 and certainly better than that plastic, over saturated, over priced piece of garbage the S3.

    The Xperia T's new processor has been beating the quadcore processors in benchmark tests, its design is the most appealing and the most practical. They have access to the Playstation store and the ability to sync up a ps3 game pad to play the games on with the hd tv. Their camera is one of the best too. They not only have NFC but are the only phone company to embrace it with accessories like the NFC tags and the NFC sphere speakers.

    Their Bravia screen is pretty good (though could do with something new). It is certainly more appealing than Amoled. Though the Iphone is another story.

    Not only that but its all at a lower cost than any of its rivals. Sure, the Sony phones do seem to come out at the end of a generation so end up having to compete with phones which are just a bit faster a month or so later but if they really pull their finger out and make that leap then they will EASILY be the champions of mobile phones. Remember, they have all the technology there in nearly every part of the technology industry so have the capabilities to own the world.

    1. Paul 135

      Indeed. IMO their pricing is much more favourable than the competition. I think this distortion is being caused by the disproportionate influence of US-based tech media where in the US they have a severely warped mindset when it comes to phone pricing on their extortionate contracts.

      I saw a report showing them #3 in smartphone sales recently (although another report contradicted it). XDA also gave them the 2012 "OEM of the year award" for being the most developer friendly.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      With large expenditure on a phone, that you are lead to believe you cannot easily return if you don't like it, people want to play it safe. There are many Sony Xperia phones.

      Benchmarks really don't matter to the modern world - they never mattered to the people who really wanted to use Smartphones: everybody!

      The iPhone3G revolutionised the way in which people interact with the handset. It's the interface that matters, 100%. I can switch between Mac OSX and Windows 7 (and below) with no issue. People find themselves drawn to what they trust, and that is simplicity, seemingly the iPhone, or up to date functionality, which is why Samsung are doing so well.

      But £400 on a risky Sony purchase come this January? I doubt most people will go for it. You earn credibility over many years. Nokia have sunk due to some bad software decisions, but also a cumbersome O/S that everybody still mentions - Symbian was never suited to 2012. The only place rubbish phones really sell in large numbers is China, due to consumer cost limitations.

      I've tried a few Sony Xperia phones and they were generally broken or damaged in the shops, suggesting robust, rugged build quality is not at the top of Sony's mobile phone agenda. I do hope for for something truly amazing to appear, but I think people have been so heavily told "THIS PHONE changes everything!!! Yea, this new one, just out! BUY!"

      People now say 'no', due to lessons learned in which phones they've bought every 18 months are actually pretty crap.

  11. Robert Caldecott

    Just replaced my arc S with a Nexus 4

    I loved the design of my SE arc S but Sony crippled the device by not including enough RAM (only 380MB available out of an advertised 512MB), not including enough internal storage (420MB, WTF?) and then they released a pretty crappy ICS port that rendered some games useless. The ICS port hit performance so hard that O2 UK refused to release it.

    It was a shame as otherwise it was a lovely phone - great screen, fantastic camera, SD slot, removable battery, HDMI out. Even the headphones that came with it are excellent. But when you spend much of your time wanting to smash your phone into little pieces because it's always running out of RAM then it's time for a change.

    My Nexus 4 came on Thursday and the arc S is on eBay. I've gone from Sony fanboy to swearing off Sony phones for life in less than 12 months. :(

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sony confesses: root kit

    That's all.

  13. Shagbag

    Root kit, Linux on PS3, etc.

    Sony, it's going to be a long time before I ever buy one of your products again.

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