Sony, the Japanese consumer electronics brand, today launched its flagship mobile phone the Xperia Z, in India. The smartphone will be available in stores beginning 12 March and is priced at Rs 38,990.
With the Xperia Z, the brand plans to recapture its lost ground in the country and aims to establish the device as among the top three smartphones in India in terms of unit sales.
“We plan to establish Xperia Z among the top 3 smartphone brands in India. We want to exploit the business foundation we have and will make Xperia one of the biggest categories in Sony India,” Kenichiro Hibi, Managing director, Sony India said at the launch.
The Xperia Z was launched by its newly appointed brand ambassador, Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif . The smartphones comes with user experience and technology from some of Sony’s best platforms, like its BRAVIA HD display, its CyberShot camera technology and its legendary Walkman technology in music.
The Xperia Z operates on the Android 4.1 Jellybean platform, has a 5 inch full HD 1080p BRAVIA reality display, Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 pro quad-core processor, 13 megapixel fast capture CyberShot camera 4G LTE, Sony’s Walkman technology and a Battery stamina mode that can help increase battery back up by upto 50 percent.
With Xperia, Sony has also introduced its water and dust resistance feature. Demonstrating it, Katrina Kaif, Xperia Z’s brand ambassador dunked the phone in a fishbowl filled with water, only to retrieve it and use the phone like one normally would.“There are many features of the phone that I like — like the amazing camera. But, I most like the fact that I can actually put it in water, so I can take it while swimming. It’s a fun feature,” Kaif said.
The company also launched the Xperia Tablet Z. The LTE tablet features a vivid 10.1 inch HD reality display, is powered by the Mobile Bravia engine 2 which is water and dust resistant, has S-force front surround 3D, one touch function and a battery stamina mode. The Xperia Tablet Z will hit the markets in May 2013, but its price has not yet been announced.
With the launch today, Sony hopes to triple its sales in India to Rs 3,500 crore in financial year 2013 (ending March 2014).“Sony India has established market leadership in BRAVIA and Cyber Shot and we aim to replicate the same success with the Xperia range. The launch of Sony Xperia Z today, is the start of our journey to triple the Xperia sales in India, to Rs. 3,500 crore "Hibi" said.
The company has taken several steps towards this direction, including tripling the Xperia marketing budget to Rs 300 crore for 2013, more than doubling the sales channel counters to 8,000 and increasing the service touch points to 200 by 2013. The company is hoping 2013 will be a breakthrough year for them.
“India is a high focus and high growth market for Sony. The smartphone market in India holds very strong mid-term growth potential, with smartphone sales projected to be approximately 33 million units by 2013 in India. Our ultimate objective is to position Xperia among the top 3 smartphone brands in India,” Corporate Vice president, Sony Mobile Communications, Dennis Van Schie, said at the launch.
Aside the Google Play store applications Sony Mobile Technology has also collaborated with other businesses in its family to create and design unique applications for its customers.
Sony Music which will offer customers six months of unlimited streaming and music downloads from over 15 lakh songs. The phone will also have a video streaming app called Sony LIV, which will allow phone buyers to catch up on shows from SAB, Sony Entertainment and Max, from over 4500 hours of video and over 77 shows.
In addition, Sony has also tied up with Vodafone to offer 8GB of free data for the first two months of purchase. The company said they are in talks with other service providers to strike up similar offers.
The Sony Xperia Z will come in three colours: black, white and purple and will be available across national retail stores, Sony Center brand shops, multi-brand outlets and distributors across India from 12 March.