Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play has suffered from poor sales because it is aimed at the wrong market, according to retail staff.
On average, stores have been selling one or two handsets per week, retail staff told Mobile. They claimed that despite investing heavily in marketing the Xperia Play, Sony Ericsson had missed the opportunity to make the world’s first PlayStation phone a success by targeting the device at adult gamers rather than the teen market.
One Carphone Warehouse staffer told Mobile: ‘The Xperia Play has sold really badly in store. We have sold one to two per week since its launch. Sony Ericsson got it all wrong this time because it is a far too niche product. They have totally misjudged the market. The reality is that the so-called gamers that it is aimed at probably already have PlayStation 3 consoles. It would be better suited to 12-16 year olds.’
Meanwhile, an Orange staffer said: ‘The Xperia Play is too much of a gimmick product. A 20-30-year-old man is unlikely to walk around with the Play and use it as their main phone because they want to look professional. That’s why a BlackBerry or an iPhone is better suited to that market. We have sold a few but it’s nothing much compared to the other handsets that we have in store.’
He added: ‘Targeting 12-16 year olds would have been a smarter move because they would love it [Xperia Play], but the price point means that they just can’t afford it.’
Another Carphone staffer said: ‘The fact that we have three Plays in the store at any given time compared to 100 iPhones speaks volumes about the lack of confidence in the product.’
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play has suffered a number of problems since its launch in May this year. O2 pulled out of the initial launch because of software problems while some retailers have now resorted to pre-ordering the Xperia Play for customers instead.
A T-Mobile staffer said: ‘The Xperia Play has sold out in store and we haven’t received any more since. It is essentially a kids phone but it’s too expensive for them.’
A Phones 4u staffer added: ‘The Play is not selling as well as we expected. The marketing of the device has been poor since its release.’
Sony Ericsson was not available for comment at the time Mobile went to press.
Editor: Toyin Owoseje