Sony Mobile has opened the door to running the Windows Phone operating system on its handsets, with the manufacturer in talks with Microsoft about diversifying its products.
Sony Mobile’s UK & Ireland MD Pierre Perron unveiled its latest range of Android smartphones at IFA in Berlin last week. The Xperia T will be a high-end ‘best in class’ product, said Perron, with the Xperia V a 4G device and the Xperia J an entry-level smartphone. Each handset will run on the Android OS.
Sony has traditionally prioritised the Android OS for its Xperia portfolio, but expectations are high for Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows Phone 8 platform. When asked if future Sony Mobile devices could run on the platform, Perron said: ‘Sony’s strategy is one of openness. Microsoft is a Sony partner with the likes of our VAIO laptops and it’s integrated onto our tablets. As far as Xperia smartphones go, Android remains the preferred partner, although Sony is not a single partner company. We are currently investigating with the likes of Microsoft the possibility of diversifying our product strategy.’
Sony’s latest handsets will be backed by a multimedia advertising campaign. While the promotion to support the launch of the first Xperia devices under the Sony Mobile umbrella earlier this year received plaudits and translated into an initial sales boost, these encouraging sales soon tailed off. Perron said getting Sony Mobile’s branding right was ‘critical’. He added: ‘The UK market is a brand-driven one and we need to continue to shout louder and clearer about what we are doing. There will be continued investment [into marketing].
‘The spring period was the first instance when we said we were a new brand, leaving behind Sony Ericsson and trying to increase brand awareness of Sony Mobile. We are entering into the second phase about what we can do beyond the smartphone.’
Perron said a key element of the forthcoming marketing campaign would be highlighting the convergence between Sony’s mobiles, tablets and televisions. He revealed that the near field communication (NFC) One Touch feature would be a key part of the campaign. Consumers can share music and photos between two NFC-enabled devices by touching them together, rather than using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.