7/8/2011 9:52:00 AM
Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play fails to impress
The Japanese earthquake may have rocked Sony Ericsson, but new reports of poor sales cannot be blamed on that disaster alone.
In fact, putting aside the natural disaster, Sony Ericsson has suffered from a huge marketing catastrophe after failing to target the right demographic for its ‘PlayStation’ device.
According to retail staff, the handset’s natural home appears to be with the 12 to 16 year old market, not the 20 to 30 year olds at which it is aimed. The problem is, the £450 price tag doesn’t match the budget of a 12 year old boy looking for a handheld console that doubles up as a phone.
Worse still, and to prove this point, the handset is apparently selling an average of two per week in most stores – hardly the spike in sales that Sony Ericsson was expecting.
So where did Sony Ericsson go wrong? The much-anticipated Xperia Play didn’t launch well. Despite an expensive marketing campaign that included a huge, over-the-top launch party, the company’s flagship handset has suffered a number of problems since it was first unveiled in May this year.
Moreover, the second biggest operator O2 pulled out of the launch because of software problems while some retailers have now resorted to pre-ordering the device for customers instead of ordering stock.
And some have also criticised Sony Ericsson for missing its opportunity to launch the device when the gaming community demanded it – about two years ago. Since then, the latest PSP device has emerged, with ten times more power than its handset counterpart – a no-brainer for gaming enthusiasts.
So it looks like the Xperia Play may represent yet another failure for the ailing manufacturer. Let’s hope its Xperia Arc and upcoming Xperia Active and Xperia Ray can save the day before Sony Ericsson descends into sluggish sales. It had come so far.