Sony Mobile is doubling down on its recent high profile ad campaigns to back the launch of its Xperia Z Ultra device, with the manufacturer earmarking a multimillion pound spend.
The phablet, Sony’s first, will go on sale in the United Kingdom in September, the first global market for the device. Contract details have yet to be revealed but it is likely to retail for around €700 upfront. The manufacturer, which has been working on the device for the past year, has beefed up its display technology with its X-Reality ‘super resolution’ feature.
Sony has received plaudits throughout 2013 as it set its stall out as the likeliest challenger to Apple and Samsung’s domination of the handset market. It has built an estimated £40m war chest this year for its marketing, with UK and Ireland managing director Pierre Perron previously speaking of the need to build awareness of the brand. When asked how much the manufacturer would spend on the promotion of the Xperia Z Ultra, he said: ‘We are expecting to have the minimum investment of what we have been doing so far. We need to build awareness and we need a significant level of investment to do that.’ He said the UK was one of Sony’s key markets for mobile and added the campaign would also focus on other forthcoming devices, like the Xperia M.
While the bulk of Sony Mobile’s activity this year has been focused on the high end of the market, between the Xperia Z and Xperia Tablet Z, Perron said the company was working on different products across the spectrum. In what could be seen as a swipe at rival Apple, who has stayed stubborn and not released a low cost iPhone to date, Perron said: ‘We are not a single device company that just offers premium products. This is where we need to be to bring the new innovation.’
However, he said some of the innovations seen in its high end handsets will eventually come down the chain. Citing the Near-Field Communication features that were on last year’s Xperia handsets, he said the company was in a position to bring those to new devices such as the Xperia M. He said: ‘Going further into the year we will make sure the innovation is brought to the other devices.’
Perron was coy about Sony Mobile’s plans for the rest of 2013, hinting more high end devices could join its premium smartphone, tablet and phablet devices. He said he could not comment on forthcoming devices but added: ‘We are committed to continue to bring innovation to the market.’
Author: Graeme Neill