The comeback story of the past 12 months has been how Sony has bounced back to become a critical player in the UK mobile industry. The manufacturing giant moved quickly after it escaped from the former mobile joint venture with Ericsson and placed mobile at the centre of its financial future. What it has done since then has left the industry highly impressed.
While most of the market has wondered why there are not more viable contenders to fight against Apple and Samsung, Sony has almost made it look easy. Build great devices and give the marketing team enough to shout about and the public will clamour for the handsets. Simple. The first Sony Mobile devices, including the Xperia S, received plenty of plaudits but it has been its Xperia Z devices, whether smartphone or tablet, that have truly blown people away.
At the centre of this has been UK managing director Pierre Perron, a cool head leading Sony’s charge. One handset buyer said: ‘He takes feedback very well and has been really, really good with operators. He’s not exactly an exciting presenter but behind the scenes he really understands the market well and where Sony had been going wrong.’ Another trade figure cites Perron’s focus on collaboration that has helped it recover sales and share.
His strategy is clearly paying off. Late last year, Sony surged past HTC to become the second bestselling manufacturer of Android handsets. Will it be the next big hitter in the smartphone market? Retailers are hoping so.