Gita Ghaemmaghami, Regional Marketing Communications Manager & Head of PR at Sony Mobile Communications MEA discusses trends and strategy for the company in the region
Is the market demand for feature rich smartphones growing in the region?
The Middle East is a region which has exhibited and continues to exhibit strong growth and the fundamentals of its economy indicate that its potential will remain buoyant.
The region has young and tech savvy consumers who are brand conscious, seeking premium products. UAE specifically is an important market as it is a hub and trendsetter for the rest of the region.
The region has always been very important for Sony Mobile and we look forward to continued growth with the help of our distribution and retail partnerships in Middle East and Africa.
What is the company’s outlook on demand vis-a-vis challenges also related to the stiff competition from other top brands?
We will continue to differentiate our products by leveraging Sony assets such as our leading camera technologies, and we will also continue to innovate technologies, applications, and user experiences that deliver new value to customers.
In addition, with Sony’s unique spirit of innovation, we will pursue new business opportunities wherever possible to bring forth new products and services that enrich users’ lives through the new means of communication they make possible. Enhancing relationship with operators, distributors and retailers in market is one of our priorities to provide best experiences for our consumers.
Discuss the brand’s focus on the premium segment vis-a-vis the mid-range or the entry segment phones market?
Each segment plays a role in meeting the demands of the market and bringing alternatives to consumers, our strategy is to focus on Premium and mid segments. Our premium range of smartphones, the Xperia X Series and Xperia Z5 series are very popular for its sleek design and its premium look and top of the range performance. We have also introduced a mid-range smartphone, Xperia XA/ XA Ultra, which offers consumers great features of the Xperia Z5 and Xperia X series at an economical price range.
What have been recent launches by Xperia in the premium segment and are the current flagship models for the company in the region?
Xperia X has been launched in the GCC starting June, we have also announced Xperia X and Xperia XA Ultra at the mid segment which are expected to be available in the region in July/August.
What are the standout features in some of your current and new top end models?
The Xperia X features Sony’s unique camera technology, Predictive Hybrid Autofocus, which allows you to track an object, and then cleverly predicts its movement to give clear, blur-free shots. So, even if one can’t predict where the shot is headed, the smartphone can. Also it incorporates Sony’s smart battery management to deliver up to two days battery life[i]. Not only will it keep the phone running far longer after one charge, but the Xperia X will deliver up to two times battery lifespan where most smartphone batteries quickly decline in strength, using its ground-breaking Qnovo Adaptive charging which maintains battery health while charging.
With Xperia XA consumers can enjoy a curved glass display that seamlessly meets its rounded frame; Xperia XA is as pleasing to the eye, as it is to the hand. It features a distinctive and beautifully integrated edge-to-edge display that stretches over the full width of the phone, to make full use of the 5” display.
How is the X range different from the Z series of phones in terms of range and market positioning? Also discuss positioning of the other series?
The X series is a brand new concept under the new brand vision which sets it apart from our previous range of not only the Xperia Z series, but also our entry and mid-range series line-ups. With the direction and vision focusing on enriching people’s lives through new intelligent communication, it was only fitting the latest range was differentiated by a new series name.
How is Sony addressing VR technologies in phones? Do you see VR as a factor that can help improve demand for new phones?
There is no doubt that VR has became a new trend in current technologies however I would not be able to comment on utilizing VR in our smartphones for time being.
How frequently does the company refresh flagship models?
We do look at the consumers & market demand and we continue to provide consumers with latest innovation and technology.
What are expected new launches before the year ends?
We would not be able to confirm the future possibilities of our product line-up; we have entered a new chapter of our Xperia brand by launching new Xperia X series at MWC.