Sony eyes bigger market share in PH

By Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Posted at Dec 14 2012 09:04 AM | Updated as of Dec 14 2012 09:50 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Sony Philippines, Inc., a unit of Tokyo-based Sony Corp., eyes a bigger market share in the country’s mobile market next year after launching its latest long term evolution (LTE) capable handset amid the much-anticipated release of the iPhone5.

Sony assistant manager for mobile communications Vince de la Cruz said in an interview with reporters that the company hopes to improve its ranking in the smartphone market in the Philippines.

De la Cruz said Sony is among the Top 3 with a double-digit market share in the Android smartphone market in the Philippines.

“Yes, we are trying to improve our market share. We are riding on the conversion of people to smartphones,” he stressed.

A survey conducted by Singapore-based research firm GfK showed that the Philippines is now considered as the fastest-growing market for smartphones in Southeast Asia with a staggering 326-percent increase in smartphone sales over the last 12 months.

The Philippines recorded the highest jump in smartphone market share among its neighboring countries in the region, growing from nine percent to 24 percent.

The growth in the country was significantly higher than the 78-percent increase posted in the Southeast Asia.

In July this year, GfK reported that one of four Filipinos owned a smartphone due to the increasing affordability of the handset.

De la Cruz said Sony is set to introduce more handsets next year after introducing an average of 10 to 12 smartphones per year.

According to him, Sony is still a perceived brand of consumers.

“People still perceive Sony as a premium brand. Sony stands for quality and caters to the A and B market and even the C market,” he explained.

He pointed out that the company’s cheapest smartphone is priced P7,500 while its high-end brand is sold at P27,000.

De la Cruz announced yesterday the launch of the Sony Xperia V – the country’s first water-resistant LTE smartphone that is being offered exclusively to subscribers of Smart Communications Inc.

He explained that the new phone has a different market compared to that of iPhone5 launched by Smart and Ayala-controlled Globe Telecom Inc.

“The Sony Xperia V has a bigger screen, a better camera, and has better durability because it is water resistant,” the official added.

Sony head of mobile business Patrick Larraga said the Sony Xperia V is the fourth water-resistant handset from Sony worldwide.

“The Xperia V is also the first water and dust- resistant LTE smartphone to launch worldwide. As our other handset models have shown, water resistance has become a sought-after feature in mobile phones, and Sony has been at the forefront of this trend,” Larraga said.