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Sony reboots smartphone

Qualcomm will collaborate with Sony to deliver next-generation smartphones, but it may not be enough to revive the brand, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

Sony and Qualcomm have agreed to collaborate on Snapdragon platforms to power future Sony smartphones.

The companies said they would work together on the next generations of premium, high-, and mid-tier smartphones. Through this collaboration, they say, both companies “aim to push the boundaries of what’s possible in mobile technology, delivering unparalleled user experiences and driving progress in the smartphone industry”.

Despite having been a forerunner in mobile phone innovation, Sony has seen its market share dwindle in recent years to the extent that it is no longer featured on listings of most smartphones shipped globally. Its devices are no longer sold in markets like South Africa, nor in the rest of Africa, as its marketing strategy flounders on its inability to persuade users of the value proposition of its expensive handsets.

Can a new chipset and innovative technology save it? Certainly not from the folly of premium pricing when it is not regarded by phone buyers as a premium brand.

Nevertheless, Qualcomm Technologies’ advanced Snapdragon mobile platforms will be integrated into Sony’s future smartphone lines, promising users “enhanced functionality, higher performance, and more immersive user experiences”.

It is unlikely that Qualcomm is as thrilled as its announcement says it is to be working with Sony, but there is some hope for the brand in the words of OH Kwon, president of Qualcomm Asia-Pacific: “This collaboration is an exciting opportunity for us to deliver innovative user experiences to help meet the demands of consumers globally.” 

Tsutomu Hamaguchi, head of Sony’s mobile communications business unit, says: “Xperia 1 V which is Sony’s latest flagship smartphone powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform has been very well received by customers. We are always listening to our customers in order to develop cutting-edge technology that meets and exceeds their expectations, and we trust that Qualcomm Technologies will help us continue to drive the industry forward.”

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