Sony Xperia Z5 and the ‘smaller’ Xperia Z5 Compact will be available in the U.S. market beginning February 7; the company announced on Thursday.
Sony had raised fears that it could be leaving the smartphone world following years of underperformance, but now that it has announced its entry into the U.S., it seems the OEM is ready to be bigger again.
Sony will be selling the unlocked versions on Amazon and other retailers at a price of $600 and $500 respectively. Sony’s market share in the U.S. smartphone market currently stands at less than 1%, ranking the company in position fourteen, far behind market leaders Apple and Samsung.
Both Xperia Z5 models to come preloaded with Android 5.1 Lollipop
The two Xperia smartphones coming to the U.S. will be powered by 2014’s Android 5.1 Lollipop, and it will support GSM networks. Also, Sony has equipped both devices with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 CPU; however, they come with different screen sizes.
The Compact has a 4.6-inch screen size while the larger Xperia Z5 has a screen size of 5.2 inches. Both devices have rear snappers of 23MP and frontal snappers of 5MP. According to a Sony spokesperson, the Xperia Z5 and its smaller version Z5 Compact U.S. variants will not be fixed with a fingerprint scanner like the international versions do.
When Sony announced its losses in the smartphone sales back in late 2014, it also revealed that it will only be dealing with high-end devices, something that it has fulfilled with the release of the Z5 edition. However, now that Sony is back in the U.S. with these two models, it seems the company wants to give it a second try, but this time with more advanced phones.
“Sony wanted to pull out of mobility over a year ago, but it seems reality has now set in,” said Patrick Moorhead, who is an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.
Sony must be ready to go head to head with major players in the industry, namely Samsung and Apple. The two released Samsung Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6S series last year and with the two already enjoying dominance, Sony has little chance of beating them.
Now, there is no of when the Xperia Z5 Premium edition will be availed to the U.S. market.
Sony’s decision to enter the unlocked market, which is usually very tricky, means that it has shunned carriers after what previously happened with T-Mobile and Verizon. However, it will be a lot tougher with players such as Moto X Pure, Nexus 5X and ZTE Axon already in the market at much lower prices, but with almost similar specs.
There is no doubt that Sony’s Xperia models are a better class than any of its competitors in this unlocked market, especially when performance and design are considered. However, the fact that Sony has relatively poor marketing techniques in addition to the issues it has previously had with leading mobile carriers in the country might mean the brand is still new in some users’ heads.