Japanese electronics giant Sony Corporation says it will drop its smartphone portfolio under the ‘Premium Standard’ category which was launched in 2016 and comprised of the Xperia X and the Xperia Compact. The devices were designed by Sony to be both affordable and offer flagship specifications, but sales didn’t take off.
Sony faced some backlash after it discontinued the popular Xperia Z series of smartphones and replaced it with its Premium Standard collection. Reports suggest fans were disappointed by the fact that Sony was promoting the new collection as flagship devices but the phones lacked certain features and choice of processor compared to the popular Xperia Z lineup.
The disappointment showed in the low sales figures for Sony which eventually led the company to end their Premium Standard smartphone series. Sony first hinted that it would be axing the $500 price range smartphone series at its May 24 Japan-based Investor Relations Day event. The company now plans to focus on its flagship Xperia XZ models and its XA mid-ranged smartphone lineup to recover from the lost sales and regain market share.
In Sony’s FY 2016 sales targets and results statement, its unit sales target achievement rate of the Premium Standard smartphone models was just 31 percent outside of Japan last year. In addition, the unit sales target achievement rate of the handsets in Japan and international markets were 85 percent and 43 percent, respectively.
This highlights a disparity when compared with the Xperia XZ and Xperia X smartphones, which grossed a total of 60 percent unit sales target achievement rate outside Japan and 88 percent in the international markets. Sony will now focus on its flagship and mid-ranged devices including the Xperia XZ (flagship) and the Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra (mid-range).