In case you’re a Sony Xperia fan in the United States, it’s hard not to feel surrendered. Sony has never had a telephone that hit each significant remote bearer, and the last time Sony discharged a cell phone on even two U.S. bearers it was the quite built up, yet frustrating, PlayStation telephone, the Xperia Play, which arrived on Verizon and AT&T route in 2011. Before then, and after, Sony has constantly turned up slow on the uptake in America.
But, what the hell? Why has Sony failed to make any noticeable impact in the second largest smartphone market in the world? As a worldwide consumer electronics company, there’s no lack of brand recognition. What’s the problem here?
“Sony’s mobile strategy in the United States has been a mystery to us for years,” John Oxley of the popular fan site, Xperia Blog, told Digital Trends. “From the outside looking in, we’ve always struggled to understand why Sony has failed to strike strong partnerships with the big U.S. carriers.”
A month ago, we were again impressed with Sony’s three new Xperia X phones when they debuted at MWC in Barcelona, and the company was quick to make it clear that all three phones will be coming to the United States, but we haven’t heard a peep since. How can we seriously believe Sony Mobile cares about the U.S. anymore?
Sony’s history of phone failures in the U.S.
Failing to launch phones isn’t new to Sony. Before the iPhone and Android boom, Sony still struggled, but its Sony Ericsson phones often at least found a consistent home on AT&T (called Cingular, at the time). They were powerful, often innovative, and often available on one carrier.
Fast forward past the iPhone and the failure of the Xperia Play. In 2013, Sony launched its renewed push for a slice of the smartphone pie with the Xperia Z line. Although Sony had some catching up to do, it surprised many with a six-monthly flagship release schedule, while everyone else was beginning to update annually. The strategy failed. Most of these phones never made it across the Atlantic, and even the ones that did received limited releases in the States.