Willie Nelson once said, “The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese,” and that’s probably Sony’s strategy. Just when we were about to place our bets on the faster phablet from Samsung, here comes the stunner from Sony called Xperia Z1. In this huge world of smartphones, where each player is wooing customers with enhanced features, who is giving whom a run for money? Should you flaunt a faster phablet or a better camera?
Targeting a stronger foothold, Sony India aims to increase its smartphone market share to 20 per cent by FY14. The brand is also targeting a total of 200 exclusive Xperia stores by FY13, up from the current 30 stores. If we compare it with Samsung, which occupies 50 per cent of the overall 29 per cent smartphone market, the figure still remains small for Sony because it is a late entrant in the booming market. It is also believed that too much dependence on the TV space has been a bottleneck for Sony.
The marketing battle
Sony Xperia Z was launched earlier this year as the first step towards tripling the sales of Xperia smartphones in India to Rs 3500 crore in FY13. The marketing budget earmarked by the brand for the smartphone category is Rs 300 crore, out of which Rs 75 crore is for Sony Xperia Z1. The brand has rolled out a TVC featuring brand ambassador Katrina Kaif. It will also be aggressive on digital.
For Samsung, TV will always be the prime medium because it believes in making an innovation statement about the largest Samsung brands. The brand will also be active on digital but the big focus will be on demonstrations. The huge retail presence will be leveraged and the devices will be available in 100 stores in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, for customers to touch and feel the product before buying it.
During the festive season, there will be a host of marketing initiatives to promote Samsung Galaxy Note 3 as well as Sony Xperia Z1.
The global TVC of Samsung will garner many eye balls as it has focused on a story of a girl who is trying to revamp her grandfather’s toy shop. The features of the phone are beautifully demonstrated through the story.
But it’s still too early to comment on who wins the marketing game.
Price still remains the biggest determinant before choosing any device. Though the Note 3 offers more features with a bigger screen, it is priced at Rs 49900 as compared to Sony Xperia Z1 launched in India at Rs 44990. If one loves to have a have a phone with some of the best features and is willing to shell out almost Rs 50000, then Samsung is a better deal. On the other hand, Sony Xperia Z1 also offers features which have their own unique benefits.
Sony has also announced that it has no plans to enter the feature phone market and will remain in the premium segment as of now. Here Samsung gets an edge because it has a range of devices catering to various sections of the society.
But time will tell whether Samsung Note 3 leads the race with its advanced features or Sony wins the game with its amazing camera.