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New Sony Ericsson's phone line, 2003
On Thursday we wrote that today we would publish new data about new phone line from Sony Ericsson and also published the first review of Sony Ericsson T310. Opinions of readers were different, some said that it was a fake, on contrast, some web-recourses tried to use our photos without our logos and links. But, anyway, any criticism is positive. Now few words about negative side.
According to Sony Ericsson request, we remove review of T310 from our site, it will be available again only before or even after an official phone announcement. According to the same request, we don’t publish a review of the T610, code names of products, their detailed technical specifications, and photos as well in this article. We understand that you are disappointed, but we don’t want to break our word. However, we were able to find a compromise. We used only information from open sources in this article, but revised it in special way. We collected all data together and try to imagine the whole picture. This article was revised 15 times; we reduced it from 9 pages to 3. Nevertheless, we hope that it would be sufficient to have an impression about new phones, their platform, number of models and their features, especially for those, who know about new tendencies of the market and can read between the lines.
In the end 2002 Sony Ericsson formed its own product line and began to develop the market again. From the moment of joint enterprise creation onward, market shares of two companies (Sony and Ericsson) as well as market share of Sony Ericsson Corp. has been decreasing. Some problems were caused by the process of joining. It’s clear, that different business logics, inherited problems didn’t allow the new company to realize all its technological capabilities. Phones from Sony Ericsson (earlier Ericsson) always stood by innovations. A simple example is Sony Ericsson T68i, which was launched 1 year ago. It had the same hardware as T68, which had been launched before. In a year we can see a similar phone from Siemens, namely Siemens S55. It’s interesting that similar technological solutions are used in both models; some of them are just identical. However, Siemens has reasons to think that S55 will be successful on the market, because apart from advanced technological features, Siemens S55 has very attractive design. And today design and brand popularity play sometimes more important role than technological features. The world’s tendency is to develop not only a platform of the phone, but exterior as well.
What are further actions of a company, which has a phone line with technological innovations, in this situation? It can’t present a new product with revolutionary technological features, as all of them have been already introduced on the market. The only thing to do is to use the same platform, slightly change software and make a new design of the handset. It is the way of minimum business expense. Many manufacturers decided to choose it and Sony Ericsson is not an exception. The company produces the T310, which is a successor of T300, and has a new design. Sony Ericsson extended life cycle of the phone and tried to find a new design style. So, the first step is re-design, which will be touch on the phones of the entry and middle levels. According to preliminary information, Sony Ericsson would launch about 5 similar phones. First one is T310.
The main tendency of mobile phones development is well-known: integration of digital cameras and development of MMS service. Sony Ericsson has MMS support in the phones, but till now it doesn’t build digital camera in usual phones (not smartphones). We can assume that the company will present products in this segment. For example, the high-end phone – T610 has a built-in camera on the rear part. It’s an innovative product, which has a large color screen (with the largest resolution among current phones, but not folder type phones). Manufacture didn’t forget about design. Front cover is made of aluminum alloy; by the way, different materials are well matched here. An unusual solution is to integrate a service LED in joystick, it is very effective, even futuristic. Advantages of the phone are obvious: extended operating time, enhanced polyphonic ringer, higher ringer volume and some features, which are not typical to the phone of this company, such as Java and extended memory. Earlier this model figured as T69 in different forums. Most likely, such index does not exist, but the model with these features would appear. Top-model of a new phone line is based on the same platform as T68, it has different changes but, nevertheless, it is the same base.
New phone indexes are obviously a marketing step. It’s easier to promote new standard phone line. T, P-series will be saved. Probably, the first figure showed its segment, the second and the third – respectively phone number in series and the market, which the phone is aimed to. This year models of A-series will be available on the European market. In contrast to Ericsson classification, which have low-end phones in this series, A-series of Sony Ericsson will include fashion phones. Sony Ericsson will make a try to extend the market share, introducing not typical products, folder type phones in particular. First phone from this series will be unveiled on Cebit. As far as we know it is the phone with advanced technological features and two built-in cameras. New ideas in design and technologies – it is the new way of the company. We can’t imagine, which index will the first A-series phone have. It will be logical if it is named A100. But in this case it could create confusion with Samsung, which has products with the same name. So, possibly the name will be different. On the other hand, Samsung is changing its positioning now and its phones will have other indexes. Which way Sony Ericsson prefers, is not known yet, let’s wait for the official information.
The company will produce products, based on one platform to reduce primary cost and increase a model line. It’s very logical, isn’t it? In 2003 Sony Ericsson would introduce about 7 new phone, or even 12, if to count that ones, which were unveiled in December. You’ve already got acquainted with two of them – T310 and T610. The third and the forth models are folder type phones, which will go on sale in the end of 2Q or beginning of 3Q.
Sony Ericsson P800 will be up-to-date within the year. So, you can purchase this phone and don’t wait for a new smartphone from Sony Ericsson. Though, possibly, the company would unveil the other smartphone, based on Symbian in March. But it’s not very profitable in response to marketing, because now it is said that the phone will be available already in the 3Q 2003. Taking into account constant postponements of P800, connected with a new platform, we can assume that the situation could repeat. Comparing the new smartphone (it doesn’t have an index yet, only name of elaboration) with rival products from Motorola (Paragon II), Nokia (successor of the 7 series), Sendo and others, we can say that the company will remain a technological leader. The main advantage of the new device and a new platform is that the phone will have average dimensions (comparable with any modern phones) but for all that it will also have all features of P800. Unfortunately, now it is not possible to see this prototype, but it is expected that it will rich in features and very ergonomic.
Two entry-level phones would be launched in the first half 2003. One of them will be a little more functional than T100. But T100 would be also available, only in the end of the year it would taken out of production. So, T100 has a chance to become one of the staple products in its segment.
Number of ODM-products will be reduced in the phone line of the company. Only one or two of them will be available this year.
Unfortunately, plans of such players as Nokia, Siemens, Panasonic, NEC on the European Mobile market are not obvious yet. We can assume that a balanced line of 2003 from Sony Ericsson could be a competitor to phone line from Siemens. They even will be crossed in some segments (eXtreme phone or X-phones). In response to folder type phones, competition will be higher, as many offers from the second players will appear in the end of the second quarter. For example, one company will introduce a model with very attractive design features, which will cost only 120-130 Euro. Apart from Sony Ericsson, probably, some other companies will decide to test their strength, for example, Nokia. Japanese manufacturers would work up a European market, introducing phones, which support specific services, for example, I-mode.
We can further analyze the situation, but it’s obvious that the market is growing and ambitions of companies are growing simultaneously. Sony Ericsson has all possibilities to recover its position. According to our presumption, the company would have a successful and profitable year, the first year of growth. If the company will be able to determine terms of new models launching and support a range of products, Sony Erisson devices will be in great demand.
Published 27 January 2003
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