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Leaves questions over whether the Xperia Z1 may make it to the U.S.

Sony's CEO, Kaz Hirai, has been speaking to Japanese media, with market share and breaking into the U.S. in particular on the table. With Japan and Europe accounting for around 60% of Sony's smartphone sales, and it seems priority one for Hirai is to maintain and build on that: 

"Our biggest priority is maintaining our share in Japan or increasing it ... But getting into the U.S. market requires a lot of resources and marketing, so we have to go one step at a time"

So, if you read between the lines, you could argue it may be some time before we see the Xperia Z1 in the States. If at all. That would be a shame, since the Z1 has a lot going for it, and it's a match for any of the high-end Android devices out there right now. But Sony wants to keep making money, so perhaps it makes sense for them to hold off on trying to crack America for now. 

Source: Reuters via The Verge


Reader comments

Sony CEO talks breaking into the U.S, doesn't look so promising


Well that stinks was actually debating this phone, why not add a blub onto the end of your PS4 comercials you already have that area won here in the US for launch next month at the least. Oh well guess Nexus 5 is next week hopefully.

I use the int version fine on ATT, no LTE though.

on a side note I'm glad I went ahead and didn't wait for them to do a US release, as it's obvious that's probably not happening now.

We're going to see more companies back away from markets like this. The growth in the mobile industry has attracted a whole lot of competition. So much that even leaders like HTC have profitability issues. There will hard times ahead for some once growth slows.

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Not only that. The carriers are part of the problem, too. They want exclusives and other stuff that Sony probably doesn't want to go along with.

It was one of the 3 finalists for my next phone, glad I didn't hold my breath on it. It is still pretty nice. Wonder what it will take to get Sony back into the game around here?

Mine too. Along with G2 and HTC max. There's a Rumor it might still come to T-MO though but that involves me leaving sprint and paying $700 upfront though.

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And it's really hard for Sony to sell it unlocked thru amazon or something like that.
If I was shareholder of Sony I would sell my stock right away after hearing great stupidities from the CEO.
I think he's forgetting there's this thing called brand.
I bet the real reason he's holding off the U.S. is perhaps something anticompetitive and shady.

I would say that he couldn't get favorable carrier terms. Generally I think problems are not with the supplier but the distributor

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Might not want to enter America as they would have to put all new chips in for your lte etc. Why create more work for minimum orders

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Sony should make the next Nexus phone. The build quality would be phenomenal and that would help them get some viable traction in the U.S. market.

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Considering the sales of the N4, it's doubtful they would make much progress going that route. Not with the mainstream public at least. Many Android fans way overestimate the mainstream popularity of the Nexus phones.

I think it would definitely help get their brand out there though. I think more people would get familiar with Sony if that happened. But Sony is looking to make money. All they're gonna do with a Nexus device is lose money. A LOT of it Lol

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Wouldn't Google be the ones losing money? They're the ones subsidizing the phones, I'm sure they will pay sony for their product.

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Define losing? Google subsidizes it and sells it near cost, but they recoup their money on the back-end.

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Nexus hardware is not subsidized, it is sold for a very small profit. People just don't realize the lie of what phones actually cost to build. It is estimated that iPhones are sold at near a 100% markup, and believe me, Android phones are not far off.

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I am using the Z Ultra and it is simply an awesome phone. Everything but the camera is awesome about it. I was considering getting a Z1 for the times when a smaller phone is more appropriate, it's that good. It's a shame Sony can't figure out how to effectively sell it in the United States.

Well we're getting it here in Canada on Bell Mobility but it's still just at pre-order right now. If people from the USA want the Z1, they should just buy it here, unlock it and use it.

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People in the US can buy the Z1 or Z Ultra from Negri Electronics or Expansys USA. Sure a little more expensive but the choice is available.

Supposedly Sony Canada will be bringing the Z1 and Z Ultra in their Sony Stores around October 15th according to a sales rep I talked to last week. So I'll be able to check out both unlocked phones much as I did their QX10 lens camera. I buy my phones at full price since I'm on Mobilicity so price is not an issue vs. a 2 year subsidized price. Frankly the phone carriers are dumb pipes to me and I don't care about "exclusivity". So if Sony sells these unlocked phones at their stores or their on-line store that works for me just as well.

USA market along with its powerful carriers is a difficult market, if it was an unlocked market with carriers acting as dumb pipes like most parts of the world then Sony would have got more success.

In other words, they don't want to deal with any asinine lawsuits by Apple that come along with doing business in the US

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I don't see anything wrong with what he said. It's a pretty smart move. Why risk spending so much money in the US to potentially and probably fail, when you can just grow your brand and profit where you're already successful. Samsung and Apple have a pretty strong stranglehold on the US market right now. Also, I don't think the Xperia Z on T-Mobile did all that great. Of course, it was only on one carrier, so that basically make it DOA. Also, Sony's phones are just so expensive. I think they could definitely lower the prices a little. The Xperia Z was over $800 unlocked after taxes and all that. No one wants to pay that for a PHONE. I love Sony phones, but they always seem to lack something. Any who. I wish them the best.

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Sony wants to be known as a premium brand.. so they have a bad habit of overpricing things bcuz it makes them look like they have the best premium product.. Kinda like Apple does.

Yeah, true. Unfortunately for them, they don't have the brand recognition that Apple does.

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Their just not that motivated is all!!! If Hawaei & Pantech can sell phones here, Sony sure as hell can!

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I absolutely loved my Sony Xperia Z in Germany. A great phone. Didn't take v it with me in to the USA thought.

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I blame the US carrier model. We miss out on a lot of great products because the manufacturers see the carriers as their customers and not the end users (and then the carriers are completely miffed when some garbage phone they were so excited about doesn't sell). I'm seriously considering making the switch to T-Mobile from Verizon. It seems like they're the closest thing to how the rest of the world does it and the recent LTE expansion doesn't hurt.

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Everyone in this comment thread seems to have forgotten that Sony ALREADY has a channel to sell unlocked phones in the US, but they just don't do it. I can configure, customize and order a laptop (with LTE) from, but they won't sell an existing, pre-built product.

Sony is feeding everyone a healthy helping of shit here. Don't swallow it.

"But getting into the U.S. market requires a lot of resources and marketing, so we have to go one step at a time"

How are resources and marketing any different from that of the PS4 and your 4K TV's. I think Mr Kaz Hirai should be honest and say what's really up. Or is he just too afraid of the competition namely Samsung.

Americans complain on everything! If Sony dont want xperia phones to be sold in your country whatever the reasons are, then you cant do anything about that. I think Sony is not dumb enough to go to a market where they think they would just be losing tons of money. Lets not hope that one day Samsung would also stop selling its product to your market because of your innovative american company...APPLE!

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Oh well. Dumb move Sony. I and probably many others would have bought your products.

Looks like HTC and Samsung will continue receiving my money.

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And get Sony wants to be the #3 phone maker. If there's no us version, that will never happen

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Just to put the perspective right here:

Nokia was the biggest manufacturer in the world albeit small US presence.

In India, there is a middle class of 300 million. The country has more than 1 billion people. Then we have China...

So Sony don't need the US in order to be successful. In fact, US is nothing in this case (especially not with the upside down mobile market).

Dude, you are confusing middle class with working class. A customer service rep working at the Dell call centre in Mumbai is not middle class.

This is bullshit. At this rate the only phone options will be Samsung and Apple. Sony is full of it. They're just so used to being amongst the top at everything that they do that they can't fathom they idea of being where HTC, LG, Moto, or even Nokia is right now. I should boycott their ps4 just for that but I'd suffer more than them.

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