Hey Sony. It's been a while since I last ranted about how you're kinda-sorta screwing up that whole smartphone business of yours. In fact, it's been almost a year to the day. I had really hoped that by this year everyone's favorite Japanese electronics mega-corporation would have figured out the smartphone market to a reasonable extent in the US, but surprise: they haven't!

I really don't mean to single out Sony, but sometimes, it's very difficult to watch a company that is very clearly capable of making good products make such terrible decisions.

While the company's most-recent flagship handsets, the Xperia Z and ZL, have been far from hated by critics, neither has received much in the way of real acclaim, and it's not difficult to see why: they're simply not as good as handsets from the likes of Samsung and HTC. You can only show the Xperia Z getting dunked into so many buckets of water before the internet collectively says "we get it, already."

It's really just the same problem Sony had last year: too little, too late. The Xperia Z is very pretty. It has very cool water and dustproofing features. Sony's Android UI overlay is not all that intrusive or ugly. But the Z is noticeably slower than its rivals, has an older processor, a decidedly inferior display, and is basically barren on the software innovation front. As for the ZL, it's basically the Z, just ever so slightly worse.

That brings us to the boring, $500 (really, $490, but close enough) mid-range phone headlining this piece. It's called the Xperia SP, and like its alphabet soup name, it is an utterly forgettable product. I'm sure it's not a bad phone, but its specification sheet isn't going to turn heads. It features a revamped Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor, 4.6" 720p LCD display, 8GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM, and an 8MP rear camera that allegedly has some sort of relationship to the Exmor RS line of sensors.


Basically, the Xperia SP is a phone any of us could relatively happily "get by" on. You wouldn't love it, but you probably wouldn't immediately regret purchasing it, either. And that's OK - mid-range phones are cool! I have no problem with Sony making this phone. They're building it to a price point.

The problem is, the price point is wrong. At least in the US. Maybe in some EMEA markets where unlocked phone purchases are common, Sony really can say this product competes with mid-range devices from Samsung, HTC, and LG. But now, Sony's trying to bring that model over to the US, and it doesn't take an MBA to tell you that it's not going to work. But I think even Sony knows that, deep down.

I doubt you'll ever see an ad for the Xperia SP in the US. It seems unlikely the phone will be picking up any carrier partners. And it's all but a given that outside of Sony's own stores (if even there) that the Xperia SP will have no physical retail presence. To average American consumers, then, the Xperia SP may as well be a buttbow-crapping unicorn. It is the definition of "not on the radar."

So why even sell it here, Sony? Why make it look like you're trying? I realize this isn't the only overpriced phone Sony sells on its US website, but it's absolutely frustrating to watch this tragedy of a sales "strategy" unfold. From an economic standpoint, what Sony's doing doesn't even make sense. The main advantage to the Xperia SP over, say, a Nexus 4, is LTE. You can use an SP on either T-Mobile or AT&T's LTE networks, though only the latter really has any significant coverage. But on its website, Sony tries to sell up cheap prepaid wireless plans that don't offer LTE service as an advantage to buying unlocked phones. You'd have to be gunning for a "bad purchase decision of the year" award to take Sony's $500 mid-range "meh" fest over a much cheaper (and much better) Nexus 4 to use on something like Straight Talk.

And if you planned on taking that phone to AT&T so you could actually get LTE service, that wouldn't make much sense, either - why pay AT&T upwards of $85 a month to bring your own phone when you could buy a high-end device on contract and just pay the ETF whenever you decide to switch? Even waiting six months would basically even out the cost of a subsidized Galaxy S4 + ETF versus buying an Xperia SP outright in this scenario.

Sony has been basically adrift in the US smartphone market from day one, and that's what is truly amazing to me. I don't mean the good kind of amazement, either - I mean the wide-eyed, slack-jawed look of confusion and disappointment kind. Maybe we'll see some products later this year that will finally help Sony turn the corner to relevance in the US, but after so many false starts, it's difficult to be optimistic.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Guest

    Meh. Samsung Galaxy S4 is slower than Xperia Z. Samsung's phone has laggy UI, terrible materials, oversaturated screen etc
    IMO, $500 USD is a good price for waterproof phone with pretty design.

    • kenjab

      Ok, now read the article. It's not the Z that's $500, it's the SP, which has noticeably inferior specs.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      This isn't an Xperia Z, and it isn't waterproof.

  • Athishay

    That awesome feeling when you remember the older rant that David made when you open it... and then realize you've been here for more than a year. :')
    Good work, AP team. :')

  • http://twitter.com/sbatwater Sebastian Atwater

    Sony seems to be following the path that was such a disaster for HTC - releasing a bunch of different products with marginally different specs, though they've been doing this for a while now.

    They make nice phones, but I'm not spending the kind of money they're asking for when I can get an arguably better phone for cheaper (HTC One at $575).

    • MrHaroHaro

      Yes and no. Around 2011 HTC made too many phones that were too similar to each other in terms of design and specs (or rather compromises). In many ways I feel that HTC was competing with itself before competing with Samsung. This was exasperated by the fact that these similar phones were all on different carriers just as Samsung was making the Galaxy S brand mean something to consumers. In 2012 they bungled the One line in the US by making the best one (and second best one) carrier exclusive. So some people may have been satisfied, while others felt like they were getting the short end of the stick. All the while this did nothing to promote the One brand in the eyes of consumers, and the Galaxy S III was available on every carrier.

      In 2012 Sony repeated the mistakes HTC made in 2011, where the flagships and non-flagship devices too closely share a design language and spec sheet. This year I think Sony has so far only made the typical Sony mistakes: there was too much time between announcing and releasing their product (especially in the US). And of course, the phones are just over-priced enough to make them unappealing compared to the competition. The fact that the HTC One has proven to be such a great contender also doesn't help.

  • http://www.facebook.com/farisfitri2303 Faris Fitri

    Over here in my part of the world where we still buy phones outright,the LTE SP costs around 400USD new while the HSPA+ ZL costs 550USD. The LTE version of the Z costs 670USD while the S4 I9500 costs 730USD. This makes me wonder whether Sony is even interested in doing well in the US market. They should be if they want to be the number 2 Android OEM.

  • Abhijeet Mishra

    Sony needs to make an awesome flagship like the HTC One or S4, or even the One X and S3. They always fall short, mostly on the display front where they are pushing a run of the mill display with a software tweak that doesn't do much to make it a competitor to other flagships. And they need to stop using older CPUs as well, something they did in both Xperia T and Z. Wake up Sony, the S4 Pro on a 1080p screen with poor viewing angles isn't going to cut it.

  • sri_tech

    I understand that HTC one is much better than Sony xperia Z.
    But tell me how is galaxy s4 with touch wiz is better than xperia Z.

    I really like AP, but sometimes you guys also go with what people are buying. S4 selling does not mean its better than Z. Only advantage for S4 is screen. But Z is not bad except for viewing angles which is not problem for phones.

    • eilegz

      better specs overall and more bloat in other markets samsung its always cheaper than htc, sony and motorola.

      • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.hill.940641 Joshua Hill

        The S4 is much more expensive than the Z in Australia.

  • moody

    Sony is to the US phone market what Motorola is to the rest of the world. An odd bird that just cant get a solid foot hold despite making highly competitive products.

  • Stephen Liu

    The no-commitment price for a GSIII (which is a better basis of comparison since it's nearly identical in specification and, unlike the Nexus 4, is not sold at/near-cost) is $449 at AT&T and $549 at T-Mobile. So I would disagree with the entire notion that Sony is pricing the Xperia SP ridiculously since it falls well in-line with what competinhandsets cost.

    This is the problem with the Play Store pricing for the Nexus 4: it's not a realistic price and your stance on this picing issue only goes to further this unsustainable skewing of price perception.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      That's not the point I'm making at all. I'm saying that you can walk into an AT&T store, pay $200 for a Galaxy S4, and six months later, pay a $300 ETF if you want to leave. The total out of pocket cost there is basically the same as buying an Xperia SP outright and bringing it to AT&T and using it for 6 months. It is clearly very silly to do the latter - not to mention the S4 will hold value much better if you choose to sell it.

      I'm not so much saying Sony's price point isn't in line with the device's specifications ( think it's still a tad high), I'm saying Sony has no clue how to sell smartphones in the US. What you're saying is largely irrelevant to that point.

      • http://www.facebook.com/matts.lindmark.7 Matts Lindmark

        The prices Sony charge for their devices is perfectly normal. $599-629 for the Xperia Z is a good price.

        Clueless people that believe that a smartphone is a product that cost $199 and therefore complains about $599 isn't a customer base Sony should please. There are other markets that are more important than the US one. In India, the middle class population is of approximately the same size as the whole US one and Sony can cater for their needs with the C6602 or C6603. Not FOUR different versions. It makes more sense to go there then rather than reducing the brand equity with AT&T Sony, Sprint Sony, T-Mobile Sony and Verizon Sony devices complete with carrier bloatware.

      • Stephen Liu

        Well, no. You failed to also take into accout the portion of the monthky bill that goes towards the hardware subsidy. However, becuase AT&T doesn't offer any "incenive" for bring-your-own-device customers, then we cannot use them as the basis for comparison because we are unable to gauge the true cost of the hardware with their service. If you look at buying the GSIII and service from T-Mobile versus buying an Xperia SP from Sony for use on T-Mobile, the SP comes out ahead by about $70.

        Now, it's true that Sony's approach to selling phones in the US is incompatible with the way the way the wireless industry has traditionally worked; however, you've just continued to perpetuate an inaccurate idea of the value of phone hardware by failing to account for how the traditional wireless sales model obscures the true cost of hardware. The way that Sony is selling smartphones along how T-Mobile is now approaching their service plans are two pieces to the solution that countless editorials have been calling for.

  • Kalk177

    Ok, this phone is too expensive. But, remember: Nexus 4 is so low priced, because Google is donating it. And (afaik) in US only, which means anywhere on the world, people pay for Nexus lot more. The only way to geat cheap Nexus is illegal import.

    • Ivan Myring

      Its not illegal to import a product.

      • Jaime Larios

        There is legal import and there is illegal import ...

    • http://www.facebook.com/jpof.83 João Paulo Ferreira

      Ok, 2 small points:
      - the Nexus 4 is also for sale by Google in some European countries and I believe some Asian ones as well. Not sure of the price in Asia, but in Europe it's a bit more expensive, with the 16GB version selling for 350€ (a bit over the $350 in the USA). Although, it's for sale without the Google subsidizing in a lot more countries, although for a much higher price.
      - the import alternative isn't illegal, at least in most countries. You need to be sure the phone follows the legislation (for instance, radiation emission) in your country, and should make sure the version you import is usable in your country (for instance, check if the 3G is available in the correct band). Other than that, the phone gets shipped, you pay for customs (which usually includes VAT and other import taxes) and you get the phone legally. Although please take notice that if you purchase a Google-subsidized version, the warranty process is a bit complicated.

      Regarding the article, it's not just an issue for the US. The mid-range phones from most companies seem way overpriced. I'm seeing dual-cores with 1.5Ghz announced for €350+, when quad-cores like the LG 4x is available around €300 sim-free, and dropping. Also, with the MT6589 poised to invade Europe (through both good-quality Asian imports and companies like Archos and Alcatel), and the previous generation quad-cores dropping price, companies like Sony should REALLY take notice of the price point they target...

      • Kalk177

        Some, but not all. Google divide european countries by cash - poor Poland, rich Germany. Even then, "german" Nexus is more expensive, than american. Forth, not third, world, we are.

    • Gorga Naibaho

      Yes, the Nexus 4 was cheapest at $475 here in Indonesia but that price was only for those who preordered. Anyone else now has to pay $550, and this is for the 8GB version - we have to buy it off LG, no option to do so from the Play Store.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dean.jen.39 Dean Jen

    $500 for Xperia SP is just a bit too much(especially when you can grab a HTC FIRST for around $300 on eBay). $600+(was more than $700 couple weeks ago) for Z/ZL is definitely too much when the $299 Nexus 4 comes into consideration. I'm just not sure if $200 to $300 extra is justified for better appearance and "different" UI(heck, that's even more expensive than a legitimate copy of Windows 8, and we're talking about a full OS vs. UI add-on).

    Not to mention about the S4($600+ locked but without contract, still a bit too much) and HTC ONE($574 for 32GB unlocked without contract).

    I think the only REAL advantage for Sony is that you can get the unlocked model(specific model, like C6506 for ZL) and that can be used with either AT&T(3G + LTE) and T-mobile(3G with LTE coming later)...

  • http://twitter.com/CyleoNL Peter-Jan

    Sorry, but saying the Xperia Z feels more sluggish then the s4 is just untrue. U.S. prices are ridiculous, that much is true. Fortunately I live in Europe, but I know Sony shows little love to the US in the mobile department.

    • porter86

      The Xperia Z is really popular in Europe, and not long ago I saw an article (can't remember where sorry) about how good the sales figures were.

      Obviously written from a very US-centric viewpoint.

      • DarrenR

        Apparently you did not read the title of the article which states specifically this is about the US market.

        • porter86

          Apparently you did not read the article where he talks about Sony in general terms.

  • basteagow

    Unless you want it from Sony direct, the Xperia SP can be ordered from a distributor for as low as $379/397 (with/without LTE). The ZL and Z are $534/568 and $605/unknown respectively. As mentioned in several comments, comparing any phone to Nexus prices is apples and oranges.

    While I agree with many of the points made in the article, I take issue with the blanket statement that HTC's and (especially) Samsung's offerings are "better" than Sony's. This is all very subjective. If the HTC One were pentaband and had on-screen buttons and a decent notification LED, it would have been my next phone. As for the SGS4, it was never an option for me.

    I sold my Nexus 4 and chose an Xperia ZL over HTC's and Samsung's offerings. While its screen and processor are definitely not the best, I couldn't be happier with the ZL as a whole. For me, it wasn't about popularity or a list of specs—it was about the complete package. With the ZL, Sony took every single feature I wanted and created a solid, beautiful phone that has all the things that matter to me when it comes to actually getting shit done: great build quality, loud yet clear speaker, strong vibration, great notification LED, on-screen buttons, USB OTG, AVRCP 1.3, pentaband, LTE, IR blaster, and a physical camera button.

    Don't get me wrong; Sony's direct prices are ridiculous and they need to get their heads out of their asses when it comes to marketing in the U.S. This, however, doesn't mean that their devices are worthless or should be written off as such.

    • http://twitter.com/kuyanyan Yanyan | RR

      I guess what they're saying is that based on specs and the price they're offered, the Sony flagship (S4 Pro) doesn't really compete well with the Samsung, HTC and even LG flagship (S600). The same can be said of their midrange phones. There's nothing wrong with Sony phones but it always felt like they're holding back. The Z is a 2013 phone with late 2012 specs. The only things going for it over other 2013 flagships are its IP57 rating, onscreen buttons and the physical camera buttons. All other features are now being offered by other flagships. The display is adequate, but why have adequate when the competition offers better displays for about the same price?

      The SP is a curious case as there's nothing right now that competes with it directly. The S4 mini and the Optimus F7 are both a few months away in any market. Right now we have the Xperia V, the older One X and the S III, the Nexus 4 and the Optimus G. Depending on your needs, you might be better of buying an S III for $25 more or an Xperia V and save $25-50.

      • basteagow

        Yes, Sony has an annoying habit of holding back and being stubborn in certain respects—but they can also be quite progressive in others, as with the neat notification LED and two-stage camera button on the ZL, their SLT and mirrorless camera lines, etc.

        Unfortunately, Sony is also known for starting too many new things and dropping them shortly thereafter, so time will tell. Ultimately, I can take comfort in the fact that, should Sony decide to abandon the ZL, I can throw CyanogenMod on it. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/matts.lindmark.7 Matts Lindmark

    I think the smartphone market in the US is terrible and I don't think Sony should start to play along with it either. The carrier branded devices that are sold here is inferior to the European versions (carrier branding and bloatware makes a product worse) and then we have the whole problem with specially made devices for specific carriers.

    Sony clearly want that a Sony is a Sony - not AT&T Sony, Sprint Sony, T-Mobile Sony or Verizon Sony with different bloatware and alterations. Selling devices for $199 + $100 x 24 is a business for clueless people that don't understand better. I think Sony should target the part of the population that prefer a clean, unlocked phone and also realize that $100 or more for service is ridiculous. An unlocked, unbranded device on a prepaid plan for between $30-49 is a much better option. Having capped LTE and severe branding and a carrier that messes up updates etc is not an option for a demanding customer.

    In my case, I am used to the system in Europa and don't see any reason to defend the US horrible cellular market. It is bad enough to write that a device is "$99" or "$199" when that comes with $100 x 24. Write the full retail price instead. There simply Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.:)

    I don't get the complaining about the Xperia Z either. I bought the C6602 and don't see how the HTC One or Galaxy S 4 could be "better" despite the fact that I have tried both. The Xperia Z is quick (yes, it is - winning Quadrant isn't the only thing) and runs a pretty clean Android with additions that doesn't feel like bloat. TouchWiz is on the other hand extremely heavy and bloated. Many of the features that the S 4 offers is innovative but way too locked down to the TW framework. The HTC One has similar problems with heavy skinning and alterations. The Xperia Z is much more towards the Nexus style and has a big plus when it comes to support for other ROMs like CM10.1, AOSP and AOKP.

    The Galaxy S 4 is a heavily fragmented device with incompatible ROMs, both with the Exynos 5 Octa based i9500, the S600 i9505 and the different US carrier versions. That is a terrible mess. The HTC One suffers from a similar problem albeit to a less extent since it is more standardized.

    The Xperia Z is the clear winner here since the C6602 and C6603 is standardized devices that can use the same ROMs without any problems. It is also very good that it is a clean device without carrier bloat.

    To me, the most UNattractive device that can be bought is a US carrier bloated thing complete with a carrier logotype and modified ROM with bloatware. It doesn't matter if they would make a special crafted product with 5 GHz, 4K display, 256 GB storage and Android 6.2 - I just don't want to have anything from a carrier in my device.

    What Sony should do in the US is to sell pure, unlocked devices through their own stores and also work on adding other retailers. The carrier mess is something they should avoid. Before anyone begin to defend that mess - I say this: US isn't the biggest market in the world. India and China are bigger, then we have the whole European market to add together with Russia. There's no need for Sony to start making Xperia ZV for Verizon, ZS for Sprint, ZT for T-Mobile and ZA for AT&T in order to survive and succeed.

    Making all those devices is a terrible mess and increase the cost of manufacturing, packaging, distribution and support - while the customers will complain about how bad Sony is when the updates are delayed.

    I think it is a very bad idea to beg Sony to enter the US market with different carrier branded versions of their devices. It is bad enough with the Xperia TL and they should NOT make more of that kind. I would also say that carrier "indoctrinated" customers that believe that $199 + $100 x 24 is "cheaper" than $500-629 + $30-45 x 24 should be avoided altogether for any brand that want to offer a premium experience.

    There is just nothing premium with a US carrier branded device at all. To me, those devices are clearly aimed for a clueless population that gladly pay $100 per month for service and think it is "normal" to be locked into contracts for 24 months.
    It is also an indication that aspects like competition and free market isn't of any concern either among those that just accept what the carriers are doing.

    • ssj4Gogeta

      I can't imagine how anyone would accept the idea of buying phones from carriers. You might as well start buying cars from oil companies, home appliances from electrical companies, cameras from battery companies.

      If you don't want to pay the whole price of the phone upfront, pay it in installments using a credit card/other options.

    • Gorga Naibaho

      To be honest, this comment has more objectivity than the article itself. Great writeup.

    • SK

      I don't think the point of the article was to get Sony to sell carrier branded versions of mid range devices. But rather, "The price is too damn high" point for a mid range phone. More of a "SONY, stop wasting money be trying to sell this here. Make it cheaper or don't waste your time" comment.

      • http://www.facebook.com/matts.lindmark.7 Matts Lindmark

        I don't see that the SP is way to expensive. I think it is reasonable with around $500 when the Z is $599-629. The SP is $569 in Sweden (which I regard as the home market for Sony Mobile Communications since their development is in Lund since the SEMC days) while the Z is around $800.

        And here we are complaining about a price tag that is lower. Yes I know the idea of "different markets" but global products shouldn't be subsidized in country A and sold for full retail in country B. A more smooth pricing structure is preferred.

        Sony charges something for their brand too and that explains part of the price. A quick look at Amazon gives a Galaxy S III i9300 for $434. Sony could lower their price to $450 or something but I think they want to sell the SP as a bit more luxurious mid range device.

  • Alex

    Well... That is the problem we in Europe (and in some country's are worse), we face when we buy phones here that they come from America or Asia.
    They are a lot more expensive here, they do the 1$ = 1€ and in top of that they put tax. In some cases the phone its near 2x the price.

  • MrHaroHaro

    It sucks that Sony, in order to be successful in the US has to work with the carriers and refuses to do so, while providing no benefit to someone that would otherwise want to buy their phone. I think their best bet would to go with T-Mobile as it provides a sort of half-way point between the contract and unsubsidized pricing models.

    I don't think the price for this phone is ideal, but it's also not totally unreasonable given what else is out there. There are low-tier (last year's mid-range at best) phones on T-Mobile and AT&T that manage to be more expensive than the Nexus 4 off contract. I think it's just the environment, I guess, that dictates the pricing. I think $490 is a little too much for the SP, but I'd be willing to pay up to $450 for it. I think this makes it more frustrating, as it JUST misses the mark. The HTC First is $450 off contract from AT&T, and in some ways it's as good as this phone and in some ways it's worse.

  • http://twitter.com/s99nj S. Ali

    "meh" about sums up the Android experience

  • http://www.facebook.com/RobJohnson90 Rob Johnson

    I'm hoping to upgrade to the Xperia SP soon, it's my most wanted phone! Here in the UK it's only £250 for the Pay As You Go version, that's the definition of doing it right!

  • Sxeptomaniac

    In general, Sony has been skating by for a long time. Their products, in general, are typically best described as overpriced and under-inspiring.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.hill.940641 Joshua Hill

    'While the company's most-recent flagship handsets, the Xperia Z and ZL, have been far from hated by critics, neither has received much in the way of real acclaim' POPPYCOCK!

    Lots of great analysis and opinion ruined by a subjective and utterly untrue statement.

  • thirdworldguy

    Stop leaving on subsidy and buy mobiles. America live up to your capitalist ideals.

  • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

    It's because of this guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazuo_Hirai

    IMO, he has even more clueless than Howard Stringer was.

  • hamboy

    Just because the SP isn't a flagship device doesn't make it 'utterly forgettable'. OEMs must love clowns like you who only care the highest spec devices no matter what.

  • andrew__des_moines

    I think Sony is the top contributor among OEM's to Android code -- it would be nice if they were able to realize more success from this.

  • ian

    I had a xperia z i just sold it for $490.00 au only a month old. Very plain and boring, very corporatre way of design no frills phone. Thats why im getting galaxy s4

  • apo

    Sony you want a recipe for success? Put stock android + big battery( at least 1.5 days of heavy use), 4.7 screen MAX, 32 GB of space minimum, don't make the phone ugly. Sell it for 450 in US unlocked and you will rescue the whole smartphone department of yours.

  • DarrenR

    Im less upset about Sony than I am Huawei.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Neel-Gupta/1455113656 Neel Gupta

    "terrible decisions" ?
    Sony is the epitome of terrible decisions !

    Remember PS3 Linux Fiasco ? Remember Sony Music-CD Malware ?

  • roeshak

    You're talking nonsense. The Xperia Z has been a success for Sony. You keep talking about the s4pro like it's useless. It's got more power than most people need. It's only the Korean companies Samsung and LG, together with HTC that are caught up in the spec race. Nokia, Apple, Blackberry etc are all still producing dual core devices because the understand that the for the vast majority of users, that's plenty fine.
    The xperia Z is not lacking in any way in processing specs. There is no noticeable difference in performance terms.
    Samsung sells tonnes of phones by advertising strongly their software innovations and not off the back of specs.
    They only implement the latest and greatest cpu available to shut up the techy geeky minority who'll cry like children otherwise. Exactly what you're doing.
    HTC who keep packing the latest and greatest raw specs into their phones are hardly a shinning example on how to be successful in the smartphone game. Notice I said raw specs there because the end result isn't the best.
    Samsung has sold nearly 10 million S4's in 50 days not because of 1.9ghz 600 cpu, but because they've captured the imagination of consumers with stuff like group play, air view, s-translate etc etc. Even most of these turn out to be gimmicky, they resonate with consumers. Sony too managed to ship 4.6 million Zs in 40 days. Why because glass is appealing and waterproofing captured the imagination too. Add to that the supreme video quality on that device, and you see why both phones have been a hit with the consumers.
    As for the HTC One, it's tech worlds choice but until tech sites start buying phones in their millions, their opinions matter not one jot.
    4.7 inch was so last year as far as displays go, 600cpu just washes over the heads of most, 4mp camera that needed explanation, aluminium which was again, something only the tech world was crying out for. Boomsoung? again, something only a small minority of die hard smartphone users called for. Put that all together, and you'll quickly see why that phone will struggle to compete with the other two for the peoples choice award. That't the most important verdict, the consumers vote and not the tech sites.
    Your rant against Sony is nothing new, the internet is full of geeky types who dwell and fixate on minor details ranting against Sony.
    Guess what, it hasn't made a damn bit of difference to Sony's fortunes because as I've said, you're in a small minority of spec crazed jokers.

  • championswimmer

    David Ruddock : He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

    Ha ha. This article was full of them.
    Sony, my dear sir, does not make phones to please your whims and fancies. You my dear sir, may please be seated tight on your carrier shackled phones, while Sony is selling Z at a price 15% less than S4 and 25% less then HTC One in India. And the SP beats everything out of the water at it's price point. It as the best dual core SoC in the market, that beats the gimmicky Exynos quad core in S3 by two football fields worth of a margin, and is selling at MUCH less that USD 500 in India (about USD 450), and it just has NO competition at all in this market.
    I am happy to see that Z, ZL and SP are doing really decent business in India, while you carrier pampered babies keep whimpering your way in USA about why Sony doesn't give you the best phones in the world while everybody else gets them.