With increasing competition, smartphone manufacturers are fighting hard among themselves for every single penny. To stay on top of their game, the latest strategy that has been adopted by many OEMs, including Sony, is that of having a new flagship every six months. Sure, that gives the phone edge over its competitors, but is the strategy doing more harm then good?
First, let’s consider the benefits of having a new flagship every six months. We’ll be using a lot of Xperia Z2 for reference, since the phone got launched just six months after the Xperia Z1 was announced. With the launch of the phone in February, it is now well equipped to take on the likes of Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M8). It’s got enough horsepower to stand among the best, as we’ve seen already. This should give Sony plenty of sales from the consumers that are looking for the best Android that’s out there.
The problem is that that’s pretty much all. Now let’s talk about why this isn’t the best of moves. Consider yourself as someone who isn’t usually the first in line to get a new shiny smartphone. You wait in for the reviews to drop in and perhaps, even for the phone to get discounted a little before jumping the ship. That should take a month or two. Now since you’re planning to get the best phone in the market, would you get something that would be obsolete, or let’s just say the second best, in just a couple of months? No? We thought so too. That’s one reason why Apple sells so well. Their phone’s remain the best that you can own even 10 months after their launch. The Galaxy S4 managed to sell so well six to seven months after its launch, even when there were more powerful phones out there already.
Launching a new phone one after the another does bring down the overall appeal of the brand if you ask us. Sure, it’ll be the most powerful monster of a phone out there, but hey, not all (in fact, not most) of us buy a phone just based on its specs. Had that been the case, iPhone wouldn’t have sold half as well as it actually has. Another problem with half yearly upgrades is that they offer nothing substantial in terms of new features. Consider the Xperia Z2 for example. Yes it shoots 4K videos and has got a better processor, but that’s it. The Z1 already had an excellent processor and was offering similar specs. Surely I wouldn’t even think of spending that huge amount again on a smartphone, unless it offers something substantially more over my present smartphone.
Another problem is that six or seven months down the line, the phone holds no appeal. Consider this, the Lumia 920 is considered a great bargain after getting discounted because it was the best Nokia had to offer until six months ago. Xperia Z on the other hand doesn’t seem appealing to me in the same way, even if it was released around the same time. And that’s because not one, but two new flagships have been released after that from Sony. That makes me uncertain if the phone would be supported for long in the future.
I’m sure many would disagree with me, but then, there’s no clear line on what’s the est strategy given the rapidly changing dynamics and the growing competition among manufacturers.