Sony’s not kidding around this time with its mobile offerings. Consumer data from the UK supports a Sony surge in the market, and it is at Samsung’s expense. A recent market research survey in the United Kingdom found that Sony’s Xperia Z, which may be coming to the U.S. this month via T-Mobile, has been selling very well. So well in fact that 38 percent of Xperia Z users were once Samsung Galaxy users. Research firm IDC reports that Sony is now the third best selling smartphone manufacturer, trailing only Samsung and Apple, in Europe, and the fourth best selling manufacturer in the UK.
The 38 percent of Samsung to Sony converts, according to Kantar, are Galaxy S2 users who decided to go with the Xperia Z over Samsung’s latest Galaxy S4 or other Galaxy branded device. So what’s the cause, or who is to blame, for the recent market shift from Samsung to Sony? According to Kantar analysts, Samsung has to look no further than the mirror. Kantar analysts believe that perhaps Samsung has been so wrapped up in litigation with Apple that in the meantime they’ve taken their eye off the other very good competition out there. Samsung’s products look an awful lot like Apple’s, whether it is the hardware (Galaxy phones are the only Android devices with a singular, center home button like the iPhone) or software (TouchWiz looks almost the same as iOS), and in the meantime other Android manufacturers like HTC, LG, and Sony are creating very good alternatives, in many cases with better build quality.
With the Xperia Z line headed to the U.S. soon, whether or not Americans will also follow suit and shift towards Sony devices over Samsung is yet to be seen. Our best guess is that it depends on three things: carrier availability, price, and media reception. Xperia devices will need to be offered on more than just T-Mobile, the price needs to be comparable or less than the Galaxy S4 or HTC One, and it’s going to need to wow a lot of press in reviews.