Mobile market aims for high end
An employee demonstrates the video function of a Sony Xperia Tablet Z at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday. photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
Mobile phone and tablet makers continued to take aim at the top device makers in the market as more new devices were unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Sony unveiled a new tablet, the Xperia Tablet Z, which claims to be the lightest, thinnest 10-inch tablet yet.
The firm plans to make it available globally from the second quarter of 2013. Initially, the Xperia Z will be available in Japan. The tablet addresses some of the issues experienced with other devices; it is dustproof and waterproof up to one metre for 30 minutes.
The screen offers better colour reproduction than its rivals, Xperia product manager Stephen Sneeden said, adding that it beat the current iPad by about 20 per cent.
Its 10.1-inch display is powered by Sony’s Mobile Bravia Engine 2, and it includes Exmor R for mobile camera technology. The device comes with a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, and includes Near Field Communication technology.
“Although intended as additional proof of the company’s desire to be a lead player in the premium Android device market, the new Tablet Z will undoubtedly go head to head with Apple’s iPad,” said David McQueen, principal analyst at Inform Telecoms and Media.
He said pricing would be crucial. “It will be interesting to see whether Sony position the Tablet Z closer to its smartphone partner, or more towards its TV business as a companion device.”
Sony said it was targeting 2013 as a breakthrough year for its mobile business, with its new flagship Xperia Z now available in 60 countries.
Elsewhere, Nokia introduced its new Lumia phones, widening the appeal of the Windows Phones. The Lumia 720 is being aimed at the more youthful market, McQueen said, offering storage for media files and changeable covers for wireless charging of the phone.
The 520 is aimed at a more budget-conscious market. Mr McQueen said the pricing took the operating system into “uncharted waters” but said it would help drive its growth.
Opening the event, executives warned that the mobile industry was facing significant challenges, calling for a “light touch” regulatory environment and a reduced taxation burden on those in the industry.
According to an industry report, the total mobile industry will invest $1.1 trillion in capital expenditure and contribute $2.6 trillion to public funding in the period through 2017. Some 700 million subscribers will be added in that time, bringing the industry to just below the €4 billion milestone.