Sony is renowned for being one of the most important players in the smartphone industry, almost solely due to the fact that it supplies camera sensors for scores of manufacturers. Despite this hardware expertise, the company has never really offered a killer smartphone camera experience in the past few years.
Adam Marsh, Sony’s senior manager of global marketing, has outlined the reason for this in an interview with Trusted Reviews (via Xperia Blog). And the executive has blamed a rivalry between the mobile and Alpha mirrorless camera divisions for the disappointing results.
“Even though we’re one company, there are still sometimes barriers that Alpha doesn’t want to give Mobile certain things, because all of a sudden you have the same as what a 3,000 pound camera’s got,” Marsh told the outlet.
“Now that barrier’s gone a little bit. They’re saying ‘okay, we see that having a smartphone and camera that gives you the same experience is a good thing,’” the executive continued.
Kimio Maki, formerly head of the Alpha division, is now in charge of mobile, and he reportedly halted work on what would’ve been the Xperia XZ4 in favor of a new approach. Marsh said the new approach saw Maki fostering collaboration between the various brands and the mobile division.
“Because that imaging team is all together, they can share that experience across Cybershot, Alpha and Xperia,” the executive explained.
It certainly sounds like a wise move, allowing the various divisions to share resources and innovations in theory. Furthermore, the executive said it’s “possible” for software features from the Alpha cameras to come to the Sony Xperia line.
The company representative also acknowledged that Sony phones weren’t going to have mass market appeal, but outlined its strengths.
“Sony as a brand is not going to appeal to everybody. We’re not a Samsung, we’re not a Huawei. But what we will appeal to is people who want quality products where they are able to take amazing pictures or a video, or do something different,” Marsh said, adding that its strengths were related to the screen and camera.
The Xperia 1 represents the first flagship as part of this arrangement, then. We’ll need to spend time with a review unit to determine whether the company’s efforts are bearing fruit though. But between the triple rear cameras, 4K HDR OLED display, and overdue RAW noise reduction, there’s every reason to be cautiously optimistic.
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