Sony to launch premium flagship smartphone in Thailand

BANGKOK, NNA - Sony Corp. will launch a new flagship model of its Xperia Android smartphone series in Thailand in a bid to boost sales in the premium segment of the second-largest mobile phone market in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.

Sony Thai Co., its local sales arm, said it is scheduled to release Xperia XZ2 on April 27, seeking to achieve further sales growth and a greater market share in the high-end field, which has grown faster than the entire market.

The new model of the Japanese electronics and entertainment giant, priced at 25,990 baht ($834), features the world's first 4K ultra high-resolution format enabling a wider range of brightness to realize high video quality, it said.

The size of the Thai smartphone market is estimated at 18 million units, with premium models costing over 20,000 baht, including iPhones, accounting for 10 percent of the total, according to market research by GfK cited by Sony.

Satoshi Mekata, general manager of the mobile sales division of the local unit, said premium smartphones still have room to grow despite saturation in the entire market. Putting greater focus on the premium segment, Sony Thai achieved a 10 percent year-on-year increase in smartphone sales in 2017.

The subsidiary aims to expand its market share in the segment from the current single-digit level to 10 percent this year, Mekata said.

After shifting the production base of some models from China to Thailand in 2015, Xperia XZ2 is the fifth locally made smartphone for the Tokyo-based firm. The new flagship model, produced at a plant in the central province of Pathum Thani, north of Bangkok, is set to be exported globally. (NNA/Kyodo)