By Cheranka Mendis
A leading player in the local smartphone industry, Sony Ericsson yesterday launched eight new phones to the Sri Lankan market hoping to establish itself as the leader in android segment in the country within the next few years.
Gearing to tackle the highly competitive market with a more focused presence, Ericsson is determined to establish itself as the ideal brand for the feature and quality rich market. Bringing in some of Ericsson’s most successful products, the company also announced Metropolitan as the sole distributor for the brand, moving away from the previous tie-up with Abans.
With the Sri Lankan market noted as one that is rapidly growing as well as being strategic in South Asia, the open-ended dealership would provide the basis on which Ericsson will grow in the future.
Metropolitan Telecom Services CEO Roshan Tissera speaking at the event emphasised that the local mobile market was vibrant with almost 200,000 phones sold on a monthly basis, bringing in revenue of over Rs. 1 billion during a 30-day period.
With the industry moving from functionality to feature conscious market, the average price of a phone has risen from Rs. 3,500 two years ago to Rs. 6,000 now. To reach an average of Rs. 9,000 to Rs. 10,000, Sri Lanka will have to wait only a few more years, Tissera said.
He told the Daily FT that even though the current market share of Ericsson was quite low, with the focused presence now in plan, the brand would be able to reach its target of market leader within the next few years. He stated Ericsson presently had a strong hold in the grey market, which would soon change with the close monitoring provided by Metropolitan.
Sony Ericsson General Manager Dennis Manzano introducing the new product range stated that the products had been made to suit the ‘DJs’ in the market, a.k.a. digital entertainment junkies. The products launched yesterday were the LiveView Micro display, Yendo, Spiro, W8, Cedar and txt pro in the walkman series and the XPERIA arc and Xperia play.
“Our proposition is high quality, differentiation and integration,” Manzano said. “We have integrated the best of Sony’s entertainment with Ericsson’s telecommunication network. We will expand our market and product portfolio to reach all across the country.” Even though Ericsson’s local competitors have a year’s lead time over android products, which the brand is famous for, the company is confident that it would not become a barrier in selling its products. “We have superior quality, better customer interface and faster adaptation. We will become market leaders in no time,” he said.
Tissera told the Daily FT that within the next few months more products would be added to the range. Coming up next month is Mixwalkman, which he claims will “revolutionise the music market” and XPERIA Pro, which would add more value to the product line-up.