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Sony Releases Smartwatch 2 and New “Phablet”

By  +Follow June 27, 2013 10:56AM
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smartwatch 2 With little near-term competition from Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG) and other competitors, Sony (SNE) has emerged as the immediate leader in wearable technology after announcing the Smartwatch 2 on Tuesday.  The company also announced the Xperia Z Ultra, a phone-tablet hybrid.

Sony’s technology has become increasingly irrelevant over the past several years, sending the stock from over $37 in March 2010 to under $10 in November of 2012. While shares have risen to over $21 since November, the company needs to hit a home run with at least one of these products to re-establish itself as an innovator and a threat in the technology space.  Here’s what to expect from both devices.

Smartwatch 2

With a steep price tag, slow interface, and overall lack of features, Sony’s original smartwatch one left consumers disappointed.  This time around, Sony has solved most of the device’s shortcomings.

The device connects with most Android phones via NFC one-touch pairing and can automatically receive phone, message, email, and social media notifications from the Android device. It can also serve as a remote control for the Android’s music player so users don’t need to constantly look down at their phone. 

The watch’s display is 1.6-inches, is waterproof, and can read sunlight to automatically adjust brightness.  Sony is set to offer over 200 apps, including Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, weather, calendar and alarm.  Aesthetically, the Smartwatch 2 looks similar to renderings of Apple’s (AAPL) unreleased iWatch.  A price has not yet been announced, although the watch is set for release in September.

Stefan Persson, Sony’s head of companion products is excited about the future of smartwatches. “The future of wearable devices is incredibly bright with analyst research predicting 41 million ‘smart’ watches will be sold by 2016,” said Persson. “We have over 200 unique apps dedicated for Sony Smartwatch with over one million downloads to date and we are continuing to work with our strong developer network to deliver ever more compelling smartwatch experiences.”

Reactions to the device were lukewarm, but the Smartwatch 2 is nonetheless the only smartwatch on the market.  As a result, it remains to be seen whether the Smartwatch 2 will set the industry standard or will be an unfulfilling appetizer to superior wearable products from Apple and Google.

Google Glasses and Apple’s iWatch are expected to get mainstream launches sometime in 2014.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra

With Sony trailing Samsung, Apple, Blackberry, Microsoft, and others in the global smartphone market, the company made a somewhat aggressive move on Tuesday by releasing the Xperia Z Ultra, a 6.4-inch “phablet” or phone-tablet hybrid.  The device is waterproof and runs on Android 4.2.  It also has a full HD display, a 2.2 GHZ processor, 2 GB of RAM, and is powered by Qualcomm’s ultra-fast Snapdragon 800 chipset.                                   

While the phablet concept is semi-unexplored territory, Sony investors probably shouldn’t get their hopes up.  Phablets haven’t caught on yet because they are impractical; the device is too large to fit into a pocket and is fairly awkward to hold up to an ear for an extended period of time.

As a result, the Xperia Z Ultra is positioned in the market as a fully functional tablet, not as a phone.  The tablet market is certainly a tough one to crack, as Apple holds an overwhelming market share lead in the space.  However, Apple has lost some of its brand appeal in the last year, so Sony could steal some of Apple's sales if the device exceeds performance expectations.                                

Sony Plays Catchup

The success of at least one of these devices is critical for Sony moving forward.  The company has fallen behind to newer innovators like Apple, Google, and Amazon (AMZN), so the stock could certainly use a new catalyst moving forward.

Successful launches for both of these devices starts and ends with marketing.  While the phablet is a tough sell, Sony has a very rare opportunity with the Smartwatch 2.  The device is the only game in town when it comes to smartwatches, so Sony’s marketing team must convince potential buyers that they don’t need to wait for the Apple iWatch to experience the future of wearable technology.

 Since the product announcements, Sony shares are up 6.27 percent to $21.19.

Results for SNE
stocknews247
18 Apr 14 06:32:26
$SNE - Xbox One Sells 5 Million -> http://t.co/UTGqvTiHZc #stock #stocks #stockaction
GavinGreenberg
18 Apr 14 06:25:17
$SNE: [video] Sony Says PlayStation 4 Sales Pass 7 Million Units http://t.co/fNvIThBpF6
Seeking Alpha
18 Apr 14 05:58:35
Fundamentals Are Also Changing For Parametric http://t.co/YSnXz15d1B $MSFT #MICROSOFT #WINDOWS $SNE $EA $HEAR
Jackie Highfield
18 Apr 14 05:51:38
$SNE Xbox One Sells 5 Million http://t.co/kCscwhyxsU
Stock Herald
18 Apr 14 05:24:34
$SNE: [video] Sony Says PlayStation 4 Sales Pass 7 Million Units http://t.co/Hh1KCuax94
Console Market Watch
18 Apr 14 04:55:41
RT @GavinGreenberg: $SNE: Sony PS4 beats Xbox One sales by 2Mln consoles during March http://t.co/tYB2tBTs4o
Jackie Highfield
18 Apr 14 04:54:10
$SNE Why Japan’s growing consumerism supports Third Point’s Sony stake http://t.co/Zs4i7Cgw6P
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$SNE 'X-Men' Credit Cookie Stole Spider-Man's Thunder http://t.co/XeCjZirn5R
senthilnathan karupp
18 Apr 14 04:32:39
$SNE is down 0.37% today, our subscriber’s portfolios are up 20% . http://t.co/ZfpmytRwB2
Informer
18 Apr 14 04:24:14
$SNE: [video] Sony Says PlayStation 4 Sales Pass 7 Million Units http://t.co/6q3mpOGLrB
Jackie Highfield
18 Apr 14 04:20:10
$SNE Is Sony Winning the Console War? http://t.co/MfusXcFxTw
senthilnathan karupp
18 Apr 14 04:12:39
$SNE is down 0.37% today, our subscriber’s portfolios are up 20% . http://t.co/tffaUfQ6oZ
senthilnathan karupp
18 Apr 14 04:11:39
$SNE is down 0.37% today, our subscriber’s portfolios are up 20% . http://t.co/tffaUfQ6oZ
senthilnathan karupp
18 Apr 14 04:10:39
$SNE is down 0.37% today, our subscriber’s portfolios are up 20% . http://t.co/tffaUfQ6oZ
senthilnathan karupp
18 Apr 14 04:09:39
$SNE is down 0.37% today, our subscriber’s portfolios are up 20% . http://t.co/tffaUfQ6oZ
senthilnathan karupp
18 Apr 14 04:08:39
$SNE is down 0.37% today, our subscriber’s portfolios are up 20% . http://t.co/tffaUfQ6oZ
senthilnathan karupp
18 Apr 14 04:07:40
$SNE is down 0.37% today, our subscriber’s portfolios are up 20% . http://t.co/tffaUfQ6oZ
senthilnathan karupp
18 Apr 14 04:06:39
$SNE is down 0.37% today, our subscriber’s portfolios are up 20% . http://t.co/tffaUfQ6oZ
senthilnathan karupp
18 Apr 14 04:05:39
$SNE is down 0.37% today, our subscriber’s portfolios are up 20% . http://t.co/tffaUfQ6oZ
senthilnathan karupp
18 Apr 14 04:04:39
$SNE is down 0.37% today, our subscriber’s portfolios are up 20% . http://t.co/tffaUfQ6oZ
senthilnathan karupp
18 Apr 14 04:03:40
$SNE is down 0.37% today, our subscriber’s portfolios are up 20% . http://t.co/tffaUfQ6oZ
Bidness Etc
18 Apr 14 03:51:08
$SNE’s PS4 outsold $MSFT’s Xbox One for the third consecutive month http://t.co/3A0hKXNmWB $AEM
Jackie Highfield
18 Apr 14 03:41:05
$SNE Sony Leads March Console Sales Ahead of Microsoft http://t.co/LTtsXcOkf0
Antonio Costa
18 Apr 14 03:34:32
$AAPL $BBRY $NOK $SNE Global smartphone shipments up to nearly 277 million units in 1Q14 http://t.co/OBJSDZ3dQN
Antonio Costa
18 Apr 14 03:32:30
$AAPL $NOK $SNE Apple, Samsung account for 85% of 4G LTE smartphone market in January-February http://t.co/FWasJCwKWS
Jarrod Magan
18 Apr 14 03:27:42
Apple iPhone 6: The 6 Boring Improvements I Want to See $GOOG $SSNLF $AAPL $SNE $FB http://t.co/6WZQ0s8pmx via @minyanville
Felicia Capcome
18 Apr 14 03:26:15
RT @GavinGreenberg: $SNE: Playstation4 (PS4) Sales Surpass 7.0 Million Units Worldwide http://t.co/fQIbzjK0X7
Jackie Highfield
18 Apr 14 03:25:07
$SNE Titanfall pushes Xbox One sales to 5 million total, but it can't pass PlayStation http://t.co/ogPC04d51Z
GavinGreenberg
18 Apr 14 03:17:07
$SNE: [video] Sony Says PlayStation 4 Sales Pass 7 Million Units http://t.co/fNvIThBpF6
GavinGreenberg
18 Apr 14 03:12:06
$SNE: Playstation4 (PS4) Sales Surpass 7.0 Million Units Worldwide http://t.co/fQIbzjK0X7
Jackie Highfield
18 Apr 14 03:08:45
$SNE Sony PS4 beats Xbox One' sales by 2Mln consoles during March http://t.co/wDbpPwrxcD
GavinGreenberg
18 Apr 14 03:01:37
$SNE: Sony PS4 beats Xbox One sales by 2Mln consoles during March http://t.co/tYB2tBTs4o
Stock Herald
18 Apr 14 02:45:08
$SNE: Sony PS4 beats Xbox One sales by 2Mln consoles during March http://t.co/ASMPkV9bvK
stocknews247
18 Apr 14 02:32:05
$SNE - Sony PS4 beats Xbox One sales by 2Mln consoles during March -> http://t.co/PlBqQLZFy2 #stock #stocks #stockaction
smonitoring
18 Apr 14 02:22:12
Microsoft continues to lag Sony in console battle http://t.co/0thKQTXdPT $MSFT $SNE $EA $ATVI
Stock Herald
18 Apr 14 02:17:07
$SNE: [video] Sony Says PlayStation 4 Sales Pass 7 Million Units http://t.co/Hh1KCuax94
Stock Herald
18 Apr 14 02:12:05
$SNE: Sony Leads March Console Sales Ahead of Microsoft http://t.co/eNZ5hxT54y
Stock Herald
18 Apr 14 02:00:37
$SNE: Playstation4 (PS4) Sales Surpass 7.0 Million Units Worldwide http://t.co/14vcjxaVjk
Informer
18 Apr 14 01:46:09
$SNE: Playstation4 (PS4) Sales Surpass 7.0 Million Units Worldwide http://t.co/dy0zEOpjkJ
MarketCurrents
18 Apr 14 01:34:20
Microsoft continues to lag Sony in console battle http://t.co/UCGwZVz0GB $MSFT $SNE $EA $ATVI
stocknews247
18 Apr 14 01:32:05
$SNE - Playstation4 (PS4) Sales Surpass 7.0 Million Units Worldwide -> http://t.co/d3FdwfK6Un #stock #stocks #stockaction
Informer
18 Apr 14 01:18:12
$SNE: [video] Sony Says PlayStation 4 Sales Pass 7 Million Units http://t.co/6q3mpOGLrB
Informer
18 Apr 14 01:08:04
$SNE: Sony Leads March Console Sales Ahead of Microsoft http://t.co/eE1h7x7o7w
Jackie Highfield
18 Apr 14 00:53:08
$SNE Playstation4 (PS4) Sales Surpass 7.0 Million Units Worldwide http://t.co/pQBLT2FJW6
GavinGreenberg
18 Apr 14 00:45:33
$SNE: [video] Sony Says PlayStation 4 Sales Pass 7 Million Units http://t.co/onmyPqixcJ
GavinGreenberg
18 Apr 14 00:35:05
$SNE: Sony Leads March Console Sales Ahead of Microsoft http://t.co/GBiNPV6fIG
Jackie Highfield
18 Apr 14 00:25:01
$SNE Sony Leads March Console Sales Ahead of Microsoft http://t.co/Kmb0B0rz8E
GavinGreenberg
18 Apr 14 00:18:19
$SNE: [video] Sony Says PlayStation 4 Sales Pass 7 Million Units http://t.co/fNvIThBpF6
GavinGreenberg
18 Apr 14 00:06:34
$SNE: Sony Leads March Console Sales Ahead of Microsoft http://t.co/cbvUzyy1Q5
Stock Herald
17 Apr 14 23:44:05
$SNE: Sony Leads March Console Sales Ahead of Microsoft http://t.co/eNZ5hxT54y
				
				
By  +Follow June 27, 2013 10:56AM
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