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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.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions.


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Results for SNE
Brian Lum
27 Nov 14 08:50:52
Bloomberg: Sony working on smartwatch made out of e-paper http://t.co/d2RoFwYitt $SNE
John Turner
27 Nov 14 06:31:23
$SNE Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE)'s SmartWatch 3 on Sale at Google Inc (NASDAQ ... http://t.co/f4CzdSH88G
GotSanctuary
27 Nov 14 06:23:16
Sony Corp $SNE is developing a watch made out of electronic paper http://t.co/krukcG6jHt
Large Void Bot
27 Nov 14 06:00:12
Popular: $UWTI, $DNO, $SCO, $CST, $GG, $GREK, $SNE, $UCO, $HMC, $GDXJ, $DVA, $JBHT, $BRK.B, $KO, $TTWO, $JWN
RickLejeune
27 Nov 14 05:02:34
Sony Picks Consoles And Sensors Over Smartphones And TV http://t.co/3eJcge0NHw $SNE #Stocks #Investing #NYSE #NASDAQ #Tech
TradersLog.com
27 Nov 14 05:00:06
Sony's Rumored E-Paper Watch http://t.co/thrKMw7mld $SNE
Mark Rice
27 Nov 14 04:38:42
Why You Shouldn't Buy a TV on Black Friday http://t.co/8ZbvxXnrA3 via @daily_finance $SNE $PHG $TGT
Elo
27 Nov 14 01:54:44
RT @theflynews: Wells Fargo says $SNE hack highlights need for cybersecurity spending, $PANW $FEYE and others are best positioned: http://t…
David Jackson
26 Nov 14 22:01:16
Bloomberg: Sony working on smartwatch made out of e-paper $SNE http://t.co/jz46Zg2T7I
AfterDawn.com
26 Nov 14 17:12:48
Sony ups revenue forecast for #PlayStation division $SNE http://t.co/FnDgI03iTU
Andrey Kasyanov
26 Nov 14 16:45:50
@OracleofBoxford $SNE balance sheet is pure disaster, Cramer would've said: Buy products, avoid the stock, financials are not there
Oracle of Boxford
26 Nov 14 16:00:38
@akboston Crud I clearly got my tickers crossed. $SNE is up around 22 percent in the last month while $SNY is down almost 11 percent #EDI
Andrey Kasyanov
26 Nov 14 15:55:18
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AfterDawn.com
26 Nov 14 15:49:43
Sony planning an E-Paper #smartwatch $SNE http://t.co/RGQV2VVPnK
MarketCurrents
26 Nov 14 15:02:27
Bloomberg: Sony working on smartwatch made out of e-paper http://t.co/5nv7MMSxXq $SNE
Michael Alfes
26 Nov 14 14:24:33
Why You Shouldn't Buy a TV on Black Friday http://t.co/fSqGH8fg93 via @daily_finance $SNE $PHG $TGT
SiⓂon
26 Nov 14 14:20:57
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[ Apple News ]
26 Nov 14 14:02:06
RT @getinsidesony: @Sony will be releasing an electronic-paper watch through its new innovative division. https://t.co/fwyqRYlUe8 $SNE http…
[ Sony News ]
26 Nov 14 13:51:32
@Sony will be releasing an electronic-paper watch through its new innovative division. https://t.co/fwyqRYlUe8 $SNE http://t.co/4PRp1PCFj9
Sideways
26 Nov 14 13:35:33
RT @_JohnWalsh_: 26/11/14 Long Watch List Part 4 $PKG $PLL $R $SEIC $SHLX $SNE $SNPS $SONC $SPR $ST $STWD $SWFT $SWKS $SYMC
IMG FUNDING
26 Nov 14 12:50:18
Why You Shouldn't Buy a TV on Black Friday http://t.co/meEPpPcbef via @daily_finance $SNE $PHG $TGT
Attiva Capital
26 Nov 14 12:20:07
What'd be $SNE Sony market cap if Wall st. analysts weren't valuing Sony’s consumer electronics business at zero? http://t.co/PsI2Gmz6oD
Attiva Capital
26 Nov 14 12:13:26
@Sony cuts @PlayStation 3, #PS4, game prices in pre-Black Friday sale $SNE http://t.co/X5mDm5bSlR $MSFT $AAPL $NFLX
Attiva Capital
26 Nov 14 12:09:05
RT @mercadomagico: On December 6th and 7th, #Playstation fans and developers will unite in Las Vegas http://t.co/tWhKl2TQ4c $SNE http://t…
StayTheCourse
26 Nov 14 11:59:00
Why You Shouldn't Buy a TV on Black Friday http://t.co/iiOP35c8I8 via @daily_finance $SNE $PHG $TGT
Clayton Henry
26 Nov 14 11:57:19
Why You Shouldn't Buy a TV on Black Friday http://t.co/FDn5TZaGfT via @daily_finance $SNE $PHG $TGT
TweakTown
26 Nov 14 11:32:10
.@Sony cuts @PlayStation 3, #PS4, game prices in pre-Black Friday sale $SNE http://t.co/W8ogZ7Jr75 http://t.co/lsZvpSsOLn
Glen Ofsi
26 Nov 14 11:20:19
RT @theflynews: Wells Fargo says $SNE hack highlights need for cybersecurity spending, $PANW $FEYE and others are best positioned: http://t…
The Fly
26 Nov 14 11:13:11
Wells Fargo says $SNE hack highlights need for cybersecurity spending, $PANW $FEYE and others are best positioned: http://t.co/twu3VFgZIZ
Forex
26 Nov 14 11:01:23
RT @theflynews: Sony Pictures hack highlights need for more IT security spending, analyst says $SNE $FEYE $PANW $FFIV $SYMC $I... http://t.…
Instaya
26 Nov 14 10:50:41
How Sony got its groove back http://t.co/CWVibfz3SL via @Yahoo $SNE $AAPL $MSFT $SSNLF $VIA $DIS $CMCSA $NFLX $LBRDA
DennyT
26 Nov 14 10:32:32
SNE Stock 21.66 Sony Corp $SNE Hit a 52 week high of 21.68 Closing the day 09:45 at 21.66 -0.27 -1.23% With a http://t.co/dHBpR00MFq
DennyT
26 Nov 14 10:32:08
$SNE SNE 21.66 Sony Corp $SNE Hit a 52 week high of 21.68 Closing the day 09:45 at 21.66 -0.27 -1.23% With a day lo http://t.co/LdDZsI2OtI
Instaya
26 Nov 14 10:30:32
On December 6th and 7th, #Playstation fans and developers will unite in Vegas http://t.co/6Hoo9VxbrN … $SNE $MSFT http://t.co/g8IARmUc7p
Instaya
26 Nov 14 10:29:42
RT @TweakTown: .@Sony to launch Xperia Z4 with its next-gen image sensor at @intlCES $SNE http://t.co/hWOHMmJtPD http://t.co/8ksWskRIpf
Instaya
26 Nov 14 10:07:57
RT @mercadomagico: Sony PlayStation3 T60 Racing WheelOfficial version Exclusive knee-top system https://t.co/msulVu0P53 $SNE $MSFT $AAPL ht…
Instaya
26 Nov 14 10:07:53
RT @mercadomagico: Sony PlayStation3 T60 Racing WheelOfficial version Exclusive knee-top system https://t.co/msulVu0P53 $SNE $MSFT $AAPL ht…
Instaya
26 Nov 14 10:07:43
RT @mercadomagico: Sony sees big jump in device revenue; more restructuring at TV and phone units http://t.co/xBCEDlK09q … $SNE
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26 Nov 14 10:07:39
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Instaya
26 Nov 14 10:07:08
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Instaya
26 Nov 14 10:06:59
RT @mercadomagico: Sony Remote Play PlayStation 4 play games anywhere, via their PS Vitas and Xperia Z smartphones http://t.co/fdqw1hoYH6 $…
Instaya
26 Nov 14 10:06:49
RT @mercadomagico: On December 6th and 7th, #Playstation fans and developers will unite in Las Vegas http://t.co/tWhKl2TQ4c $SNE http://t…
Instaya
26 Nov 14 10:06:45
RT @NeoMagic_Corp: Sony PlayStation3 T60 Racing WheelOfficial version Exclusive knee-top https://t.co/gcOckrDBv5 … $SNE $MSFT $AAPL http:/…
WallStreet
26 Nov 14 10:05:34
$SNE - Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) To Make Consumer Refunds For Misleading Advertisements - http://t.co/AEDBc1WQTW
NeoMagic Corporation
26 Nov 14 10:02:45
Sony PlayStation3 T60 Racing WheelOfficial version Exclusive knee-top https://t.co/gcOckrDBv5 … $SNE $MSFT $AAPL http://t.co/0IZAdI3ToL
NeoMagic Corporation
26 Nov 14 10:01:42
RT @mercadomagico: Sony PlayStation3 T60 Racing WheelOfficial version Exclusive knee-top system https://t.co/msulVu0P53 $SNE $MSFT $AAPL ht…
NeoMagic Corporation
26 Nov 14 10:01:37
RT @mercadomagico: Sony PlayStation3 T60 Racing WheelOfficial version Exclusive knee-top system https://t.co/msulVu0P53 $SNE $MSFT $AAPL ht…
NeoMagic Corporation
26 Nov 14 10:01:28
RT @mercadomagico: Sony sees big jump in device revenue; more restructuring at TV and phone units http://t.co/xBCEDlK09q … $SNE
NeoMagic Corporation
26 Nov 14 10:01:24
RT @mercadomagico: #Sony #Action #cam Live #View #Remote https://t.co/FF55rzXu7e … better than #GoPro $SNE $GPRO http://t.co/6YmRmyTA7c htt…
NeoMagic Corporation
26 Nov 14 10:01:10
RT @mercadomagico: On December 6th and 7th, #Playstation fans and developers will unite in Las Vegas http://t.co/tWhKl2TQ4c $SNE http://t…
				
				
By  +Follow June 27, 2013 10:56AM
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