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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
iHugo Albert
23 Apr 14 05:01:37
$SNE Summer Movie Preview: Female-Centric Films http://t.co/zIAp2rb7WY
stocknews247
23 Apr 14 00:32:19
$SNE - Asia shares mixed after HSBC China flash PMI; Japans Seibu rallies -> http://t.co/u498eKn8Io #stock #stocks #stockaction
Michael Schmidt
23 Apr 14 00:16:35
RT @IBD_PSeitz: Netflix Twice Turned Home Video Business On Its Head. http://t.co/Fkeh2AxpGA $NFLX $KODK $MSFT $DIS $SNE $STRZA $AOL
iHugo Albert
22 Apr 14 23:54:14
$SNE Asia shares mixed after HSBC China flash PMI; Japan's Seibu rallies http://t.co/E92f6YVgG8
iHugo Albert
22 Apr 14 22:51:21
$SNE [video] Why MLB became a video game developer http://t.co/VftAscQbYl
iHugo Albert
22 Apr 14 22:40:03
$SNE Netflix Twice Turned Home Video Business On Its Head http://t.co/w4c5ISqtTw
iHugo Albert
22 Apr 14 21:17:21
$SNE Sony's found the perfect use for its $1,100 Digital Paper: HR forms http://t.co/mW5oHkQaAC
SNN Team
22 Apr 14 20:38:08
$SNE - [video] Who will win Aereo case? -> http://t.co/RsA4Akgz6s #stock #stocks #stockaction
immoderacyf
22 Apr 14 20:16:26
$SNE Sony's found the perfect use for its $1,100 Dig http://t.co/FbgBOr1pf2
iHugo Albert
22 Apr 14 19:41:34
$SNE [video] Who will win Aereo case? http://t.co/SYIh3QQUd5
iHugo Albert
22 Apr 14 19:20:08
$SNE BYOD goes TV: Fan TV starts selling its streaming box to Time Warner Cable customers http://t.co/qzBiaZoAN4
LoveStockNews
22 Apr 14 19:12:12
$SNE - Finally, you can customize the face on your Sony Smartwatch 2 -> http://t.co/SZPHEBcXfi #stock #stocks #stockaction
Video Game Research
22 Apr 14 19:00:26
'Titanfall' a windfall for U.S. video game sales http://t.co/36UOY4scIL #IBDBlogs via @IBDinvestors $MSFT $SNE $EA
Anthony Bean
22 Apr 14 19:00:26
'Titanfall' a windfall for U.S. video game sales http://t.co/7pF18qKUbc #IBDBlogs via @IBDinvestors $MSFT $SNE $EA
Henry Peña
22 Apr 14 18:31:46
$SNE RT @URlibre: Duty Free de Maiquetía, lo nuevo de Sony #COCOSETTE http://t.co/7AFbRJuvYc
iHugo Albert
22 Apr 14 17:29:13
$SNE Finally, you can customize the face on your Sony Smartwatch 2 http://t.co/ipmt8zZqOf
Patrick Seitz
22 Apr 14 17:29:13
RT @IBD_PSeitz: Netflix Twice Turned Home Video Business On Its Head. http://t.co/Fkeh2AxpGA $NFLX $KODK $MSFT $DIS $SNE $STRZA $AOL
Patrick Seitz
22 Apr 14 17:28:54
Netflix Twice Turned Home Video Business On Its Head. http://t.co/Fkeh2AxpGA $NFLX $KODK $MSFT $DIS $SNE $STRZA $AOL
Stock News 24
22 Apr 14 16:34:16
$SNE - Sonys found the perfect use for its $1,100 Digital Paper: HR forms -> http://t.co/XmHEhXYzbz #stock #stocks #stockaction
gordon gekko is god
22 Apr 14 15:41:28
Microsoft continues to lag Sony in console battle http://t.co/jBbQWfPqVB $MSFT, $SNE, $EA, $ATVI
gordon gekko is god
22 Apr 14 15:41:28
PS4 end-user sales top 7M http://t.co/d7AoqYBDcb $SNE
Stock News 24
22 Apr 14 15:34:30
$SNE - [video] Why MLB became a video game developer -> http://t.co/mZuxdHEXCB #stock #stocks #stockaction
Attiva Capital
22 Apr 14 15:33:15
Sony's found the perfect use for its $1,100 Digital Paper: HR forms http://t.co/JsrlXPkTOM via @engadget $SNE
stocknews247
22 Apr 14 15:32:19
$SNE - Netflix Twice Turned Home Video Business On Its Head -> http://t.co/2Kbpbobxqh #stock #stocks #stockaction
Attiva Capital
22 Apr 14 14:41:03
Sony's SmartWatch 2 Gets 400 New Apps, New Features and Stylin' New Design http://t.co/booPQgUcLQ $SNE
Antonio Costa
22 Apr 14 13:29:56
$SNE Sony’s SmartWatch 2 Gets 400 New Apps, New Features and Stylin’ New Design http://t.co/KFteE1Iw8A
Mitchell Keidan
22 Apr 14 12:42:36
@jimcramer how will $gme stay competitive in the next 2-3 years if $sne & $msft offer digital downloads & data speeds improve w/ fiber opt?
Attiva Capital
22 Apr 14 11:37:08
Sony has trademarked two new PlayStation games. http://t.co/PdABsZVGqv $SNE
Stock News 24
22 Apr 14 11:34:19
$SNE - BYOD goes TV: Fan TV starts selling its streaming box to Time Warner C... -> http://t.co/7KMx0ukFwe #stock #stocks #stockaction
stocknews247
22 Apr 14 11:02:33
$SNE - Summer Movie Preview: Female-Centric Films -> http://t.co/z0CFlkKEwa #stock #stocks #stockaction
iHugo Albert
22 Apr 14 10:55:05
$SNE Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet review: A top-tier slate with a familiar face http://t.co/XLRDipKR2E
Stock News 24
22 Apr 14 09:34:01
$SNE - Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet review: A top-tier slate with a familiar face -> http://t.co/eZWJ5p5kTX #stock #stocks #stockaction
The Fly
22 Apr 14 07:37:49
$TWX $SNE $IPG Time Warner says Joseph Ripp will become chairman of Time Inc: Full Story http://t.co/tNjYETebDC
Oregon Trader 503
22 Apr 14 07:34:29
Hmm, $SNE what's going on? I see good news for them lately. Interesting. Will keep it on the watchlist for a bounce later.
Florida Boy
22 Apr 14 06:47:54
@TheStreet Can you find out why $SNE is lower today?
GavinGreenberg
22 Apr 14 06:41:05
$SNE: What the Pandora Lawsuit Means for SiriusXM and Spotify http://t.co/G4f9eloiao
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22 Apr 14 06:30:08
$SNE - What the Pandora Lawsuit Means for SiriusXM and Spotify -> http://t.co/vlClpxDMkA #stock #stocks #stockaction
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22 Apr 14 05:34:33
$SNE - Sonys water-proof tablet up for grabs in US -> http://t.co/jhKX1teAmV #stock #stocks #stockaction
Daniel Ernst
22 Apr 14 05:29:45
$SNE Fascinating to see left for dead tech revolutions like @sonos and as pt out by @pmarca this AM: https://t.co/1cZKAQV3zf
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22 Apr 14 00:27:33
China's free trade zone regulations set, ready for video game console sales $EA $ATVI $TTWO $UBSFY $SNE $NTDY $MSFT http://t.co/dC4o1eRvFp
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21 Apr 14 22:11:34
$SNE: Asia shares mixed; China Resources affiliates plunge http://t.co/Yz39hUU1Q0
iHugo Albert
21 Apr 14 22:06:03
$SNE Asia shares mixed; China Resources affiliates plunge http://t.co/X23VYaBPlA
GavinGreenberg
21 Apr 14 21:50:21
$SNE: Asia shares mixed; China Resources affiliates plunge http://t.co/YdAYYEbmI3
stocknews247
21 Apr 14 21:32:09
$SNE - Asia shares mixed; China Resources affiliates plunge -> http://t.co/2ys0BP7vN1 #stock #stocks #stockaction
Stock Herald
21 Apr 14 20:12:04
$SNE: Asia shares higher on US gains; China Resources affiliates plunge http://t.co/COyqzBKmG8
iHugo Albert
21 Apr 14 19:53:03
$SNE Asia shares higher on US gains; China Resources affiliates plunge http://t.co/88v9mx6lID
Informer
21 Apr 14 19:44:37
$SNE: Asia shares higher on US gains; China Resources affiliates plunge http://t.co/Yz39hUU1Q0
stocknews247
21 Apr 14 19:32:09
$SNE - Asia shares higher on US gains; China Resources affiliates plunge -> http://t.co/1KjfZImj5R #stock #stocks #stockaction
iHugo Albert
21 Apr 14 19:15:03
$SNE Sony's PlayStation 4 Could Signal the End of GameStop http://t.co/Rz8Ow9CeBN
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21 Apr 14 18:52:05
$SNE Asia shares mostly higher on US gains; Russia sanctions in focus http://t.co/UDZk0A5XtT
				
				
By  +Follow June 27, 2013 10:56AM
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