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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
TweakTown
25 Oct 14 22:44:10
#PS4's latest update provides #SharePlay, USB Music Player, and more $SNE http://t.co/I4eSlrFDJP http://t.co/98ZVHBuUEG
H.A.R.D Corporation
25 Oct 14 19:51:37
RT @TweakTown: .@RockstarGTAV on the #PS4 runs at #1080p is a "game changer" for #GTAV says OPM $SNE http://t.co/9meeC35pyz http://t.co/hky…
TweakTown
25 Oct 14 19:18:39
.@RockstarGTAV on the #PS4 runs at #1080p is a "game changer" for #GTAV says OPM $SNE http://t.co/9meeC35pyz http://t.co/hkyB2GPzDi
Cody Willard
25 Oct 14 18:55:39
@MDalmore I respect Loeb, but him being in $SNE was never a part of my analysis. Still isn't. Long $SNE. Details at http://t.co/HWo1BAi7MI
mark dalmore
25 Oct 14 16:10:55
@codywillard still like $SNE after Loeb?
DennyCrane
25 Oct 14 10:27:45
RT @marketfolly: If you haven't read it yet, Third Point's Q3 letter talking $AMGN $EBAY $BABA $SNE and general market positioning http://t…
Terry Valko
25 Oct 14 08:33:57
@jonfortt I saw you mentioned $SNE. U R not to be vexed by caution. Besides, they have content (Seinfeld and movies) plus graphene patent.
Nikus Farrington
25 Oct 14 08:21:27
RT @SeekingAlpha: GoPro: On The Way To A 52-Week Low http://t,co/EVWWYIXROi $GOOGL $GRMN $JCP $MSFT $SNE $AAPL $GPRO #in
Instaya
25 Oct 14 07:09:41
RT @mercadomagico: Sony PS4 Update 2.0 Coming With Some Big Changes Next Week http://t.co/hzC5AHngDv $SNE
FonsieTrader
25 Oct 14 05:56:13
Bearish ADX Crossovers 3/3 $RNN $SFUN $SNE $SYN $TEVA $UPL $VFC $VMI $WYNN $TGT http://t.co/PpddVkqRmK
WallStreet Pennies
25 Oct 14 05:52:35
Penny Roger$: $AXCG ~ Of the $SNE partnership (really awesome), http://t.co/Db3uIlpOev
mystockchoice
25 Oct 14 05:49:34
Penny Roger$: $AXCG ~ Of the $SNE partnership (really awesome), http://t.co/4l0Ebd8w87
Fa$tlane $tocks
25 Oct 14 05:34:06
$AXCG >> Friday's Sizzler Announced Partnership With SONY!! $SNE http://t.co/Uq3gJGMyC4 $AXCG $SNE http://t.co/5jAwOuS0Ac
Fa$tlane $tocks
25 Oct 14 05:33:43
$AXCG >> Friday's Sizzler Announced Partnership With SONY!! $SNE http://t.co/Uq3gJGMyC4 $AXCG $SNE http://t.co/8bwurKem7A
Nick Barry
24 Oct 14 22:28:49
@mystockchoice Great news for $AXCG but what will this bring to $SNE in the LONG run....
Bidness Etc
24 Oct 14 19:01:12
Android Wear gets a new update that supports listening to music and GPS tracking http://t.co/jhVGPxohII $GOOGL $SNE $AAPL
NeoMagic Corporation
24 Oct 14 18:30:45
"@mercadomagico: Sony Bluetooth Headphones MDR-1RBT https://t.co/WWtuqG6tFx … $SNE http://t.co/h2XzAhzKHM"
NeoMagic Corporation
24 Oct 14 18:30:18
RT @mercadomagico: Sony PS4 Update 2.0 Coming With Some Big Changes Next Week http://t.co/hzC5AHngDv $SNE
NoSQL
24 Oct 14 16:29:44
RT @StockFluence: Sony Corporation: 109 (+0.83%) http://t.co/ePqio1YaAX $SNE #Sony #Sentiment #Stock #Analysis #BigData
StockFluence.com
24 Oct 14 16:01:21
Sony Corporation: 109 (+0.83%) http://t.co/ePqio1YaAX $SNE #Sony #Sentiment #Stock #Analysis #BigData
Patrick Seitz
24 Oct 14 14:33:08
Apple, destroyer of industries, targets watches, fitness bands. http://t.co/6AARicbjpn $AAPL $GRMN $INTC $FOSL $MOV $NOK $SNE
MercadoMagico.com
24 Oct 14 14:32:46
Sony PS4 Update 2.0 Coming With Some Big Changes Next Week http://t.co/hzC5AHngDv $SNE
Instaya
24 Oct 14 14:24:22
Sony Bluetooth Headphones MDR-1RBT https://t.co/z6VaGvPjed … … $SNE http://t.co/EH9DbYwXvo
Instaya
24 Oct 14 14:24:03
RT @mercadomagico: New Android Phone Coming To Verizon Has A Super Camera That Puts The iPhone To Shame http://t.co/eU08GEs9S4 $vz $sne $aa…
Instaya
24 Oct 14 14:24:00
RT @mercadomagico: Android Wear Gets GPS Tracking as Sony SmartWatch 3 Pre-Orders Begin http://t.co/5SNbUHNOBJ via @Wsj $sne $aapl
Penny Millionare
24 Oct 14 14:22:14
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Attiva Capital
24 Oct 14 14:09:50
RT @barronstechblog: GoPro Drops 9%: Oppenheimer Says Sell, Media Strategy Dicey - Tech Trader Daily - Barron'S $GPRO $AMBA $SNE http://t.c…
Bidness Etc
24 Oct 14 14:07:56
#AndroidWear Update: GPS Support And Offline Music http://t.co/j33PGJN8VM $GOOGL $SNE
Stock Relay
24 Oct 14 13:07:17
wininstocks2014: Stock Charts: SNE 17.70 Stock Charts $SNE Sony Corp. ADS (NYSE) http://t.co/2WlyGIXN9r
Exposethebest
24 Oct 14 13:04:59
Penny Roger$: $AXCG ~ Of the $SNE partnership (really awesome), http://t.co/bMaB2qjsxc
mystockchoice
24 Oct 14 13:04:50
Penny Roger$: $AXCG ~ Of the $SNE partnership (really awesome), http://t.co/dIuYdOV3u1
Fa$tlane $tocks
24 Oct 14 12:48:01
Would be sweet if ask went to the top here! People love the $SNE partner! $AXCG Approaching power hour, $SNE $AXCG http://t.co/KtXhpnfgO3
Tiernan Ray
24 Oct 14 12:47:52
GoPro Drops 9%: Oppenheimer Says Sell, Media Strategy Dicey - Tech Trader Daily - Barron'S $GPRO $AMBA $SNE http://t.co/lnUozn7h1U
Harry Walkman
24 Oct 14 12:31:10
$SNE Third Point LLC's Dan Loeb Washes His Hands Off Sony Corp (ADR) (SNE) http://t.co/HYcl9ELwfu
gordon gekko is god
24 Oct 14 12:25:26
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Attiva Capital
24 Oct 14 12:07:02
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24 Oct 14 11:31:49
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24 Oct 14 11:31:08
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24 Oct 14 11:28:32
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Attiva Capital
24 Oct 14 11:27:03
@activistcorner He did us a great favor $SNE is very undervalued and perhaps ununderstood we sticking with $50 target
Harry Walkman
24 Oct 14 11:03:06
$SNE PlayStation TV: Another Sony Flop? http://t.co/1pZA7xbZ0C
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24 Oct 14 11:03:05
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24 Oct 14 10:46:55
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activistcorner
24 Oct 14 10:10:34
Activist Investor Daniel Loeb Sells Stake in Sony Corp. $SNE http://t.co/9DvxY1H5Rk
downsidecapital
24 Oct 14 10:09:26
RT @activistcorner Activist investor Dan Loeb sells stake in $SNE http://t.co/bzsQmkaNOv
Fugazi Partners
24 Oct 14 10:04:58
RT @activistcorner Activist investor Dan Loeb sells stake in $SNE http://t.co/Mj8xku65zE
Gordon Gekko
24 Oct 14 10:02:00
RT @activistcorner Activist investor Dan Loeb sells stake in $SNE http://t.co/2sSHTSRxuf
Fish4Bucks
24 Oct 14 09:54:40
60m $SNE 17.610 Price action Crossing Down Median Support #stocks Signals based on the Fish4Bot indicator Pl... http://t.co/WZwETG8am0
mystockchoice
24 Oct 14 09:35:20
Penny Roger$: $AXCG ~ Of the $SNE partnership(really awesome), Chris http://t.co/EFOdHjOMjf
Exposethebest
24 Oct 14 09:35:05
Penny Roger$: $AXCG ~ Of the $SNE partnership(really awesome), Chris http://t.co/l21hXsh2H3
				
				
By  +Follow June 27, 2013 10:56AM
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