Will this be the iPhone killer?

Will this be the iPhone killer?

New Delhi: A sleek steel body, a blackberry-like QWERTY keyboard, 3-inch VGA screen, multiple-panels, and loads of other features, that’s Sony Xperia X1, the new mobile phone from Sony Ericsson, its answer to the likes of iPhone and Nokia N96. But priced at Rs45,500 or roughly half a lakh, will this product find takers? Anil Sethi, President, Sony Ericsson India argues that it’ll, because of the value proposition it offers. He says, “If we look at the general market in India, it is reasonably priced. It’s a high price segment model. But after all, we are targeting the needs of the higher segment."

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db7b9378-b1a2-11dd-ab82-000b5dabf613.flvBut if the recent experience of the much-hyped Apple iPhone is anything to go by, the road ahead will not be easy. The company did not spell out how many units of the Xperia it plans to sell, but it is optimistic. The company will be selling the phone through its premium stores.

So what’s unique about the phone? Ramanath Bhat, the man behind the phone, says it’s the pre-loaded panels. There are 9-interactive panels which sit on the touchscreen interface of the phone. “I’m doing business now, home now, the phone doesn’t adapt. We’re doing panels now. Whatever you’re doing, you can set the panel. It’s the ability for user to change the user interface of their mobile phone based on how they lead their mobile life. It’s not being addressed by any of our competitors; it’s the first time the user interface power is given to the user".

Sony Ericsson plans to expand itself in what it says is its third most important market in the world. India was just a region in the Asia Pacific till sometime back, but seeing the volume of business and future growth potential, Sony Ericsson has made India a region in itself.

“Our investment is going to be more in people. We know that there is very vast pool of talented people, Xperia was created by an Indian, and we feel that we need to invest in our people here, who are superb, they are recognized the world over in software and phones are based on software. That’s the direction we are going in India", says Anil Sethi.