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Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) has crept up slowly in the smartphone market, from being well outside the top 5, and now sitting 4th for market share, sending out 9.8 million units in the 4th quarter 2012, behind competitors Samsung (OTC:SSNLF), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Huawei. 4th place sounds great on paper, but it only represents 4.5% market share. Can Sony steal more market share with their new Android phone, the Xperia Z, or maybe with an upgraded model coming later this year, the Xperia C670X. Let's compare these models to other high end smartphones currently out in today's market.

Phone

Processor

Memory

Display

Camera

OS

Battery

HTC - Droid DNA

1.5 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon

16GB

5" 1080p

8 MP rear

2.1 MP front

Android

2020mAh

Motorola - Razr Maxx HD

1.5GHz Dual Core

32GB

4.7" 1280x720

8 MP rear

1.3 MP front

Android

3300mAh

Blackberry - Z10

1.5GHz Dual Core

16GB

4.2" 1280x768

8 MP rear

2 MP front

Blackberry

1800mAh

Nokia - Lumia 920

1.5GHz Dual Core

32GB

4.5" 1280x768

8.7 MP rear

2 MP front

Windows

2300mAh

Apple - iPhone 5

1.3 GHz (clocked speed)

16-64GB

4" 1136x640

8 MP rear

1.2 MP front

iOS

1440mAh

Samsung - Galaxy S4

Quad-Core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A15 & Quad-Core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7

16-64GB

5" 1920x1080

13 MP rear

2 MP front

Android

2600mAh

Sony - Xperia Z

1.5GHz Quad Core Snapdragon

16GB

5" 1920x1080

13 MP rear

2.2 MP front

Android

2330mAh

Sony - Xperia C670X

1.8GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 600

32GB

4.8" 1920x1080

13 MP rear

2.2 MP front

Android

Unknown

So compared to Motorola (MOT), Nokia (NYSE:NOK), Blackberry (NASDAQ:BBRY) and Apple, Sony has them beat for camera megapixels and for screen size and resolution, matching the new Galaxy S4. They also match or beat all the companies for processor speed and cores, especially with the C670X. But in reality, there may be nothing I have listed above that would make you say, I want to buy the new Sony Xperia Z, or wait a few months for the C670X.

So here is what may put you over the top for these new Sony phones - they are water resistant and dust proof. That's right, you could go for a quick swim with your phone and workers in harsh environments can worry much less about dust and dirt getting into their phone internals. The phone is rated for 30 minutes under water at 1 meter, and shown in this video it did pass the test. They could even answer calls while the phone was under water. It is certified to IP55 and IP57 standards.

This phone will need a ton of marketing here in the United States to be successful, or people will not know of the unique qualities that this phone can deliver. I see a very large market available for these phones for businesses. I know many businesses that are still looking for an indestructible phone, and they want to move away from the flip phone/blackberry realm, but don't want to spend the capital on phones that will be abused or just put in industrial use situations that other smartphones may not be rugged enough for. In a world where a smartphone can replace many other handheld devices of the past, the Xperia Z could be the next big item to businesses for employee productivity and durability.

Sony has their hands in many different business lines. They are also working currently on the Playstation 4, which is scheduled to be released later this year. Sony projects a forward PE of 13, but that could dramatically change based on these future items.

Conclusion: Sony can pull closer to Apple and Samsung with good marketing of the Xperia Z and the upcoming Xperia C670X. There is a market for a high end rugged smartphone, and Sony needs to figure out how they can be creative and capture this market. If not, they will continue to be mired in the back end of the top manufacturers for the ever growing smartphone market.

Source: Is This Sony's Big Play To Compete In The Smartphone Market?