Selfie phone to hit Taiwan, China in mid-August
August 7, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
TAIPEI -- Japan's Sony Mobile Communications AB said Wednesday that it will launch a new smartphone designed specifically for taking self-portraits in Taiwan and China next week, despite a cut in its full-year global shipment forecast.
The Sony Xperia C3 will start from NT$9,900 (US$330) in Taiwan and it will also be offered in three versions for the top three telecom operators in China running on different wireless networks, the company said, without revealing the phone's prices in China.
The C3 boasts a 5-megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera that allows users to capture more in the frame when taking self portraits, or "selfies." The 5.5-inch 4G LTE-enabled phone also comes preloaded with Sony Mobile's selfie camera apps to help users create fun graphics and animations.
Jonathan Lin, general manager of Sony Mobile's Taiwan branch, said at the C3 announcement that the new phone is expected to outsell other competitors' products in a similar price band in September, given that most young female consumers have high interest in taking selfies.
Other major brands' handsets that are currently available in Taiwan at a similar price include the HTC Desire 816 at NT$9,990 and the Asustek PadFone S at NT$9,999.
The C3 launch also marks Sony Mobile's latest foray into Taiwan's 4G LTE market, which is forecast to pick up in the second half of the year thanks to greater marketing efforts by local carriers, Lin said.
He noted that Sony Mobile remains confident in its growth in Taiwan this year despite a recent downward revision of its 2014 global smartphone shipment target from 50 million to 43 million units.
Lin said the revision stems from competitive challenges that Sony Mobile has faced in emerging markets such as China and India. He added that the Japanese handset maker is set to attract more consumers by offering differentiated content and user interface in its smartphones in the second half of the year.