CES Opposites: Sony and Intel Pursuing Different Mobile Markets

As MMW reported Thursday, Intel made it clear at CES this week that the tech superpower is poised to focus on mobile in new markets ripe for exploitation.

Intel mobile chief Mike Bell stated at CES that customers in emerging markets “shouldn’t have to settle for a substandard smartphone experience. [The Z2420 is] a new smartphone platform that gets us into the value segment.”

Following Intel CEO Paul Otellini’s detailed showcase of the latest smartphones with Intel chips, the strategy was clear for all to see. The developing world and emerging mobile markets of Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America will soon have Intel inside.

For fellow tech giant Sony, however, the opposite goal seems to be taking precedence. That is, the premium market is where Sony will place its bets in 2013 and beyond.

The goal for Sony is simple: They want to be a premium smartphone provider. And they know just how to do it. Sony plans to create a more unified product portfolio in services, quality and industrial design. In order to do this, the first step is going to be backing away from low-end entry level products and focusing on premium devices.

This week, Sony Xperia product marketing manager Stephen Sneeden set the record straight (according to coverage from Android and Me):

We’re ready to be a premium smartphone provider, logically then, at the very entry level is where you lose the ‘Sonyness’. And it’s where you cannot implement some of these wonderful things from Sony at such a low cost, we might leave the very entry tier to some other manufacturers.

Sony remains in third place in terms of global smartphone sales. If it wants to climb that ladder, Sony’s mobile strategy has to change. But will going for the premium market benefit Sony in this effort? Intel is facing similar questions about its hopes for conquering the emerging market.

So who will come out on top in the end? Both perhaps? Please weigh in with a thought or comment below.