Sony has officially confirmed that the company will no longer be making smartphones under the “Premium Standard” category. The company has decided to drop the segment altogether from its smartphone portfolio. The “Premium Standard” smartphones launched in 2016 comprised the Xperia X and the Xperia Compact. These smartphones were designed to sport a reasonable price while offering flagship specifications for the same.

Why Sony axed “Premium Standard” devices

Since the time Sony decided to discontinue the popular Xperia Z series and replace it with its “Premium Standard” smartphones, the company has had to face the ire of consumers.

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Sony fans were disappointed by the fact that these smartphones were not actual flagship devices and lacked features and choice of processor, compared to the much popular Xperia Z lineup.

It seems that this apathy resulted in low sale figures, which is why the company decided to axe the one-year old smartphone segment.

On Wednesday, May 24, the Japan-based company hosted its Investor Relations Day, and it was here that it confirmed that it would no longer be manufacturing the $500 price range smartphones. The company will focus only on its flagship Xperia Xz models and its XA mid-ranged smartphone lineup to recover the lost sales and market share.

The Japanese OEM in its FY 2016 sales targets and results stated that the unit sales target achievement rate of the Premium Standard smartphone models fell to a paltry 31 percent outside Japan in 2016. On the other hand, the unit sales target achievement rate of the handsets in Japan and international markets were 85 percent and 43 percent, respectively.

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The figures show a huge disparity when compared with the Xperia XZ and Xperia X smartphones. Both Xperia X and Xperia XZ together grossed a total of 60 percent unit sales target achievement rate outside Japan and 88 percent in the international markets, excluding its home country.

Investor relations day 2017 business directives

After a rocky start, Sony is now aiming to focus solely on its flagship and mid-ranged smartphones. The flagship handsets from the company comprises devices such as the Xperia XZ, while the mid-range smartphone category includes models such as the Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra.

In its FY2017 business directives, Sony is trying to fine-tune its product portfolio to recover lost market share. Its main aim is to maintain profitability in 2017 and for that, the Japanese OEM will be differentiating its products with technologies that only the company would be able to deliver. The company will also seek to concentrate on markets in which it can use its brand strength. Thus, one can expect improved sales operations in areas such as East Asia, Japan, Middle East, APAC, and Europe.