Sony admits that Gingerbread is a disadvantage for them in the retail stores

by: LucianJune 20, 2012

I still don’t feel Sony is where it should be in the mobile world. Sony Ericsson used to be one of the very best, up there with Nokia, but I guess both of them fell behind badly once the touchscreen smartphone revolution appeared. They were also slow to recognize that a touchscreen smartphone is as much about the hardware (especially its processor) as it is about the software.

I do think they are catching up in many ways in both hardware, and also software, having recognized that upgrades are important for users. But even though they may not be the most important for the majority of their customers, it’s important for the loudest ones, and the ones that could give the phones a vote of confidence when recommending it to their friends.

At the launch of the Xperia U and Xperia P, Sony admitted that having the latest version of Android matters a great deal for the store representatives when it comes to recommending phones to people. Because they obviously want to recommend the best, why would they recommend a phone with Gingerbread, instead of one from a competitor with ICS that has similar hardware and price?

“The main disadvantage [of running Gingerbread software] is the perception from retail staff, said Sean Coulson, Marketing Manager, Sony Mobile. “When they are recommending phones they always recommend you the latest and greatest.”

“From a consumer perspective I don’t think it’s a huge disadvantage. It’s something that we are working really hard to address as quickly as possible,” he explained.

“We would never deliberately launch not on the latest version of Android but it comes down to a choice between delaying the launch or going to market with an older version. We’ve made a really public commitment to ensure it is upgradeable.”

The last point is a good one, because I think every single manufacturer should, at the very least, announce when their phones are going to be upgraded, and commit to doing it. If they can’t even say that, then why would you trust them with your purchase?

The problem is most likely one about allocating resources and developers to change to ICS. But that is their problem, if they want to be competitive in the market. As long as Sony doesn’t put the very best hardware on the market (and for that specific price range), coupled with the latest version of Android, they will not be considered a good Android manufacturer.

  • aham…nope

  • AppleFUD

    “We’ve made a really public commitment to ensure it is upgradeable”

    Yeah, but that does NOT mean they will actually upgrade it or even how long they will upgrade that device for, and there’s the problem with all Android OEM’s. None of them have in place a clearly written policy that guarantees how long a device will get updates & upgrades for Android and just how quickly they will get them once released by Google.

    You want the version of Android OS not to matter Sony? Then give customers a written guarantee that devices will get updates and upgrades for ____ period of time and said devices will get updates & upgrades within ____ days after update/upgrade is released — full refund for device or free upgrade to new device if said guarantee is not kept.

    I would jump on that!

    Sony won’t do it. None of the Android OEM’s will do it. Yes, part of the reason they won’t do it is because of the carriers but they won’t even do it for their unlocked devices.

    In order for me to consider or even recommend a non Nexus handset it has to have something VERY compelling. . . and I have yet to see that, and everyone who has followed my advice to a Nexus handset has been very happy with it, and those who’ve purchased an Android OEM device over time have become rather unhappy.

    • sn0wbaLL

      i agree somewhat on your last paragraph, i’m using TW and im fine with it, I was gonna get the Gnex but i coudlnt look past it’s outdated spec sheet and camera; so I opted for the GS3.

      • AppleFUD

        Yeah, I get techies want the latest and greatest and have ways to keep the software updated, but I don’t want to manage everyone’s devices and average users just don’t do that stuff or get it, and for them it comes down to, does it work properly for what they do?

        Of course I don’t make any recommendations to techies. . . they know what they want ;)
        Just my clueless friends and family :D

        • SamsaraGuru

          I have always steered clear of Sony products for the same reason I eschew Apple’s. Both companies try to leverage their hold on you by making their products as incompatible as possible with everyone else’s so you are locked into their closed systems and forced to feed their cash cows.

          One time I read a review in a photo magazine – years ago – where a person who had bought a Sony camera and couldn’t understand why he couldn’t buy a strobe for it made by say Panasonic that would fit. The reviewer said, “That’s probably because Sony deliberately designed it with a plug size or configuration that only works with a Sony strobe.

          At one point I was doing professional videography and such was also the case with their pro stuff. Sony is like Apple – it doesn’t play nice with other children because it believes it is God’s gift to all of us and if we were smart we’d know it and just face the fact that “resistance is futile”.

          • sn0wbaLL

            completely agree.

          • AppleFUD

            Yeah, I’ve heard similar horror stories and have always researched items to ensure standards before buying. . . that’s a major turn off for me, proprietary ports. Really didn’t like seeing that in the S III — have a feeling Samsung is going to try an put more and more proprietary items in their hardware. Hope GoMoto will bring something truly open and standards based to the table that is great asap — fingers crossed.

        • sn0wbaLL


  • DrCarpy

    Sony can correct this problem easily. Run stock Android, thus ensuring you sell hardware, while Google updates the software.

    • AppleFUD

      Google doesn’t update the software even if it is “stock Android” — they have NO desire at all to update all “stock android” handsets. Google only updates Nexus devices and ONLY nexus devices that are NOT encumbered by carriers.

      Sorry. . . but the dream of Google updating “stock android devices” is NEVER going to happen.

  • Rising Sunny

    What a pussy-excuse for bad sales. They should use any disadvantages as advantages to sell their wares. Target those customers that feel overwhelmed by all the bloated features of the latest-and-greatest and tell them that the software is more stable and tested by time…

  • All Sony need to do is upgrade. New phones frist then upgrade. Older models hut they have it the othet way if I know it did not have ics I would not of got my Sony Xperia s its a big let down they still have not upgrade it ss there still bring new hand set with ics so theres Sony big mistake. To may of use whant the lastes phone with the lastes os like ics. Jelly Been will be out be for I even get ics at this rate

  • damien666

    I have a zte score x500 and it is the crappiest phone ever. To many flaws. It as well runs of of gingerbread software. No updates and you cant do much. My phone can barly run youtube and gets realy crappy service. Screw you cricket yay [email protected]