Android rivalry: in the UK, 38 percent of Xperia Z users left Samsung

July 1, 2013
According to UK market research by Kantar, Sony has been stealing users away from Samsung, with an estimated 38 percent of Xperia Z buyers owning a Samsung device before.

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That competition between companies is good for customers is a truism. Everyone agrees that the world of Android needs more competition, and that Samsung’s dominance, though largely responsible for making Android what it is today, needs to be challenged.

In the UK, the surprising challenger to give Samsung pause could be Sony. Once on the brink of irrelevance, the storied Japanese electronics giant embarked in a grand turnaround plan under the leadership of CEO Kaz Hirai. The results are visible in the form of new and exciting products, from the Xperia Z, continuing with the sleek Tablet Z and Xperia Z Ultra, and the soon to be announced i1 (a.k.a. Honami).

Sony has been working hard on putting out superbly designed, well made devices, and its struggle appears to be paying off. Last week, IDC revealed that Sony occupied a surprising third place in Europe, behind Samsung and Apple. Now, another prestigious research firm confirms that Sony is making a comeback, partially on Samsung’s expense.

Sony is currently the fourth largest handset maker in the UK

According to Kantar’s findings, Sony is currently the fourth largest handset maker in the UK, although the firm didn’t reveal if the stats include feature phones, or who the top three handset makers are. We can assume however, that the two top players are Samsung and Apple. The research covers the March 2013 to May 2013 period.

Sony managed to steal quite a few customers from Samsung. According to Kantar, an impressive 38 percent of new Xperia Z users previously owned a Samsung phone. A majority of these new Sony customers owned a Galaxy S2 handset, suggesting that Samsung had difficulties retaining customers whose contracts expired this year.

Kantar’s analysts think that Samsung needs to stop obsessing over fighting Apple and realize that the real threat may be coming from another direction.

Samsung now finds itself in a position where, after two years of relentless growth, it must focus on keeping its existing base of customers loyal if it is to maintain its success. As it stands, Samsung has the second highest loyalty rate in Britain (59%), but this falls well short of Apple (79%). With the competition dramatically upping their game in terms of build quality and content innovation, Samsung will have to work hard to convince its 8.8 million customers to stick with the brand.
Dominic Sunnebo
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech

It remains to be seen if Sony’s recent performance is a fluke or the beginning of something bigger. Samsung may seem to hold an inexpugnable position now, but it wouldn’t be the first tech company to lose the crown to a hungry challenger.

Comments

  • LOL

    Bad battery life, worse viewing angle and crapy camera.

    • Phaze0085

      To whom or what are you referring to?

      • Jaun Lombard

        Sony! Xperia Z was ranked after HTC One and S4 for the battery life, viewing angle and camera

        • Nandi

          I Don’t Have To Look At Rankings… I Own A Samsung Galaxy Grand With An 8MP Camera And My Friend Owns The Xperia Z… He Was Going On & On About His Superior 13 MP Camera On The Z… Until We Both Snapped Dozen Of Shots Of The Same Scenery In Broad Daylight… Sony Camera Just Sucks… I Don’t Know Whether Its Their Scrap Hardware Or Crappy Software… The 8MP Pic From My Samsung Was Excellent With Superior Sharpness And Vivid Colours Compared To The Faded, Out Of Focus, Tinted Xperia Z Snap :P & I Walked Away Like A Boss B-)

          • tony

            Did your friend update his Z with a newer software format?

          • Mochammad Santaka

            With your colorful use of the shift button, I’m sure you did.

          • box14380

            This is the same story with my friend’s 12mp Xperia S, upon snapping same scenery and light conditions the bigger pixel SXS produce very dark and pale colors.

            However, my SGS3 have shown prowess in dark and light conditions with very nice vivid colors.

        • Lil bit

          You are wrong, maybe you got your info from gsmarena, in real life the Z has better battery life than Htc One, without the use of stamina mode.

  • MasterMuffin

    Of course Samsung was the one who lost most users to Xperia Z, because it had (and has) the most users!

    • http://forum.xda-developers.com/member.php?u=2926289 Jasonwsc

      Or rather Xperia Z is simply cheaper and looks nicer than the Galaxy S4. Xperia Z looks similar to the Galaxy S2, and in my opinion the S2 is the last well designed Samsung phone. S3 and S4 just doesn’t look that great.

      • MasterMuffin

        S4 Active looks good

        • spade

          Agreed

  • Lil

    I came from Note 2 to Xperia Z and I don’t see there is any chance of me going back to Samsung. The so-called viewing angle problem is not a problem in real life, and Z had pure white, not the terrible blue tint of smoked once you tilt even half a degree. Note 2 was the one I had to look straight at, sure the Z also tints at an angle but nowhere nearly ad obvious as on note 2.

    I have spent some time with S4, not bad but full of useless crap, very annoying most of it, Smart pause was a joke that made us all feel like retards, Smart scroll feel into the same category by being extremely tiring to use. Cam was better than Z but all in all disappointing there as well. Battery, it went down slowly at first but when nearing empty it would speed up and become empty very fast, Samsung had manipulated this to make it look like it drops so slowly, but when it tell 50% its already at around 30. It takes much longer to drain the S4 from 100 down to 50, but draining from 100 to 0 it wasn’t much better than the Z. It’s an illusion, I have since had this confirmed from other S4 users.

    I can add that S4 owners has been positively surprised by the display of my Z, I have compared it to other Z’ in various stores and no doubt I been lucky and got a good unit with good contrast and good colors, but it’s not One of those DoCoMo units with Sharp ips panel.

    • nameofthewind

      they are making big deals about viewing angles when in real use you will always look at the screen head-on

  • Phaze0085

    It i true that Samsung needs to focus on bettering themselves and their products, but sometimes ppl just want to try new things ( apple users excluded ). I mean, I have been with Samsung for my past 2 phones because, at the time they had the biggest screens on the market, and might I add, better specs. I’m a “phablet guy”, I love big phones and always will. But Sony is new at the phablet race and just isnt taking enough risks as they should. Samsung took a big risk with their first iteration of the Note. And then refined it with the Note 2. Sony has taken a stab at it with the Toagri/ZU, but I dont believe they took as big of a risk as Samsung ( pun unintended ) as they should have. What I mean by that, is the lack of FLASH, and mega-pixel quantity. I know that mega-pixels arent that big of a deal, especially on camera phones. 8mp is more than enough for capturing the moments we want. But putting an 8mp camera on a new “wannabe” flagship phone isnt cutting it. They should have pushed the envelope with this and stuck a 13mp shooter ( at the least ) with FLASH on it, or, at least did what HTC did with the HTC 1 and restructured the camera. I feel its inexcusable for any “flagship” phone to be without FLASH. And its even more inexcusable to have the successor to the Xperia Z, aka the Honami, right around the corner, give it some really cool camera features, and slouch on the Z Ultra. I know plans for phones are sometimes far apart when they come up with the idea for them, so they arent always made at the same time. But these 2 phones are practically walking side by side, so I dont see how the same kind of camera specs couldnt be included in the Ultra. I know they wanted to make the thinest phone out there, but hey already lost that battle thanks to the Huawei P6. Sony should have taken the bigger risk and put everything it could into the Z Ultra, or at least put more effort into convincing us it did. Sony gets points for their effort in creating the Xperia Z Ultra, but they also lose a lot for their execution.

    • jumbo3220

      “but sometimes ppl just want to try new things ( apple users excluded )”
      LOLz, best part

    • lil bit

      Agreed about the led flash of ZU, this is so hard to understand and will hurt the sales very badly.

    • http://forum.xda-developers.com/member.php?u=2926289 Jasonwsc

      I would say a 6.4in screen is a pretty big risk. But they should have added a flash.

  • sonyshit

    Sony Xperia z is overrated

  • Tony

    Im really happy to have Xperia Z… I love it’s simple, practical, yet elegant kind of phone. I’m not a big fan of gesture/motion sensor and a lot of features which I dont need it at all (which is quite annoying).

    When it comes to screen quality… It’s simple and bright, not too exagerated like Samsung (AMOLED is a nice feature and I’m not a big fan of it) and viewing angle is not my concern anyway. Good thing Sony come up with a water and dust resistant phone, though Samsung has it’s own water resistant version of it which S4 active (right after they release the standard S4 version??…uhhh, it could be awesome if they have it waterproofed at the first place rather than making a waterproof version of the same model on a latter phase)

    After all if you need something which is simple go for Xperia Z, and if you opt to have a lot of features then go for S4 (im still quite disappointed that they haven’t make it waterproof at the first place).

  • xtriker360

    Count me as one of those with the s3 didn’t upgrade to the s4, it just looks the same to me. I might go with lg g2 this time.

  • ryq24

    Sony use to be more expensive than Samsung but the Z is a little cheaper than S4. And the water resistant feature sure help.

  • Jaun Lombard

    Okay…Everybody says Samsung’s S4 did not live up to expectations…what expectations? Doesn’t it have like the best hardware on the market? Sure it is plastic but it is not a feature…I am sure Samsung can make a metal phones (I mean they build Ships!). So leave the design and plastic…what else did you want? Coffee machine built into S4 would have been great…but not a reality. Yes Samsung can put a bendable display in the phone…but you don’t get bendable CPU’s or batteries…so the phone might have a curve screen but wont bend like a ruler! Plus I don’t want a phone that is curved like a cylinder!

    • Jaun Lombard

      And all the Touchwize stuff will be standard on all phones in a year or so…air gesture ect.

  • roeshak

    Looks like Sony is finally doing what HTC failed to do in all these years.
    Challenge Samsung!

  • klondike

    LOL, if I have to choose, I’ll take S4 any day.
    however, I’ll always happy if someone give me a free Xperia Z or htc One :D

    that said, those 3 are excellent devices, regardless of what people say.

  • simpleas

    As a Samsung fan, I think these new s Y’s ae very nice