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Sony will offer a rival smartphone brand's services on the Xperia 1 III

Sony thinks teaming up with Meizu could help its Xperia phones in China.

Published onOctober 15, 2021

Sony Xperia 1 III software
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Sony has teamed up with Chinese smartphone company Meizu.
  • The partnership will see several Meizu apps and services being available on the Xperia 1 III.
  • This is ostensibly limited to China only for now.

China seems to be a tough market to crack if you’re a non-Chinese smartphone brand. Sony is indeed one of these companies, but it looks like the Xperia maker has a rather interesting plan up its sleeve.

The company announced a “strategic” partnership with rival manufacturer Meizu today in a bid to offer better localized services on the Xperia 1 III flagship phone in China. So what does this partnership actually entail, then?

Sony will pre-install or allow users to download several apps from Meizu’s Flyme Android skin on the Xperia 1 III and newer devices in China. More specifically, Chinese users can download the Flyme app store as well as services related to news, email, and weather. You’ll need the system update that was apparently pushed out to devices in October to take advantage of this.

Just the first step?

“During the strategic cooperation period, Sony and Meizu will further explore more Flyme functions and application cooperation possibilities on different products,” read a machine-translated excerpt of the announcement.

It’s a rather interesting partnership, as neither party is a major player in China. Meizu in particular has seen its market share decline significantly in its home market since its highs in the mid-2010s, accounting for less than 1% by the last count.

In any case, we’ve asked Sony whether the services will be available globally as well as whether the company is open to adopting Meizu’s Flyme skin in China. We’ll update the article if or when the company gets back to us.

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