Sony wants to increase its production of flagship smartphones in Thailand, aiming to increase its market share in the premium segment.
Previously, Sony's smartphone parts were made in China and Thailand, but the latest flagship Sony Xperia XZ2 is the first model fully made in Thailand at the Bangkradi plant, Pathum Thani, said Vongsakorn Sorpitiporn, senior marketing manager for the mobile channel department at Sony Thailand.
Satoshi Mekata, general manager for the mobile sales division, said Thailand, as Sony's second-largest smartphone market in Southeast Asia, trailing Indonesia in terms of value, is a strategic location.
"Although there's been no growth in the smartphone market, Thais have strong purchasing power when it comes to premium devices priced above 20,000 baht, accounting for roughly 10% of annual smartphone sales totalling 16 million units," Mr Mekata said.
Sony said Thai users replace their smartphones every 2½ years, on average, compared with a year and eight months previously, though the replacement period for younger users is shorter.
Sony will focus on the medium- to high-end smartphone market, Mr Mekata said, adding that mid-range units are priced at 13,000-19,999 baht.
Competition in the high-end market will become more intense, driven by market demand and the roll-out of innovative products, he said.
Last year, Sony's share of the premium market was below 10%, and the company is looking to increase that proportion.
Sony yesterday launched the Xperia XZ2, its new flagship device, focusing on mobile entertainment users and in particular video creators and viewers.
"We have brought in our strong capability in cameras, sound and display to make mobile entertainment better," Mr Mekata said.
The phone, priced at 25,990 baht, will be available on April 27.
Customers who pre-order the device will get additional accessories.
Mr Vongsakorn said the company is offering a promotion whereby customers who pre-order the phone at AIS, DTAC and True will get a free Sony PlayStation 4, a value of 14,980 baht.