Review Central speaks to Gita Ghaemmaghami, the Regional Marketing Communications Manager for Customer Unit Middle East and Africa, at Sony Mobile Communications. She shares the smartphone buying patterns in the region, smartphones replacing traditional imaging devices, the trend of large-screen smartphones and so on.
What are the three main factors people base their buying decisions on when purchasing a smartphone?
There are series of factors that influence the smartphone buying decision. These include design, camera, processor/ speed, storage, screen size/ display quality, brand and price. At every price range, the weightage of these factors changes, for example, premium smartphone buyers look for new innovations while the budget buyer values the functionality aspects more. In our experience, as a premium smartphone brand, we would choose camera, screen and design as the top three factors that influence the smartphone buying decision.
Is there a market for features phones in the region?
Despite the initial interest and nostalgia that features phones generate, we feel that their market in the region is limited. The functionality that today’s smartphones provide has integrated itself within our lifestyle and it will be very difficult for our usage patterns and behaviour to change.
Are smartphone cameras replacing traditional imaging products?
Traditional cameras would have always a charm and be positioned for niche consumers. However, smartphone cameras have been able to replace the need of traditional imaging products perfectly.
Now you can capture 960 frames in a second super slow motion video with Xperia XZ premium smartphone, a feature that very few traditional cameras have.
When it comes to screen sizes, what do most customers go for?The trend is moving towards large screen sizes and this is easy to understand as the smartphone is increasingly being used for entertainment and education needs.
We anticipate that the 5.5-inch screen will be the most widely prevalent screen size in the coming years.
UI is the most important part of any smartphone. How does your company make sure your phones are equipped with the best possible UI on the market?
We continually provide latest Android upgrades for our Xperia smartphones to enable consumers to enjoy the best possible User Interface experience.
Do certifications such as IP65 play a major role in the buying decisions of a customer, especially in this part of the globe?
As smartphone technology improves and new innovations come to the fore, new standards are going to come up and be met with by manufacturers.
Standards are an ever evolving landscape and consumers want to know the benefits rather than their details. IP65 has now led to IP68 and buyers derive comfort in knowing that the latest standards are being adhered to by the brands that they buy. Our range of Xperia Z series and Xperia XZ and XZ premium are IP69 certified.
Most of the times customers do not find the right accessories for their smartphones. How does your company overcome this challenge?
We are working closely with our retail and distribution partners in the region to ensure consumers can easily access the latest products and accessories.
In terms of after sales and customer support, how does your company work with your channel partners to make sure customers are not inconvenienced when their devices need repairs or support?
Sony Mobile customer service centres, both our online and offline networks across the region, are available to support consumers at any time. We are committed to caring for our customers and ensure that they have the best consumer experience.