Sony Mobile to launch flagship 5G phone in June

Sony Mobile Taiwan President Jonathan Lin (CNA file photo)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Sony Mobile Taiwan plans to begin sales of its first mobile phone model compatible with fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology in June, a company executive said during a product launch Tuesday.

First unveiled in late February, Sony Mobile’s Xperia 1 II is set to hit the Taiwanese market next month in a bid to compete after the country’s planned launch of 5G services later in the year, said company President Jonathan Lin (林志遠).

As of end of April, Taiwan’s leading telecom operator, Chunghwa Telecom, is expected to be the first company to begin offering 5G services, while the operator and its rivals have unveiled service plans for customers since February.

Sony Mobile will maintain its current strategy of focusing on mid- to high-end markets for products priced NT$10,000 (US$334.95) and above, said Lin, who added that the flagship models will be the main driving force in the early stage of the 5G service.

Lin said he expects to see users shifting to 5G phones on a larger scale next year, just as was the situation when 4G first started.

Citing market statistics showing that mobile phone sales in Taiwan during the first three months saw only a 3 percent year-on-year drop, Lin said the demand is still there and he noted increasing buying during the Labor Day weekend.

He made the comment when his company announced that its mid-market model Xperia 10 II, priced at NT$11,490, will go on sale on May 20, aiming to grab the title of best-seller among non-Apple products in May and June.

While Apple, the overall mobile phone market leader in Taiwan, has no 5G products available, its rivals, including Samsung, Huawei and Vivo have all introduced their 5G models in the Taiwanese market.