Rating: As most builders don’t actually want a smartphone
Reading all the scribblings about Sony‘s release of the Xperia Z at CES 2013 in Las Vegas, GoMobile News can’t help but think that the pundits have got it all wrong over the target audience for this latest smartphone from the Japanese supplier. The chief feature about this particular handset is that it can withstand being immersed in water for 30 minutes. Which kind of makes it ruggedised. Consequently a great deal has been written about this handset being ‘ideal’ for the building trade. However, we think such observers have got it completely wrong. Trust us, we know many such artisans and they almost all fall into the I-only-need-a-phone-to-make-calls category. Absolutely no need to have a smartphone, even if it can withstand falling into a bucket of water. The target audience for the Xperia Z in our humble opinion is the horse rider. Plus you can’t make calls underwater, anyway.
So why do we single out horse riders as obvious purchasers of a ‘ruggedised’ smartphone? Well, just think about it.
If a rider drops a handset from a horse it is going to fall from a considerable height and almost certainly land in mud or water. Exactly what the Xperia Z can tolerate.
And, unlike builders, horse riders would almost certainly like to be able to check their emails; surf the mobileweb; check their Facebook page and Tweet from their mobile phone. So they need a smartphone.
The best bit – which many reports did actually mention, is that being waterproof, if the handset gets dirty, you can just hose it down to clean it up. Again, ideal for the horse riding fraternity.
There are, of course, a good deal of minority sporting pastimes that exist in the same environment as horse riding – dirt bike riders being another example. And what about fishing? That’s the UK’s most popular sport.
Now a lot of editorial space was dedicated to the fact that the Xperia Z was the ‘first’ waterproof smartphone. Technically correct but the Motorola Defy was water resistant.
Who did Motorola aim the Defy at? Ardent party people, of course. Who could accidentally drop their handset into a pint of bitter and get away with it. Sony should target this group, too.
What Sony also needs to do is form an alliance with a handset insurer, too. We all know that the commonest cause of handset failure is ‘water damage’.
Given that water damage is nigh impossible with an Xperia Z, surely the insurance premiums could be significantly lower?
Now to a myth that has sprung up around the Xperia Z about the possibility of making a call underwater.
You can’t. Ericsson made a waterproof handset many years ago. GoMobile News place it in a pint of bitter.
You can hear what the caller is saying. But he or she can’t hear what you are saying through water. Sorry.
The good news, however, is that in the UK at least both Vodafone – as a network operator, and Phones4U as a High Street distributor/reseller are going to range the Xperia Z.