Steve Jobs was a great admirer of Sony (NYSE: SNE [FREE Stock Trend Analysis]). Former Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) CEO John Scully said that he “wanted [Apple] to be Sony” and that he was deeply fascinated by the first walkman and the Japanese electronic giant's factories.
Is Sony now trying to become Apple?
At CES, Sony unveiled the Xperia Z, its most recent foray into the high-end smartphone market, and a likely competitor to the iPhone.
The Xperia Z isn't Sony's first attempt at building an elite smartphone. As the name suggests, there have been other Xperias before it. Yet, to date, none of them have been able to capture the widespread fascination of Apple's iPhone or even Samsung's Galaxy line up.
However, this version of the Xperia might finally be the one to make Sony a legitimate competitor in the smartphone business.
The Xperia Z packs a whopping 13-megapixel camera -- both the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3 only have 8-megapixel cameras. The Xperia also has a better display than both phones, with full 1080p.
What really sets the phone apart, however, is its most unique feature: The Xperia Z is waterproof, able to be dunked into water at least three feet deep without sustaining damage. If an iPhone user wants the same, they will have to spend roughly $70 on a case.
For once, Sony will take advantage of its base of existing electronics to make its phone more attractive to users. The Xperia Z can interact with Sony TVs and audio systems.
Even if the Xperia Z fails to wow smartphone buyers, it may simply be indicative of a greater trend ongoing in the world of smartphone makers, and one that is dangerous for Apple's bottom line.
Android handset makers are increasingly going above and beyond with their devices, competing against both Apple and each other.
A growing trend in the media has been to cite competition from Samsung as Apple's biggest threat. Perhaps it isn't only Samsung that Apple has to worry about.
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