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要谈这个问题,首先要说说索尼移动的背景。在索尼爱立信时代,其手机销量就并不处于领先,只能说当年处境不佳的爱立信和索尼共同出资成立的这家公司依靠 Walkman 音乐手机和 Cyber-shot 拍照手机获得了一定的市场份额(长期在个位数浮动),但是和当时的诺基亚相比,完全不值一提。所以尽管现在的市场份额惨淡,但也并非是一种由极盛转衰的情况。索尼爱立信从2009年起决定转型为纯 Android 智能手机制造商,试图扭转这一局面,但效果不够好。出于对智能手机市场的重视,索尼于2012年Q1完成了对索尼爱立信的收购,并在这一年中推出了远超过去的大量机型,销量和市场份额均得到了一定的提升。2013年其总部从英国伦敦迁至日本东京。

总的来说,尽管在欧洲和日本有着不错的市场份额,索尼的智能手机整体情况情况并不乐观。索尼在欧洲有着很忠实的消费者;而日本则是索尼的主场,从第一部由 NTT Docomo 运营的 Xperia(即 Xperia X10)开始索尼就是日本 Android 手机的风向标,甚至能与目前盛行日本的 iPhone 相竞争。但是,这两个市场太小。索尼在世界最大的两个市场——中国和美国——确实没有取得令人满意的成绩。

这里简单总结一下索尼(爱立信)近年的情况。2010年:09年末发表的 Xperia X10 有着当时最顶级的配置——然后在10年Q2正式发售时已经落后了,加上其他一些原因,最终并没有获得太好的成绩。小屏幕的 X10 mini 和 X10 mini pro(侧滑全键盘)被证明无法被市场接受。低端的 X8 虽然销量很高,但既无益于利润的大幅增长,也对品牌形象的确立没有多少帮助。2011年:造型独特且性能主流的 Xperia arc 获得了一定的成功(可以看到地铁中这部手机的出现率并不低)。中端的 neo 依然是只有出货量。而更低端的 mini 和 pro 再次被证明没有市场。3.3寸屏幕的 ray 虽然因为尺寸小巧外形美观而获得了一些人的支持,但依然不是主流市场。附带游戏按键的 PLAY 和支持三防的中低端型号 active 等同理。2012年:推出型号数量最多的一年,整体销量和市场份额相交过去都得到了提升,但和三星苹果等相比依然不值一提。

接下来进入正题,说一下造成这一局面的问题点。

先说产品本身。

10年的问题:推出机型速度慢,数量少,性能低,且系统升级较晚。当年索尼爱立信的旗舰 X10 确实有着较为出色的外形设计,但其硬件性能在 HTC、三星以及摩托罗拉等厂商的旗舰面前毫无吸引力——反应速度慢一代,屏幕色彩也很普通。而对 Android 做了过度修改导致迟迟不能发布系统升级也让很多人不会选择它。

11年的问题:推出机型仍然较少,旗舰型号性能不足。当年的 arc 有着不错的外形,但是无论是处理器还是内存都落后于同时期其他厂商的旗舰。拍照能力相比也没有什么优势。尽管 arc 的 TFT 屏幕显示效果比 X10 提升了很多,但是消费者显然是更喜欢三星所使用的色彩(过分)艳丽的 AMOLED 屏幕。同时系统升级较晚的问题虽有改善但仍然不理想。

12年的问题:与11年类似。上半年旗舰的 Xperia S 在处理器上落后于人,下半年旗舰的 Xperia T 虽然反响不错,但仍然没有搭载最顶尖的硬件。靠着数量众多的型号以及与众不同的外形,成绩总算是有所提高。

总结来说,在过去三年索尼的旗舰型号的硬件始终不是市场上最好的;拍照效果不再像过去 Cyber-shot 手机那样凌驾于其他品牌之上(甚至不再是最出色的);坚持使用 TFT 屏幕而不用广受消费者欢迎的 OLED。

再说硬件之外的问题。

1.命名混乱,没有真正意义上的旗舰,无法引起话题。iPhone 的命名方式简单易懂,三星的旗舰 S 系列的 S II,S III 的方式也很直观。而索尼在这一点上就做得很差。旗舰从 Xperia X10到 Xperia arc 到 Xperia S/TX 到2013年的 Xperia Z,普通消费者难以分辨。(关于这个问题的更多说明,请参见 http://leybreeze.com/blog/?p=1649 )。

2.营销不当。一方面,现在的索尼没有能力为自己的旗舰做足够的营销,另一方面,其营销水平也并不高明。苹果的 Retina 是这几年里最出色的营销之一,让人人都知道了“视网膜”屏幕。HTC 甚至将其屏幕精细程度远超 iPhone 4/4S/5 的新机型称以“采用了超视网膜屏幕”。这里没有否认视网膜屏幕确实有其技术优秀之处,但是这一名称绝对是一个极大的加分。相比之下,索尼对去年推出的一系列拥有超过“视网膜”精细程度屏幕的手机的说明仅仅是“720P高清屏幕”。平时向朋友介绍产品中的经验告诉自己,这种说明非常无力。而三星的 GALAXY S III 于去年奥运期间在各种场合的大量宣传推广,无疑是这款本身性能就很不错的手机能够迅速成为各种电视节目奖品的原因之一。至于韩剧、美剧,电影,更是一种效果优秀的营销手段,让很多普通消费者牢牢记住了某一手机,或者是留下了“苹果、三星的手机大家都在使用”的印象。此外,Xperia 的名称虽然对于非汉语者来说节奏感不错,但是这一自造词难有合适的中文名称,是索尼在中国市场的推广阻力重重。

3.产品定位不当。索尼总是喜欢把不同的要素拆分至多款型号。比如:11年旗舰的 arc 没有前置摄像头,而中端型号 neo 却有。12年上半年的旗舰 Xperia S 没有中端型号 P 上所采用的高亮度屏幕,也没有 ion 的 LTE/4G 网络支持。13年上半年的旗舰 Xperia Z 不支持物理拍照键,而兄弟型号 ZL 虽然弥补了这一问题,却在外观上略逊一筹,没有了镜面设计。等等。没有一款集所有卖点为一身的旗舰,使得一些数码产品爱好者不会选择索尼。

4.价格其实并不是问题,至少索尼的定价并不高于其他厂商。但是近年来发展迅猛的华为和中兴,凭借着较高的性价比,以及还算不错的硬件质量,硬是取得了名列前茅的市场份额。

造成以上这些问题的原因,作为一个外人不得而知。但可以作以下推测:

1.管理层决策失误,造成了那些非硬件问题。

2.软件开发团队实力不够,或者说是索尼的“造物”文化更推崇制造精巧的硬件而非开发优秀的软件。(这一点其实源于索尼爱立信的索尼移动已经做得不错了,而完全索尼自己开发的平板电脑则是完全暴露了这一不足。)这是企业基因问题,恐怕不是靠招募一些优秀的程序员就能在短时间内解决的。

3.集团内部相互牵制。索尼电子作为索尼集团的核心,其内部牵制非常严重。为了确保 Walkman 和 Cyber-shot 的销量,作为智能手机的 Xperia 并不能使用到索尼自己最为领先的技术。

4.整体经济环境不景气,使得索尼无法毫无顾忌地发挥。311东日本大地震在一定程度上也重创了索尼(或者说日本的电子产品企业)。

5.没有完整的零部件生产能力,不能像三星那样自给自足,因此也不具备很强的议价能力。

其实要说本来,索尼的这些问题并不是致命性的,这几年的 Xperia 产品也不算太糟糕。但问题是苹果也好,三星也好,华为以及中兴也好,都做得更好,好得多。逆水行舟不进则退,消费者始终会选择做得更好的厂商,索尼也因此无法取得好成绩。

当然,在那么多不足之外,也能够看到索尼为解决问题正在努力,不过这已经不属于这个问题的范畴。有理由相信索尼在将来能够一定程度上扭转现在的颓势,而具体如何只能静观其变。

作者:陈微风 来源:知乎


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