Sony: No quad-core phones this year

The diversity of the Android ecosystem is a great thing, giving rise to countless devices that cover a massive spectrum of price, features and specs. But that diversity has also created a situation where the market is flooded with many similar devices, making it tough for manufacturers to get their handsets to stand out alongside those of rivals.

In recent months, we’ve seen an extraordinary race to the top, as manufacturers build increasingly superlative devices – you only need to look through Neowin’s archives to see that those devices with the thinnest bodies, the largest screens and the fastest processors are those with Android on board – which has seen the first smartphones with quad-core processors being launched this year at MWC.

The need for multi-core processing in a phone is a bit of a controversial topic. Many agree that dual-core processors are about as much horsepower as you need for now, and one manufacturer who concurs with that assessment is Sony.

Sony Mobile’s product marketing manager, Stephen Sneeden, explained to CNET Asia that he doesn’t believe the company will release quad-core handsets until next year: “We’re going to join quad-core when we feel that the performance matches the battery efficiency, because right now, we don’t feel that is there. In the second half of the year, [we will be] moving to the Cortex A15 architecture, which we feel outperforms the current quad-core architecture.”

Sony this week revealed two new dual-core phones at MWC, the Xperia P and Xperia U, both packing the not-exactly-fresh Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system; its rivals, meanwhile, were busy launching their new quad-core smartphones with the latest version of Android, 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, on board. Sony could yet experience challenges in getting consumers to purchase handsets with an older OS, and which sound less impressive than their rivals (for the average buyer, four cores certainly sounds better than two).

But Sneeden believes that, rather than mindlessly pursuing higher specs, there needs to be some balance, and that Sony has the right idea. He says that the company will only make the move to quad-core when devices are “not suffering in quality and the performance truly is there, and there really is something that demanding applications need”.

Images via Sony

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15 Comments

With A15 on the table and how well current apps performs with multi threat, Sony is %100 right this time.

AnarKhy said,
as long as sony dual core don't cost the same price of one android running at four.

Why? That's not hue pricing works. You're going to get a faster dual core system compared to a slower quad core one when you compare clockspeed, but they are likely to take up the same amount if die space.

Agree on the battery life part only partially. I dont think the average user needs a quad core, but if they start multitasking on it, and those cares are on instead of sleeping, itll be battery drain like no otherl.

Sony is really only shooting themselves in the foot. Are they right? Of course. Is the fact that they're right going to sell more of their devices? No. The problem isn't their lag in hardware specification as much as it is software. They repeatedly release devices with an older version of the Android OS than is currently available. This is one of the reasons they will never gain the market share to justify their current stance on hardware.

I previously owned an Xperia X10 and although Sony has certainly learned a few lessons since then, they just don't seem to be learning the most important lesson of all. People want the absolute latest version of Android on their phone. That needs to take priority and they need to stop eroding their market share by releasing decent devices with old software.

nekkidtruth said,
Sony is really only shooting themselves in the foot. Are they right? Of course. Is the fact that they're right going to sell more of their devices? No. The problem isn't their lag in hardware specification as much as it is software. They repeatedly release devices with an older version of the Android OS than is currently available. This is one of the reasons they will never gain the market share to justify their current stance on hardware.

I previously owned an Xperia X10 and although Sony has certainly learned a few lessons since then, they just don't seem to be learning the most important lesson of all. People want the absolute latest version of Android on their phone. That needs to take priority and they need to stop eroding their market share by releasing decent devices with old software.


nekkidtruth said,
Sony is really only shooting themselves in the foot. Are they right? Of course. Is the fact that they're right going to sell more of their devices? No. The problem isn't their lag in hardware specification as much as it is software. They repeatedly release devices with an older version of the Android OS than is currently available. This is one of the reasons they will never gain the market share to justify their current stance on hardware.

I previously owned an Xperia X10 and although Sony has certainly learned a few lessons since then, they just don't seem to be learning the most important lesson of all. People want the absolute latest version of Android on their phone. That needs to take priority and they need to stop eroding their market share by releasing decent devices with old software.

HTC has learnt this lesson, all their new phones are shipping with 4.0.3

agree with sony totally on this. i would prefer a dual core phone with more Ghz. I think that is sufficient for today's phone software. but i complete disagree with sony using the old OS. why don't you use Android 4 on your dual core phone?

don't be surprised that iphone 5 may still be a dual core phone, but with more Ghz.

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