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