Sony is the latest phone manufacturer attempting to utilise social media to drum up hype surrounding new products, encouraging interaction by offering rewards. The reward offered by Sony was the announcement of a new phone with a countdown clock which could be sped up, or “fast forwarded”, to get the new phone announced sooner. The countdown clock was originally set for a few days but could be sped up by 20 seconds for each person who clicked to sign up to the Sony social app. The countdown has already reached zero due to the large number of people expecting to find out more information regarding the rumoured Sony Hayabusa.
Instead, when the clock reached zero Sony fans were introduced not to the Hayabusa but the new Sony Xperia Miro. The Miro looks very similar to other Xperia phones although it is a bit smaller with a 3.5 inch screen, and is geared heavily towards Facebook users. Facebook is integrated heavily throughout the phone’s interface and the Miro even allows customisable illuminations for incoming social updates from Facebook.
Considering this phone is aimed at Facebook users and Sony made a big deal about using Facebook to make the announcement, it has probably not pleased Sony that the phone was met with quite a lot of disappointment and criticism from the Facebook community. A large part of this disappointment no doubt stems from the expectation of the Hayabusa making an appearance, with the Miro seeming like a bit of an anti-climax to the anticipation caused by this marketing ploy.
Perhaps Sony’s use of social media has backfired here, but it makes sense for the company to use Facebook to launch a phone aimed primarily at Facebook users. One thing that has been demonstrated from earlier attempts at “Facebook phones” however, is that most Facebook users typically do not want their phone to live and breathe Facebook – an app will do just fine.
The Miro does make it easier to like and share phone content compared to typical Android handsets, although it remains to be seen whether this Facebook integration is as heavily implemented as iOS 6 on the next iPhone. The Miro will be one of the first Sony phones to run on Android Ice Cream Sandwich, and it does not limit itself to Facebook features.
The Miro comes with DLNA sharing and xLOUD technology for high quality audio playback. There is also a 5 megapixel camera with video recording. The Miro is expected to be released in Europe only in a choice of silver, black, pink and gold. Full specifications and price details have not yet been announced.
In a separate launch Sony announced two other Xperia phones, the Xperia Tipo and Xperia Tipo Dual – both entry level Android smartphones with the later having dual SIM support. All three handsets recently announced are part of the seven smartphones that Sony promised to launch this summer.