Sony Xperia 1 IV pre-sales allegedly one-third those of Xperia 1 III as prohibitive price tag leaves Chinese retailer reservations looking anemic
The known Weibo leaker ZACKBUKS has offered up an interesting tidbit about the potential sales success, or failure, of the Sony Xperia 1 IV. According to the tipster, the pre-sales for the new and expensive flagship have clearly been sluggish, with the volume reaching “probably only one-third of last year’s Xperia 1 III”. The Xperia 1 IV price tag is substantial whatever the market (US1,599.99/€1,399/£1,299), although there could be some other reasons for why pre-sales may not be blazing at the moment.
At the time of writing, the popular Chinese retailer JD.com has over 32,000 customers seemingly signed-up for a Sony Xperia 1 IV reservation. However, that figure seriously pales into comparison with the sort of numbers a new phone from Xiaomi can attract; for instance, the Xiaomi Mi 11 garnered over 400,000 bookings on the same site before its release. At the time, the Xiaomi device was priced at 9,999 yuan (US$1,500) while the Xperia 1 IV currently lands anywhere around 8,999-10,999 yuan (US$1,350-US$1,650). So, a high price alone may not be enough to put customers off from buying.
But China is experiencing a phone shipment slump, down by -18% when comparing Q1 2022 with Q1 2021 (75.6 million phones vs. 92.5 million). COVID-19 has been wreaking havoc in China as of late and the consumer market had already been wounded by the ongoing pandemic. However, the publisher of this particular report, Canalys, opines that it is cheaper phones that will drop in sales while premium and mid-range handsets will “hedge against the risk in slowdown in mass-market device sales”. The Xperia 1 III was a hit in China so there is no reason for the Xperia 1 IV to not follow suit.
A poll carried out by GSMArena overwhelmingly highlights the intrinsic problem with the Sony Xperia 1 IV – it is just too expensive. The hardware and design were praised, but the price tag remains a sticking point for many would-be purchasers. While the Xperia 1 IV features heavy-hitting selling points such as a 3.5 mm audio jack, microSD slot, 4K HDR OLED panel, etc., there are some that have questioned whether it is enough of an upgrade over the Sony Xperia 1 III or not, and this discussion is arguably also affecting pre-sales.