The Sony Xperia Z raced to number-two spot in the smartphone charts in February, nestling just behind the Samsung Galaxy S3 and marking a bolt-from-the-blue triumphant return to the fray for the gadget-maker.
Sony’s latest challenger climbed to the runner-up position in uSwitch Tech’s Mobile Tracker, which collates and aggregates clicks and sales on the site each month with data from sister site Omio partner websites, leaving Apple’s iPhone 5 trailing in third.
The strong showing for the Xperia Z was driven by some attractive promos at retailers and networks, many of whom bundled the handset with Sony headphones priced just shy of £300.
Aggressive pricing also played a part and meant that consumers could pick up the Xperia £7 cheaper than Apple’s entry-level current-gen smartphone.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 has now camped at number-one in the Mobile Tracker for ten successive months, a period in which, prior to the success of the Xperia Z, the phone-maker underlined its status as Apple’s sole credible competitor.
Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, says: “Perhaps the most surprising entrant in this month’s chart is Sony.
“After record losses in 2012 due to natural disasters and a strong yen, the Japanese colossus has upped its game, producing a feature-packed, high-spec model in the Xperia Z. Storming into the 2nd spot on pre-orders alone, this is one to watch in 2013.
He added: “Although Samsung continues to stay ahead of the competition and is holding onto pole position, the popularity of the Galaxy range is starting to wane thanks to serious competition from rival manufacturing giants.
“There are hotter, newer kids on the block and the Xperia Z’s early popularity is really exciting for beleaguered Sony.
“It has the winning combination of being packed full of features and priced right. It’s about time the iPhone 5 and the S3 were challenged. But the anticipated launch of a new Galaxy handset later this month could make it hard for Sony to build on this early success.”
Other phones to make the top ten included Nokia’s budget kit, the Nokia 100, and the similarly value-packed Samsung Galaxy Ace, which were fourth and fifth respectively.
In at six was the iPhone 4S, while Nokia’s Lumia 800 was the sole Windows Phone entry just below that at seven. And completing the countdown is the LG Nexus 4, the evergreen Samsung Galaxy S2 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, which took eight, ninth and tenth positions.