Phablet Wars 2013 – HTC vs Sony vs Samsung

HTC One Max vs Samung Note 3 vs Sony Ultra

14 October, 2013
Loren W
Melbourne Oz


Well well, previously a fan of the Samsung Note (I had the both the I & II), I jumped ship and dumped the II just prior to the launch of the III, to avoid any hardware loss and because I expected it to be boring, (as it was to me) and I got the Dive Safe / Waterproof Sony Xperia Ultra, the wonderful but slightly buggy, big brother of the Sony Experia Z, and predecessor of the new Sony Xperia Z1 (got all that).


I have written previously how the main stream media has yet to address that a large slice of the Chinese mobile phone market (a larger slice percentage wise than the USA for instance) prefer larger phones (phablets). However, you need to look at the mobile phone marketplace to see the real interesting stories, and consider if HTC can survive to generate any success now.

Sony’s CEO Kazuo Hirai has just said it is planning to be number 3 mobile phone provider in the world avoiding China, and the USA for now, by focusing more on Europe and Japan where it has less of a fight. Sony has further said they plan on getting out of the low end mobile phone market entirely.

Sony has set a target of selling 42 million smartphones worldwide in the financial year to next March, an increase of 27 percent from a year ago. In 2012, Samsung shipped 218.2 million Galaxy phones while Apple sold 135.9 million iPhones, according to IDC.

HTC has recently slid into the red for the 1st time showing a loss of T$2.97 billion ($100 million), bigger than an expected loss of T$1.8 billion, according to Thomson Reuters Smart Estimates. That compares with a net profit of T$3.9 billion in the same quarter last year. Making HTC a possible target for a Lenovo buy out unless another player emerges like RIM (joke)…

Samsung still strong globally, risks running away with global market share as it saturates the market with every size phone and tablet possible. It has sales of almost $200 billion a year, made a $9.4bn profit in the third quarter and employs 270,000 people in 79 countries. It has a whopping 32 per cent market share, compared with Apple – its nearest rival – at 15 per cent. –

All that being said, for many it is whichever company innovates the best is the one that will win the hearts, minds, and dollars of customers.

The Phablet Contenders

HTC produced a very impressive phone with the HTC One, probably next to the iPhone the most appreciated phone design and build quality in the marketplace. The other phones the Note3, and Sony Ultra, all have produced similar size and spec phones.


The 6” Note3 has a 13MP camera, Qualcom Snapdragon Chip and a 2300MHZ Processor, and a 3840×2160 (4k video and camera)

The 7” Sony has a 8MP camera but 3264×2448 (4k) camera.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra

The 6” HTC One Max sports, a 1920×1080 and 4MP camera, it will be market saturation and build quality (and being popular in the USA) that will help HTC. The Sony is likely a dead duck, outside Japan, and Samsung is already talking their next generation of phones before the Note 3 even gets a chance to succeed or fail.

What Next ? The US market will likely ignore the Sony Xperia Ultra, as much as Sony ignores them, though Newegg is releasing the Sony Xperia Ultra today October 14 in the USA. If the product gets a fair look, the specs will give HTC a run for their money, with better specs and good build quality. HTC will dazzle with nice hardware and average specs, Samsung will continue to etch away for the US dollar as it makes a phone for ever demographic. It will be interesting to see what Apple and Microsoft/Nokia can do in the 6” phablet space, in the next 12 months but currently no one has captured the imagination on the 6-7” mobile phone market with the perfect phone.


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