I’ll take the high-end… Sony takes on Apple’s strategy.

Sony Xperia Z and ZL (1)Sony is playing Apple at its own game. While the Japanese multinational  has failed to set the smartphone world alight of late, it has announced it is now taking a different approach.

While the market has been largely about the bitter rivalry between Samsung and Apple in recent years, it seems the battle for supremacy in the smartphone world is heating up.

Sony boss Kaz Hirai has indicated that the company proposes to adopt a strategy like Californian giant Apple of focusing on high-end products as it works to turn its smartphone business around.

Fifty two-year-old Hirai, who became the President and CEO of Sony last April, said: “That’s why we are in this business and that’s why we invested heavily in the business,” he said. “We basically are out of the feature-phone business and in the Android-based smartphone business.”

And Sony has certainly already made a start on its new higher-end plans. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, Kaz HiraiSony revealed the first gadget to come out of its new grand plan.

The Xperia Z hit all the headlines because of its waterproof qualities. It can, say its makers, be dunked in water for up to 30 minutes. It can be taken into the shower, survive a dunking in the bath or, heaven forbid, the toilet, and can even be rinsed under the tap if it gets a bit dirty.

The latest in the Xperia range was well received by critics who praised it for its impressive design and build quality.

Now, Sony is said to be aiming to strike while the iron is hot with a new rumoured Xperia Tablet Z. Currently codenamed Pollux, the tablet is expected to come with many of the high-end specs and features available on the Xperia Z smarphone.

With a full 1080p HD display, it will be powered by a quad-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, will come with 2 GB RAM and 32 GB storage. It is also due to have the same dustproof and waterproof design of the smartphone, giving peace of mind if you’re using your tablet near the pool on holiday, for example, or if something is spilled on your tablet. The new tablet is also said to be super thin, at only 6.9mm thin.

Sony’s new tablet is expected to launch with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and to have two cameras – an 8.1-megapixel at the rear and 2.2-Sony tabletmegapixel on the front. So, it’s clearly not as impressive as the 13-megapixel snapper which comes with its sister smartphone.

If it follows the same design features as the new smartphone, the tablet will have a minimalist look with straight lines and rounded corners.

The Xperia Tablet Z is rumoured to be available in Japan first in the second quarter of this year before becoming available in other markets.

But Sony certainly has a lot of ground to make up on Apple and Samsung, with Samsung outselling Sony by six to one in the smartphone market.