Samsung’s got a new flagship, HTC’s got a new flagship, but when it comes to smartphones, Sony’s only showcasing mid-range devices at MWC 2015. Why no room for the rumoured Xperia Z4 flagship? If you believe Sony’s spokespeople, it’s because last year’s Xperia Z3 range is still going strong.
“At IFA 2014 we announced three Z3 products effectively -- the Z3, the Z3 Compact and the Z3 Tablet Compact. They’re doing really well in the market and there’s still a considerable amount of interest in those products,” said Tim Harrison, Vice-President, Global Communications and PR at Sony Mobile, speaking at a press event ahead of the company’s MWC showing.
The focus, it seems, remains on supporting the September 2014 models -- unsurprising given the criticism Sony faced for refreshing its flagship line just six months after the launch of the Xperia Z2.
“Since announcing [the Z3 range] we’ve introduced a number of features including PlayStation Remote Play for example, as well as different camera themes and camera apps.”
While Harrison fell short of confirming the existence of the Xperia Z4, his message was clear -- though Sony’s current focus is around mid-range devices like the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua, the 10.1-inch Z4 Tablet is only the first in a forthcoming generation of Sony devices to bear the Z4 branding.
“Obviously, the Z4 is the next generation of product we’re announcing. Traditionally, we haven’t always announced a new smartphone at MWC. We phase it -- sometimes a smartphone, sometimes a tablet. For this MWC we really want to focus our story on expanding the midrange offering, broadening the choice in the midrange, and bringing in a super premium tablet as well.
“It’s more a question of phasing the products than anything else.”
When quizzed on whether or not the Xperia Z4 would land in line with a traditional 12-month annual refresh cycle (which would see the smartphone sequel land in September of this year), Harrison was a little more sketchy.
“As a general rule, you’ll see some adjustments to the way we phase our products, but certainly we won’t be sharing any specific details on when we’ll be releasing more news at this stage,” he stated.
In other words? The Xperia Z4 is coming, but not until Sony’s given its latest mid-range devices room to breathe, and time enough for the Xperia Z3 to run out of steam.