Every chance they got these past few months, Sony’s higher-ups refuted rampant smartphone retirement rumors, as well as recent whispers of the company possibly looking into in-house mobile chip production.
At the same time, caution appeared to characterize the Xperia family’s expansion during 2015, particularly in the year’s latter stages, which is by no means surprising given the sorry state of Sony’s financial affairs.
Going forward, you should probably expect less and less Xperia models, though brand dilution may not be the worst comeback strategy. Granted, it seems coerced here, and desperate profit-seeking measures tend to almost always fail, but at least we can rest assured no Z5+ is planned.
That’s what Digitimes strongly believes after checking with its notoriously hit-and-miss Taiwan “industry sources”, and the publication’s odd tally of recent Sony Xperia releases doesn’t help give the report a very distinct whiff of credibility.
Apparently, Sony eyes the rollout of just two mobile “models in 2016”, down from five in 2015, and 5-8 a year “previously”, which is outright not true. Let’s do a quick headcount. We’ve got the Xperia Z5, Z5 Compact and Z5 Premium, the M5, C5 Ultra, Z3+, C4, M4 Aqua, and E4. That brings the grand total to nine, not five, and we haven’t even added the canned Z4v or regional Z4 in the equation.
But perhaps Digitimes is referring squarely to high-end Z-series configurations, in which case the Premium or Compact may get the axe next year. What’s pretty much certain is Sony will stop the market flood, purportedly closing down an R&D unit in Taiwan, and partnering with Arima and Compal instead of Foxconn for actual smartphone assembly.