Sony may not have had a choice in delivering its phones to the US without functioning fingerprint sensors. Since it wants to continue selling Xperia devices in the US, it must disable the sensor, the company admitted to Android Central.
The Japanese manufacturer outright played down US market demand for fingerprint sensors on smartphones and considered it a critical factor in pursuing the US market.
“That was very much about us consciously deciding that we want to continue our business here, and [that’s] one of the conditions for us to be able to do business,” said Don Mesa, a marketing executive at Sony Mobile US.
Mesa made passing mention of its relationship with US carriers and its desire to also pursue unlocked device sales. Apparently, somewhere along the line, an agreement was struck with a carrier that contained specific terms to the availability of certain features like the fingerprint sensor.
Since the Xperia Z, only T-Mobile and Verizon of the “Big Four” have carried Sony devices. Verizon has had the more apparent history, especially with Samsung, to tweak various aspects of devices it carries and has struck big device exclusivities with the Google Pixel and its Droid series phones with Motorola.