For the last couple of years consumers have been used to Sony releasing phones every single six months, compared to a more traditional standard of every 12 months like most other OEM's with their respective flagship devices. This was speculated to change after the release of the Xperia Z3, Sony's current flagship smartphone which launched last year following the announcement of the device back in September of 2014 at IFA in Berlin. Rumors began to swirl that Sony may show off the Xperia Z4 at CES in January, although this did not happen, at which point rumors began that Sony may be showing it off at MWC 2015 instead. Now that MWC is over with no Xperia Z4 smartphone to show for it, rumors began that Sony must be looking at a year long release cycle for their flagships, while some thought it was signaling Sony's beginning to drop the mobile division from their company by selling it off.
Rumors of the sell off have been diffused by Sony's VP of Global Communications, Tim Harrison, who is also now stating that Sony has no plans to make a move to a 12 month release cycle with their flagship handset, saying that "No, we haven't moved to a more traditional 12 month product cycle.: Also, what's now being suggested is that we will be seeing a brand new Xperia Z4 before September when IFA takes place again. Although Sony didn't unveil the Xperia Z4 at this year's MWC, they didn't show off their new flagship Xperia Z4 tablet as well as the Xperia M4 Aqua, the company's new mid-ranger.
In addition to Harrison stating a 12 month release cycle is off the table, VP of Sony Mobile Western Europe, Pierre Perron is also backing this statement by mentioning that Sony won't simply release a device just because they can, instead they want to focus more on the better customer experience as opposed to just throwing out a new phone for consumers to buy. Building off this he states that they also want to make sure they have something new to offer before they launch a new device, which is likely why we haven't seen the Xperia Z4 just yet. The Xperia Z3 is not that old, and Sony Mobile wants to make sure their new device will actually be looked at as a "new device," which would likely mean new hardware and probably new design.