Sony mobile confirmed at MWC that the company plans to continue with the strategy which sees it moving more towards the unlocked market and further away from a carrier-associated manufacturer. There are many reasons as to why Sony is doing this, although one of those touched upon is that dealing less with carriers offers the company a greater level of control over what they bring to market, including aspects to do with the design of their devices. Just as importantly, it also allows Sony to be in greater control of global launches and release cycles.
While this is just a continuation of what Sony has been doing over recent times, the company has noted that they are finally returning to a position which is more akin to where they were when they were dealing directly with carriers. Suggesting that after a period of somewhat uncertainty, where some were questioning whether Sony would remain in the smartphone business, the company is now starting to find its feet again, as an unlocked smartphone brand. Which is an aspect that seems to resonate with some of the reports that have come through of late, with one of the most recent suggesting Sony had managed to significantly increase its market share for high-end smartphones in Taiwan.
Moving forward, Sony has now confirmed that four new smartphones will be arriving within the first half of this year. While these are new smartphones, they are in fact, newer versions of already existing lines. So for instance, when it comes to the Sony Xperia XA line, two new models which will arrive before the summer of 2017 in the form of the Sony Xperia XA1 and the Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra. Consistent with the previous Sony Xperia XA, the newer models will focus more on being affordably priced. When it comes to their more high-profile offerings, the other new upcoming devices have now been confirmed as the Xperia XZs and the Xperia XZ Premium. While these devices have now been announced, Sony has yet to fully detail when each device will become available, their price, and whether they will be only available in certain regions or released worldwide.