Sony scrapped its plans to release two new Android tablets called the Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5C in the second half of the year, according to an unverified rumor shared by tech blog Android Marvel. The Japanese original equipment manufacturer is said to have opted for the move due to weaker-than-expected sales of its latest premium smartphones, including the Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Compact, as per the same report, which doesn’t clarify what kind of a connection Sony supposedly made between its handset and tablet efforts. The Xperia Z5 is said to have been a 10-inch offering, whereas the Xperia Z5C was allegedly meant to feature an 8-inch screen.
Rumors about the two Sony-made slates started circulating the industry in late March, with the original implication being that the Tokyo-based OEM is looking to release both at some point this summer. The firm hasn’t debuted an Android tablet since the Xperia Z4 which was unveiled in March of 2015 before hitting the market three months later. Up until that point, Sony has been refreshing its tablet offerings on an annual basis, having followed the same release schedule as the largest players in the segment such as Samsung and Apple. The initial move away from the tablet space is understood to have been prompted by weak sales of the Xperia Z4. While the company hasn’t been competing in the Android tablet sector for three years now, it’s still updating its lineup of Digital Paper E-ink writing slates.
Google itself appears to be losing interest in pure Android tablets as well, with most industry trackers agreeing that product category has been declining for four years in a row now. Alphabet’s subsidiary recently signaled it’s more keen on pushing that form factor into the Chrome OS ecosystem so as to target students and educators. Sony’s mobile unit lost around $250 million over the company’s 2017 fiscal year which ended March 31, with the Japanese firm stating it isn’t looking to exit the smartphone segment for the time being even as it expects its sales to continue declining.