Sony to focus on a smaller Xperia portfolio in 2016?

by XB on 17th December 2015

in News

sony_phonesSony Mobile has a history of releasing lots of Xperia smartphones each year. The company has released 10 or more smartphone models each year since 2012. Sony Mobile only launched four models back in 2010, the year the company first produced an Android smartphone with the launch of the Xperia X10 series. Well, it looks like Sony could be back to a similarly sized portfolio in 2016 judging by a latest report from Digitimes.

The report says that Sony will reduce the “number of new smartphones launched in 2016” and that it is “likely to release only two models” during the year. We find that hard to believe, but we may only see two premium models with some additional low/mid-range models. The report also points to an exit of its Research & Development unit in Taiwan as well as discontinuing production at ODM Foxconn Electronics, focusing orders instead with Arima Communications and Compal Electronics. A focus on fewer Xperia models would certainly be welcome news, but we’ll wait to see what 2016 brings.

Via Digitimes.

Thanks Hendra!

  • DavidBaik(????????)

    Well. May be it should be Xperia Z and C or M series. Maybe.. :)

  • cicababa

    sony mobile goes into the trashbin.

  • spwx

    Week ago, news was that there will be 4 Z series alone, today news is that there will be 2 new phones total… both look like lies. Sony opening their own factory for making Z series is good indication of their future plans.

  • Alvin

    yeah right :D

    believe me, it will be at least 10 devices next year, there’s no way they could launch less devices :)

    but if they will, then just do 2 Z series, 1 M Series, and 1 E Series.. or 4 Z Series will also be good along with 1 M Series and 1 E Series. (4 Z Series including Flagship, Compact, Ultra, and Tablet)

  • Alvin

    actually, it is 5 Z6 (rumoured)

  • mUSICA

    just make a W series With Same Z Series Features But More Of Music Features N Less Camera Fone An Z Series With Better Cam

  • 2 standard sized flagships, 1 flagship Compact, and 1 flagship phablet in 2016 seems the best solution to me. Then add 1 M-series midranger and 1 E-series low-end phone.

  • Madis Otenurm

    Quality is better than quantity, but besides reducing models they should make the series names clear, too.
    Currently there are Z, M, C, E, T series and there used to be even more.
    As a consumer, I can only recognize the Z and M being flagship and mid-tier, respectively.

  • shenoy

    M6, M6 compact, M6 ultra with mediatek. Z6, Z6C n Z6 ultra with SD. E ultra and E would be a nice…

  • Naresh Gundu

    Makes lot of sense. I would prefer 2 models each in mid and high tier and one budget model and let the quality speak. Good luck Sony.

  • Let’s see, this is how I would like a decent, clear-cut, simplified Xperia range from Sony to look like:
    * Z series: Top tier, 3x same phone internals, different sizes (compact, standard and premium,)
    * M series: Mid tier, 2x same phone internals, different sizes (compact and standard,)
    * C series: bottom tier, 2x same phone internals, different sizes (compact and standard,)
    * Xperia Tablet: 2x same tablet internals, different sizes (compact 7″ and standard 10″/11″)

    Total New Xperia devices for sale: 9.

    (Or perhaps have differing tablet specs, or even three tablet sizes and specs, I’m not much of a tablet connoisseur right now.)

    I don’t have any stats to back this up, but this is what I feel.

  • mountain

    The could have easily turn last years flagship into this years mid range or budget, just what apple is doing. Imagine if they are selling z3 for like €200 euros, I can easily recommend this to anyone.

  • Geese Howard

    They should have done it long ago, 2-4 phones per year is more than enough. The one who started this rejected trend was Samskunk. So others had to follow to stay competitive, especially how the market was back then. Now, I think they should focus 2-4 phones per year, which sounds just about right. Helps to cut down costs and for them to give us quality phones rather than rushing into the fray. Keep up the good work Sony!

  • RealityCheck2015

    Can’t they just bring out 1 high end smartphone and 1 medium smartphone and 1 basic smartphone each year??? It would be less confusing to! :D

  • Ryuzaki Raiga

    nope, sony in japan already introduce this 2 flagship per year first. then samsung followed this trend. in japan there are 2 season sony will release phone. in spring/summer than in autumn/winter.

    sony in japan only sell flagship phone. except in 2010/2011

  • Ambitious Man

    Z6, Z6 Ultra, M6, C6 ultra. That’s all. Cut down the price of M5, C5, M4. :D

  • Danny

    I just read that the Z6 line might have 5 models in 2016, 4.0 mini, 4.6 compact, 5.2 standard, 5.8 Premium and 6.4 Ultra.
    5 different size phones all with same CPU and mostly similar specs (slight different in screen size and pixel) would make a mark on the market.

    there were rumors that Sony is also contemplating making their own chip for their phones. I would imagine Sony would start a new Xperia line for it, use Snapdragon CPUs for the Z6, and Mediatek for cheaper Xperia Lines.

  • Roh_Mish

    I rather have a Z Ultra. Slightly bigger than Prem but still much more worth it.

  • Roh_Mish

    Compact. Nobody wants Sony to cut that.

  • Roh_Mish

    Many people want Compact. Many want a large phone. And people want phones in different price bracket.

  • Roh_Mish

    The z2 at current price here is very nice option.

  • @Roh_Mish:disqus I think that’s what Sony is starting to do when they released the M4 (and shocked me, at least!) with specs very close to my Z3.

  • @disqus_jS6flfC2jK:disqus Yeah, see my reply to @Roh_Mish:disqus above.

  • Matt

    I also thought it will rival z3. Nope when I touch the device (m4) my z3 still screams premium

  • Matt

    Well you can’t drop last year flagship by 300 € can’t you? Even the compacts are still on high 300 eur.

  • Nodar Sixarulidze
  • shhh

    Fuck off.

  • Yuen Lui

    I wish they would release the next phone not before summer, 2016

  • Raj Singh

    I would like to see Sony Mobile rein it in and really focus on a smaller product portfolio.

  • Alvin

    but sony will not support those phones as long as apple support phones like 6,5s, and even 5, like for software updates, and so on.. seems like a bad idea:(

  • Alvin

    agree with you, but for z series… i don’t think premium is necessary, better replace that with ultra, and just make the standard z the premium thing, i mean the standard version.

  • Alvin

    and i was even more shocked when m5 announced.. i felt my spine come off my body

  • Ambitious Man
  • Sdamaceno

    Z, Z compact and Z Premium. Enough.

  • Svnjay

    Someone’s butthurt.

  • lastguru

    That is a good decision to reduce the number of models. Two is a bit too few, but, perhaps, Z, Z Compact, Z Premium, 2 Tablets = 5 devices a year would be enough. Sony, just focus on premium products, like Apple does, and leave plastic shit to Samsung et al.

  • dragonsneeze

    Instead of second 5.2″ device they should release bigger phones in the second half of the year like Z and Compact Z first, 6 months later Z Ultra and maybe Z Premium.

  • DBS

    I’d reduce it to 3 models:

    Z6/7/etc Compact and Z6/7/etc Premium and cut the normal Z which really has no point in existing (although I still think the 4K display is nothing more than a gimmick, at least it gives headlines).

    M6/7/etc – A mid-range offering based on last years flagship.

    Cut the E line and budget phones altogether and streamline the Z series. Xperia tablets would also get the axe as they barely sell and the tablet market is shifting towards productivity tablets only, where Android has no chance against Windows powered tablets.

  • Matt

    Sony updated the audio recording app with material design.

    And add ability to add private recording

  • SONY only

    and Z Tablet

  • SONY only

    And Z Tablet

  • azzido

    Agree completely, standard version should be the Premium one as it should be the main Flagship to compete with other brands.

    By creating other Premium with different screen size they seemed to put the regular one behind, considering it is somehow worse and not able to fight with regular S6 and iPhone.

  • azzido

    Can it record the calls?

  • Matt

    noooppee, its just a plain old normal audio recording app

  • azzido

    Agree, Sony should produce Z series only, with 3 different screen sizes with the same specs and same colors + one 10/12″ tablet a year. This is enough.

    If anyone wants to get cheaper (like medium) Z phone can simply buy the Z from previous year that also offered diffrent screen sizes. Just keep them available too.

    And only 1 iteration of Z series each year, not twice.

    That’s all.

  • azzido

    No, we want camera and music in 1 phone only, not in different ones. As we want all the best in 1 device, to have everything in the pocket, not 15 different dedicated gadgets…

  • azzido

    they should stop decreasing amount of battery and put bigger ones inside…
    For unknown reasons they are doing opposite and loosing the interest of people thinking about Sony “up to 2 days battery life”.

    Yeah, Z5 ;)

  • azzido

    I want big one, size matters ;)

  • Timel

    Yeah agree Alvin, that’s really make sense

  • Timel

    You’re absolutely right!

  • Timel

    Kill C and E series

    Keep Z and M series

    Z series has three sizes/three models including 4.7″ (compact), 5.5″ (premium) and 6.4″ (ultra which come up with Galaxy Note-like or Wacom-like features)

    M series has two sizes / two models including 5″(standard) and 6″ (ultra)

  • Pawe? Koper

    I’m still waiting for Android 5.1 on Xperia e4g :(

  • Chan Kin Cheung

    Cutting the E line (or C line for that matter) will certainly NOT boost Z line or M line sales. It will only make Sony to loose out the low-end customers who wants to experience Sony’s system while not paying as much as getting an M line phone.

    For the tablet matter, Sony could ditch it because there is no reason to dive your heads into a market where the demands are ever-changing and you can’t possibly keep up. Let apple test the waters while sitting back to watch.

  • aseuss

    I think that cutting back on number of releases is a good idea. It’s expensive to develop and manufacture a new model and keep inventory, especially with Sony since it has so few sales and rarely breaks even. With Sonys sales numbers, it can hardly reach the economies of scale needed to make good profits. Better to focus on very few models accompanied by decent marketing. People have did that Sony doesn’t have the money for marketing…so how can it afford to develop, build and distribute so many new models, every few months?

  • aseuss

    I said below that I would cut back on new models if I were at Sony. The only exception I would make is launching a 4″ model. There is a small segment out there that value portability above all else, especially those with small hands–and the key thing is, there are no phones out there of that size except budget phones. Sony could own this small market, and the buzz over this mini mini phone wouldbe good for Xperia in general.
    But whether Sony launches 2 or 7 phones and a mini is a moot point if Sony continues to refuse to advertise, especially in the US market. That’s why Xperia fans need to contact Sony to demand that it do something about its distribution problem. Tell them not to ignore the US market. Get on carriers, back up releases with marketing and promotion. Because if it neglects the US market, Xperia will keep losing sales and then Xperia will be gone for good. Twitter @SonyXperia and @SonyXperiaUs, they’re very receptive.

  • DBS

    Cutting the budget phones is EXACTLY the plan. Budget phones are money losers. Sony can’t compete against that plethora of Chinese and Indian manufacturers that pour out phones like they were sweaters.
    Budget phones are also sold at a loss. Plenty of manufacturers tried that because of the “next billion” promise etc. They all failed.
    So, instead of Sony trying to compete with cheap Chinese brands – which they can’t – they should simply not offer low end phones any more. If you don’t have money to buy a higher priced phone, too bad. See, that’s the one thing Apple gets right. You want an iPhone, you pay the high price or you don’t get an iPhone. Period. If Sony wants to see themselves as a premium brand they must start to offer actually premium phones and charge premium prices.

    Apple is already sinking in the tablet market with the shift Microsoft provoked with their Surface line. Just this past holiday season Microsoft for the first time sold more Surface devices than Apple sold iPads. The time for the “content consumption” tablet like the iPad and Android tablets has passed. With phones getting bigger, those tablets become redundant. That’s why you see Apple and Google now copy Microsoft’s strategy and present the iPad Pro and the Pixel C.
    IF Sony still had their VAIO division, they could perhaps try their luck at the productivity tablet game. But since they haven’t, I don’t think they should. Specially not using Android which is the best mobile OS, but the worst PC/laptop/productivity tablet OS.

  • Alvin


  • Alvin

    Sure it is…

  • Ambitious Man

    :D thinner, thinner and thinner. That’s all. Sung, LG, HTC,… all OEM. So pity!

  • Ace

    Please stop suggesting that crap!

  • Mahesh

    But what about future updates? Z2 will complete it’s life cycle this year.

  • Mahesh

    Still no support for SW 3 though!

  • Mahesh

    Sony has announced that all 4 & 5 series models will be updated to MM 6.0. But forgot E4/E4g,which is still stuck with KK 4.4. Similarly, all 2 & 3 series got updated to LP 5.1 except E3 and surprisingly T3!

  • Mahesh

    Sony should make it’s update strategy more clear for its customers. It should guarantee at least one major android version update for its all range of phones irrespective of prices. Sony has announced that all 4 & 5 series models will be updated to MM 6.0. But forgot E4/E4g,which is still stuck with KK 4.4. Similarly, all 2 & 3 series got updated to LP 5.1 except E3 and surprisingly T3! It should have updated all 2 & 3 series to LP 5.1 and must update E4 to MM 6.0. Why an owner of T3 will not get annoyed when T2 is updated to 5.1 and he/she is still stuck with 4.4? Depending on hardware you may omit some resource hungry software features like Apple does. But must ensure at least one version update for every model. Customers may forget what Sony did to SP, V & TX etc. if Sony follows this strategy. Moto follows this, why can’t Sony?

  • Pingback: ????16?Xperia Z6/Z7????????????????????? – SOCIUS101 ??????????()

  • ryq24

    Its not the number of models release that is the only problem of Sony but the selling price.

  • Vjekoslav Andric

    What are you about? Even my z1c model now almost 3 years old, is getting android 6…
    Will iphone 4s get latest ios?
    Didnt think so…

  • @matt@Matt_Na:disqus And performance- and response-wise?

  • Roh_Mish

    M is coming for it. There are lot of Z2 out there (it was one of the top sellers in Sony’s phone range) so Sony could theoretically support it longer and get lots of satisfied customers. They could also market it as a mid range option. They still produce it after all.

  • Roh_Mish

    M4 is a really nice phone. Looks great and premium and is very capable. I got the dual aqua (16GB model) for my mom for around $200 (rs. 12500) during festival sale here and it’s totally worth the price

  • goldenblls

    This is good news. Sometimes their portfolio can be confusing. The M series is good value. The Z series rocks. They should overhaul the design and naming too.

  • Matt

    Z3 us still better.

    M4 aqua is a midrange device. Sony might be not the best at everything but they sure do a good job separating high end midrange devices.

    Besides if you want the best performance for small money, Motorola g is the way to go. Look away from Sony

  • zet

    Totally agree!
    any more than 5 phones just confuses people. Having to many choices (especially when many of them have similar specs) just leads to decision fatigue. Apple keeps it rediculously simple for their customers.

  • Alvin

    I’m not a hater or troll or spreading hates here, but I’m very sorry to say this..

    i thought 4s was a 4 year old phone compared to the almost 2 year old z1c? and no, z1c is not getting marshmallow, and at least it is not confirmed yet.. and yes, the 4s is getting ios 9, oh my mistake, it already got the ios 9…:)

  • Timel

    If Sony don’t use Windows 10 instead Android for their Xperia tablet product line then Sony should stop producing Xperia tablet and only focus on Xperia Z series smartphones

    Android tablets = rubbish toy
    Apple iPads and Microsoft Surface tablets = true tablets

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