The Xperia Z3 (pictured above) is available for pre-order and will officially hit shelves on October 31st. As is often the case with flagship phones, this means it’s time to start looking to the next generation and, sure enough, rumours about the Xperia Z4 have already started.
This week brings us our first whispers of Z4 device specs, rumblings of a spring 2014 unveiling, and talk of a revised device upgrade schedule that will see Sony shift to a one-smartphone-per-year cycle.
Android Origin cites a reliable source that says the Z4 will boast Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 chipset, which is scheduled to launch next year. This will feature an octa-core CPU clocked to 2.8 GHz coupled with Adreno 430 graphics. There’s also going to be 32 GB of storage, a whopping 4GB of RAM, support for LTE Cat.6 connectivity, Bluetooth 4.1, a curved Exmor RS CMOS sensor, and a 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 resolution display. Android Origin’s source (which apparently also fed the site “spot on” information on the Z3 Compact before it was announced) is saying the Z4 will be announced at MWC next Spring and will be the only flagship Sony releases in 2015.
If the above specs are true, they represent a massive step up for the Xperia Z as a flagship device. For the last few iterations, the Z3 has enjoyed only minor, incremental upgrades compared to previous models of the phone (the Z3 is almost identical to the Z2 in design and specs, for example). Not only that, but Sony typically releases multiple handsets every year. This new strategy would mean abandoning that tactic and betting everything on one device.
One thing is certain, it’s time for a change. In late September, Sony announced revisions to its annual earnings forecast for an ‘impairment charge’ that it pinned directly on its mobile communications division. It said the $1.6 million CAD charge was a result of a significant change in the market and the competitive nature of the mobile landscape. The company said it planned to reduce risk and volatility and deliver more stable profits by focusing on a premium line up and reducing the number of models in its mid-range categories. That fits pretty well with what we’re hearing about the plans for 2015’s Xperia Z.