Sony's Xperia Z4 is the company's next all-out assault on the top of the smartphone market and its announcement is very close. It was rumored originally to be getting a CES launch, something that was simply never going to happen, so the next probable launch event would be during the Mobile World Conference (MWC) in Barcelona through the first week of March, but how likely is that?
Sony has had a rough time of things in recent years, with huge losses, massive job cuts, and has even had to sell off real estate bases around the world. Smartphones have been one of the (minor) bright spots, but Sony has even changed its mobile strategy to focus on high end products. The latest move sees the Japanese company shutter all of its retail stores in Canada.
Sony has released a number of Limited Edition premium versions of the Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3 Compact, and Xperia Tablet Compact. The devices come with new designs on the rear plate, and interestingly the designs have been inspired by famous architecture.
There have been widespread reports that Apple will make a large screen iPad next year, while Samsung already has a "Pro" slate, but another company may be joining this growing niche. Sony is reportedly entering the fray with its own oversized tablet, a device that will be launched in 2015.
The Sony Pictures hack has caused earthquakes throughout the movie industry, shaking the business and probably having ramifications that will be felt for months. However, Sony's other businesses have largely been untouched, although that has changed this past weekend as an internal email leaked online revealed details about the upcoming Xperia Z4 flagship, a new wearable, and how much Sony will pay James Bond to use its gear.
Sony has always had a considerable presence at CES, the yearly Las Vegas based trade show that in 2015 will be taking place between January 6 and January 9. However, CES is more of a consumer electronics show and smartphones have not featured in Sony's launches in the past, at least not flagships. However, the company is reportedly set to launch the Xperia Z4 as the event in two weeks' time, perhaps leaving the PC game and slowing down its TV output has given Sony space to fill at the event.
Sony has a shed a little light on when it will be updating its high end devices to Android 5.0 Lollipop, with the Xperia team sending a tweet on Wednesday. The company said it is going to start the updating process for both the Sony Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z2 series of products early next year.
It is not only smartphones and tablets that are starting to get a lick of Android 5.0 Lollipop as wearables are also getting in on the action too. The 5.0 update for Google's Android Wear smartwatch platform has now started doing the rounds and Motorola's Moto 360 is getting the bump today. Aside from Motorola's standard bearer, Sony's SmartWatch 3 is also reported to be landing the update today.
The Sony Pictures hack saga show no signs of abating, and in fact the perpetrators, the so-called Guardians of Peace (GOP), are even hinting at a worldwide cyber terrorism act and that Sony is just the first target. They managed to steal 100 terabytes of data including information on employee salaries, movie scripts and even screening versions of upcoming films that have since been leaked online.
Remember September? It was a busy month for smartphone launches with a slew of new handsets landing on the market. The beginning of 2015 is going to be similar with most Android vendors releasing new flagship devices and we may even get some Windows offerings too. Sony is one of the companies that will be launching a new smartphone flagship, the Xperia Z4.