Sony is finally bringing back this well-received phablet of its time.

Sony is finally bringing back this well-received phablet of its time. Everyone in the mobile world now acknowledges the importance of industrial...

Sunday, May 9, 2021

/ by Avishek Bera


The News Cover: Everyone in the mobile world now acknowledges the importance of industrial design as a competitive advantage. For a product to command a premium price, it has to look premium first. Samsung today arguably is the leader when it comes to making beautiful-looking phones but back in the day, almost 8 years ago to be exact, Sony was in fact ahead of Samsung in the design department. 

When Samsung was using plastic even in their flagship phones, Sony was releasing beautiful glass metal phones instead. The Xperia Z Ultra launched in 2013 is in my opinion the best-looking Sony phone ever made. The handset was huge measuring at 6.4" While calling a 6.4-inch device huge may seem ridiculous now, but back in the day, people had a different mindset about display sizes that were acceptable on a device that's designed to sit in your pocket. The device was also crazy thin at just 6.5mm and you could use any ordinary pen or pencil as a stylus. 

Also, it offered water resistance when offering the feature wasn't even the norm. So the handset was unique in its own right but for some reason, Sony didn't bother to release a direct successor to the Xperia Z Ultra even though the handset was well received from the consumers. But it seems that may finally change as a well-known tipster on Weibo has indicated that Sony could be planning to release a follow-up to 2013's Xperia Z Ultra. While there is not a lot of information to work with, it seems the Z Ultra may not have a tall 21:9 aspect ratio. 

Instead, it could be wider much like the original Z Ultra. If Sony is indeed working on this then I hope it's a proper flagship and not a mid-range handset. Xperia Z Ultra was the first Sony phone that I've owned and I absolutely loved it but the phone cracked in my pants pocket that wasn't meant to hold a cell phone just 2 months after I got the phone. So looking forward to what Sony has to offer with its successor. With that said, Sony keeps on losing money for years at this point. 

To be precise, ever since 2017 Sony's mobile division has been losing money year after year to the point a lot of experts were questioning, should Sony just up and quit completely? Turns out that not quitting was a good decision on Sony’s part. This is because according to Sony’s latest earnings, the company’s Xperia division has actually made a profit for the first time in years. Sony announced that they made $254 million for the fiscal year 2020 that ended in March 2021. 

That’s the first time since 2017 that Sony hasn’t lost money through selling phones. Interestingly Sony actually sold fewer phones this time as you can see from the chart. But despite that, they made profits simply because they increased the average selling price of their phones by selling more flagships and they also cut the costs for producing and selling those phones. So unlike LG Sony isn’t ready to give up just yet and that's great news for the mobile industry which keeps consolidating into just a handful of major brands.

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