Oh FCC, how you can ruin many great surprises for companies. Last week, we told you about a leaked video and promotional photo of what appears to be a Sony VAIO Duo 13-inch, the hybrid Windows 8 laptop and slate. Sony already sells the VAIO Duo 11-inch so this latest model seems to offer what we’ve already come to expect from the series with an extra 2 inches of real estate space on your screen. Now, the FCC has all but confirmed the validity of the VAIO Duo 13-inch and a product through their doors means a very high likelihood of a release in the US, and soon.
It’s no secret that Sony is working on a new line of smartphones that will incorporate Firefox OS in 2014. I believe the shift in strategy is designed to help diversify Sony’s mobile portfolio and target more developing nations while lowering the companies reliance on Android. In fact, in February Sony showed off the HTML 5 based OS on the Xperia E which houses budgetary specs, exactly the segment the Firefox OS is designed to reach. Since then, things may have escalated a bit between Sony and Mozilla as the latest rumors peg that the two are working on a premium handset. Li Gong, Mozilla’s senior vice president for mobile devices has gone on record, stating that
Sony is known for quality and user experience. So they are targeting for very, very high (end). We are in joint discussions on the kind of device and what’s the product.
If Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo countdown on May 15th is any indication, Sony is set to announce new Xperia smartphones for one of Japans biggest telecom providers. Just last year around the same time, Sony announced the Xperia GX and Xperia SX which stayed exclusive to DoCoMo and never made their way West. According to the Xperia Blog, rumors peg the Sony Xperia A (SO-04E) launching on DoCoMo and the Xperia UL (SOL22) on AU. It remains to be seen if true, how these models will fit in Sony’s already extensive smartphone lineup though it remains highly unlikely that these devices will make it to European and US carriers.
If you’ve been thinking about getting the Sony Xperia ZL (not to be mistaken with the waterproof Xperia Z), then you’re in luck. On the official Sony website, the company has just price dropped the Android smartphones to $629.99, down from $759.99. If the price still seems high, that’s because till we hear otherwise, Cincinnati Bell will be the exclusive US carrier that will offer the phone for $250 with a two year contracts. The $629.99 instead nabs you unlocked model, compatible with AT&T 2G/3G, T-Mobile 2G/3G, Rogers, and Fido. While a win for consumers, it begs the question, why did the Xperia ZL get a price drop after only a month on store shelves?
The FCC is an important part of the tech world. While it might be invisible to consumers, any device, be it a tablet, smartphone, or portable gaming machine that carries a wireless chip must pass through the doors of the FCC. The latest device to do so is the Sony Xperia Z, the flagship Android smartphone from Sony that was unveiled at CES 2013. While the job of the FCC is to tear apart tech and reveal their internals for documenting, this can also inadvertently reveal carrier praetorships due to the specific wireless chipsets that are be used for compatibility with networks. In the case of the Xperia Z, the documentation alone outlines the carrier support for the Xperia Z which has T-Mobile listed. While not the fanfare we would have liked to see, this also isn’t the official announcement from Sony or T-Mobile. Expect to hear something for concrete in the coming days. But there you have it folks, the Sony Xperia Z gets its first major US carrier which indicates an AT&T version might not be far behind since the two networks share many common networking and spectrum traits. If gutted tech is your thing, after the jump you can find the entire gallery from the Sony Xperia Z FCC teardown.
The Sony Xperia Z is without a doubt a marvelous phone. The 5-inch flagship Android smartphone from Sony packs the latest technology with a powerful processor, 13-megapixel camera, and a water-resistant body to name a few. For Sony, the success of this phone could determine their mobile strategy while its doom could forever lock Sony out of the top 5 smartphone list. The last thing Sony or any company ever wants to deal with is a defective design or manufacturing process. But that may be exactly what Sony has on their hands. Thanks to a tipster and after our own digging on Sony’s support site, it seems quite a few people are experiencing issues with their Sony Xperia Z speakers.
There is no doubt that the Xperia Z and Xperia ZL are some of the most exciting smartphones that Sony has ever put out. The press and public have agreed with mostly praise and a lot of excitement and hype surrounding the product’s release. If such a phone was release by Apple, HTC, or Samsung, you could expect a big media blitz, followed by carrier partnership which is the life and breath of the smartphone market in the US. Learning from past mistakes and their nearly zero market penetration in the US, Sony finally partnered with a carrier to help bring the Xperia ZL to more consumers while driving down the phone’s cost via subsidy. The only problem is, who the heck is Cincinnati Bell?
Did you know that the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, and Xperia Tablet Z will work natively with Mac? Thanks to Sony’s Bridge for Mac program, the latest Android smartphones and tablets will be able to easily connect with OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) and allow you to transfer music from iTunes and photos from iPhoto. With Bridge for Mac coming to v3.2, Sony is improving the software with less lag, better media handling, and new backup and restore options.