According to a new rumor, published by Reuters, Sprint may sell its first on-contract Sony Xperia smartphone. The deal will coincide with Sprint’s parent company, Japanese network Softbank, also offering a Sony smartphone to its subscribers for the first time. The rumor doesn’t state which phone will be sold on the networks, but we’re expecting at least one new device to be announced by Sony at next week’s IFA tech show in Berlin.
Smartphone buyers in the U.S. who want to grab one of Sony’s excellent devices have traditionally had few options. T-Mobile released the Xperia Z1S earlier this year, but most of the time, the only option has been to purchase a contract-free, full price phone through Sony’s own website. This has made it difficult for Sony’s mobile division to find a wide audience in America.
For Sony, releasing a contract phone through Sprint could help change this, particularly if the phone turns out to be the Xperia Z3, rumored to be at least one of Sony’s headline new devices revealed at IFA. Rumors point to it being a subtle upgrade to the Xperia Z2, featuring a 5.2-inch, 1080p screen, a Snapdragon 801 processor, and a 20-megapixel camera.
Softbank-owned Sprint announced it had lost more than 230,000 subscribers during the opening months of 2014, and it may use exclusive hardware deals to attract customers back to the network. The promised introduction of a new Xperia phone comes soon after confirmation it will start selling the attractive Sharp Aquos Crystal, which boasts a bezel-less screen, strong mid-range specs, and a competitive price tag.
If the Xperia Z3 is headed to Sprint, we can expect official news to come in the very near future, should the phone be announced in Berlin next week.