The Sony Xperia Z2 is quite the Android handset. It has class-leading specs, and the camera is virtually unbeatable. While we can’t see past that device right now, Sony is limiting the shelf life of their newest flagship. In comments made to the Japanese press, Sony’s Yoshiro Kurozumi says the Z2 will likely only be their flagship for six months before they release something fresh.
Kurozumi, who has the long-winded title of Mobile's Creative Director, Director of Product Planning and UX General Manager (seriously), thinks a six month refresh cycle is more appropriate. In order to keep the mantle of flagship, Kurozumi believes you have to update the handset more frequently. He also said Sony doesn’t want to rely on any single design, but he could have fooled us — the Xperia Z lineup hasn’t changed much over time.
With those comments, we should consider a new handset from Sony in the second half of 2014, and it will likely be an Xperia Z. If Sony intends to keep the mantle of flagship alive and well in their lineup, and insist on updating every six months, we’ll lok for a new Xperia. They could be going with an accelerated Apple scheme, bringing in a mid-cycle upgrade to keep it interesting. Think Xperia Z1s with the latest Android and new processor.
Hardware is only half the flagship battle, though. Sony’s distribution chain in the US is terrible, leaving many would-be consumers without the ability to even see the device. Updating older handsets is also crucial. If Sony thinks anyone who purchases an Xperia Z2 is going to be happy without Android updates and software tweaks, they’re nuts. That will be true six months from now, and even two years from now. We like Sony’s dedication to the best and boldest hardware, but that’s only running half a race.