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Sony won’t announce new flagship at MWC 2015

Posted by wicked January - 27 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

Nothing is certain yet but there is a rumor going around that Sony isn’t going to show off a new flagship smartphone at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this March. We once heard that the company is planning a “summer” launch this year of what could be the next-gen Xperia phone. This means two things for fans of Xperia: you can wait for the release of a new phone or you still have more time to get that Xperia Z3. No new flagship at the MWC 2015 would mean more time for Sony to work on new devices and for fans to anticipate these stuff from the company.

We once heard about a possible May/ November release not just of the Xperia Z4 but also the Sony Xperia H1 and H2 models that are currently under development. The information came from a leaked email that said the new flagship phones would be released any time between the months of May and November. However, the leaked info only mentioned the H1 and H2 but nothing about the Xperia Z4.

A recent FCC filing from Sony could be for a mid-range phone instead of a flagship phone if we are to believe that there would be no sign of any Sony flagship at this year’s MWC. Sony seems to be more careful and more secretive this year that it could just be strategy. You know how photos and specs can be leaked especially weeks leading to a big tech event like the Mobile World Congress. Sony could just be taking extra caution concealing their products. , Remember that the CES 2015 launch of the Xperia Z4 rumor we heard didn’t happen.

Not a lot of geeks are convinced though that Sony won’t be announcing the flagship given that other big brands like HTC and Samsung will be revealing the new M9 and Galaxy S6. Sony could lose a significant market share if there’s no new flagship in sight this March. If there’s no flagship, at least, Sony should launch new phones even those entry and mid-level ones or models in different variants like the purple Sony Xperia Z3. Let’s just wait and see.

VIA: XPERIA Blog

Is releasing a single Xperia Z flagship a year the right move for Sony?

Posted by wicked January - 26 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

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For those that don’t know, we recently started a new podcast surrounding the topic of the Friday Debate. During last week’s episode we focused on the design rumors regarding the HTC One M9, while also touching on the Sony Xperia series. Interestingly enough, the response was that most of us have somewhat given up on Sony when it comes to design and probably various other areas — at least as far as the western market is concerned.

Now earlier today we heard a report that, in addition to shrinking its lineup, Sony may end up cutting back on its two-flagship a year model in favor of a more traditional once a year approach. While the report was focused on Sony in Taiwan, it makes sense that Sony would apply a similar move to other markets. Personally I like Sony’s premium (admittedly somewhat Apple-like) styling and their minimalistically skinned Android builds, but I’m not so keen on their twice a year release schedule. And so this got me thinking, what benefits would Sony see from reducing down its twice a year model to just one major flagship a year?

The benefits of going to a once a year model

The most obvious benefit is a reduction of cost. One less model would potentially mean that Sony could cut down on marketing, R&D and everything in between. Considering Sony’s mobile division isn’t exactly swimming in money, such a move could really make sense for the company.

For consumers, the benefit is that new flagships would actually be worth the upgrade.

For consumers, the benefit is that new flagships would actually be worth the upgrade. The Xperia Z2 and Z3 are almost identical from a spec sheet point of view, and while this doesn’t matter to new Sony fans or those upgrading from much older models (like the original Z or the Z1), some folks like to be on the bleeding edge of tech and don’t like to see that their “new phone” isn’t the latest just a few months after buying.

Okay, so how “new” your model is shouldn’t really matter to folks, but some people do care and therefore they might pass on Sony devices altogether because the two-flagship-a-year model turns them off. I genuinely think that Sony’s current release schedule is a turn off for hardcore buyers and considering Sony phones are mostly sold unlocked in the western markets, that could be a very real problem for Sony’s bottom-line.

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Are there any negatives to leaving the two-a-year model behind?

With Sony switching to a once a year release schedule, they’d be more attractive to consumers that like having the bleeding edge and don’t want to have a new model released only months after they invest in a new phone. Sony would also save (theoretically at least) save money on R&D, marketing and other associated costs that come with a two year a model. But what would they lose?

Currently, Sony fans know that whenever they are ready to upgrade from an older model, the phone they buy should have the most advanced specs around.

Probably the biggest advantage of the two-a-year model is that Sony fans know that whenever they are ready to upgrade from an older model, the phone they buy should have the most advanced specs around, since it won’t be any older than six months by the time they make the purchase. Then again, this doesn’t always hold true, considering when the Z3 was released the Note 4 rolled out with a Snapdragon 805 but the Z3 stuck with an 801.

Beyond this, I personally don’t see any advantages to the two year release schedule, especially since the jumps in mobile technology seem to be lessening with each year.

Reducing the number of phones and the number of releases won’t magically fix Sony

Of course, reducing the number of phones and number of releases is a start, but won’t automatically mean that Sony will start to see its sales numbers pick up. Sony also needs to work on improving marketing around the globe, expanding to new markets (more carrier partnership in the US, perhaps?) and finding new ways to compete with bigger players like Samsung and up-and-coming players like Xiaomi and other Chinese companies. Of course, talk is easy and I admit I am just a writer, not someone with deep inside knowledge as to how things go on at Sony or what it would take for Sony to rise to the top.

With that said, what would you like to see Sony do differently in 2015? What would it take to convince you to jump onboard and get yourself an Xperia Z4 or really any Sony device?

Achievement unlocked: Root for Sony Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact

Posted by wicked January - 26 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

In another pleasant display of showing the big corporations that, in the world of Android, nothing stays locked down for too long, clever minds have finally broken through the locks Sony has put on the bootloaders of the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact, making it possible for you to finally gain root access to these devices. In their defense, Sony has been one of the more lenient manufacturers when it comes to tweaking their devices for AOSP (Android Open Source Project). Well, there are just some locks that are meant to be broken down.

XDA developer “serajr” revealed the secret formula behind the Sony locks, thanks to the tireless probing of fellow developer “zxz0O0″. The process, however, is not an easy one, and like any modification, this has the potential to turn your Z3 handset into a complete brick. For starters, current firmware is not compatible with the mod, so this means you will have to roll back your unit to version 23.0.1.A.5.77 before you can do anything. Once this has been achieved, it’s on to creating a pre-rooted version of your device’s hardware, flashing a recovery image, and applying the root exploit to your device.

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It should be noted at this point that this mod applies mainly to US handsets locked down by their carriers. It is not worth trying on the international versions of the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact, as these already have unlockable bootloaders and can be easily fiddled with to suit your custom requirements. The hack largely does not apply to Sony devices offered by Verizon either, as these may come with already-modified hardware.

With quite a number of restrictions, it may also help to ask yourself if rooting your Sony Xperia Z3 or Z3 Compact is worth the trouble; Sony is set to release updates to enable its devices to run on Android Lollipop soon, anyway. Still, if you’re intent on getting the most out of your (locked) device, check out the XDA forum thread to try and set free your Sony Xperia device on your own.

VIA: Android Authority

Root achieved for Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact with locked bootloader

Posted by wicked January - 25 - 2015 - Sunday Comments Off

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Owners of Sony Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact Android handsets that have a locked bootloader, it is your lucky day. At least, it is if you’ve been hoping to root your device.

A clever dev over at the XDA-Forums has scored himself a touch of bounty for working out the xploit. Sorry… exploit. The method is not intended for the international Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact devices, which come with unlockable bootloaders, and are rather easily tinkered with by the AOSP and ROM enthusiasts. Nor is it for the Verizon variants with modified hardware. Instead, the exploit is for markets like the U.S. where carriers tend to lock things down.

Let’s not beat around the bush here, with Android Lollipop set to release for Sony hardware soon, You are likely better off waiting for the OTA before rooting. Also, this is not an easy process. Right off the bat, up to date firmware is not compatible, so you’ll need to first roll back to version 23.0.1.A.5.77. From there, it is a matter of simply creating a pre-rooted version of the phone’s hardware, flash a recovery image for your model, then apply the root exploit itself.

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XDA user zxz0O0 is who you have to thank for bringing root to your locked Sony Xperia Z3 or Xperia Z3 Compact. He’s been known to bring exploit and similar tools to the forums and will take home at least a part of the current $3017 bounty available for breaking the lock on Sony gear.

Head on over to the XDA post on the matter to get all the resources and instructions to root your Sony Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact handsets.

Will you go for root on your Xperia Z3 or Xperia Z3 Compact?

Purple Xperia Z3 Purple Diamond Edition confirmed

Posted by wicked January - 23 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Only a few days after photos of a purple Sony Xperia Z3 smartphone were leaked, Sony has finally confirmed that there is indeed a purple version of its latest flagship smartphone. The company calls it officially as the Xperia Z3 Purple Diamond Edition which is expected to catch the attention of a lot of ladies who love the color. According to Sony Mobile Hong Kong, launch will happen before January ends.

The Xperia Z3 Purple Diamond Edition is a new color from Sony. The Xperia Z3 is already available in White, Black, Silver Green, and Copper but the new Purple Diamond seems to target the women who love the special color. No information when the purple Xperia Z3 will be available outside Hong Kong but the new edition is now even cheaper at only HK$ 4,998 ($645). That’s after the HK$1,000 price cut Sony Hong Kong recently gave.

The Sony Xperia Z3 Purple Diamond Edition’s introduction is just in time for the Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day. A new phone for the New Year and as a gift to your significant other for February 14–why not? The purple smartphone is quite attractive but nothing much has changed on the specs so don’t expect anything new.

Here’s a review of the Sony Xperia Z3 specs: 5.2-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution, Qualcomm MSM8974AC Snapdragon 801 chipset, Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400 CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, microSD card slot, 16 or 32GB built-in storage, 3GB RAM, 20.7 megapixel primary camera, 2.2 megapixel front-facing camera, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, 4G/LTE connectivity, and a 3100 mAh battery.

Purple Sony Xperia Z3
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SOURCE: ePrice

Sony releases action packed Rockin’ Goat on the Play Store

Posted by wicked January - 23 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

rockin goatHave you ever wanted to play a game that puts you in the shoes of an escaped farm goat that moonlights in a rock band? You might have an odd taste in video games, but Sony’s Music division has you covered. They’ve released Rockin’ Goat onto the Google Play Store that stars Elwood the goat as he builds a band and put on rock shows in a 2D platforming experience.

The game looks fairly well done and features music from a few different artists under Sony Music’s arm. Between the music and several mini-games, this one might be worth checking out for a few laughs while killing some time.

The app itself is free, but there are in-app purchases. You can check out some screenshots and download the game below.

qr codePlay Store Download Link

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LOS ANGELESJan. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Music Entertainment today announced the launch of ‘Rockin’ Goat,’ a raucous new mobile adventure game set against the backdrop of Rock and Roll that sends players on an off-the-wall quest blending elements of fantasy, explosive action and music. 

Full of fun, unpredictable challenges and exciting mini-games, ‘Rockin’ Goat’ follows the wild exploits of Elwood the goat, a barnyard bandleader who has just escaped the family farm in order to pursue his music dreams.

But making it big as a rock star is anything but easy. Players must collect gold records and tear up the stage all the while watching out for dangerous enemies and obstacles, including flocks of seagulls, angry cacti, toxic boxes, and earth-shattering meteors.

‘Rockin’ Goat’ offers a rollicking 2D platform game play experience in which gamers ram and jam through nine levels and three different environments of vast landscapes and raging concert venues, and recruit other band members in challenging mini-games.

The game also features tracks from artists distributed through RED, a division of Sony Music, including Sister Sin (Victory Records),New Device (Four Worlds), HarkMenaceWildlights (Season Of Mist), and Adrenaline Mob (Century Media Records).

The Rockin’ Goat App is available for free from iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rockin-goat/id947041192?mt=8 and Google Play at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ariama.goats 

About Sony Music Entertainment:
Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a current roster that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars. The company boasts a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. It is home to premier record labels representing music from every genre, including Arista Nashville, Beach Street/Reunion Records, Bystorm Entertainment, Columbia Nashville, Columbia Records, Day 1, Epic Records, Essential Records, Kemosabe Records, Legacy Recordings, MASTERWORKS, Polo Grounds, RCA Inspiration, RCA Nashville, RCA Records, Sony Classical, Sony Music Latin, Star Time International, Syco Music, Vested in Culture and Volcano. Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.

 

SOURCE Sony Music Entertainment

Come comment on this article: Sony releases action packed Rockin’ Goat on the Play Store

Sony MDR-AS600BT Bluetooth headphones are splash proof

Posted by wicked January - 22 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

Sony has unveiled a new set of headphones that are called the MDR-AS600BT Splash-proof Bluetooth NFC in-Ear Headphones. The headphones are offered in several colors including white, black, orange, and blue. The blue set looks more like teal to me.

No matter the color you choose, they all have Bluetooth for wireless streaming and NFC technology for easy pairing. The headphones are small and have an easy to use single button. The earphones are splash proof and designed for all weather use and feature IPX 4 rating.

Power comes from a rechargeable battery good for up to 8.5 hours of non-stop jams. The ear buds come with Arc Supporters that are available in three sizes for a perfect fit. Sony also integrates a microphone so the earphones can support hands-free calls.

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The drivers are 9mm units and the frequency response is 20Hz-20,000Hz. The battery needs 2.5 hours to charge fully and the earphones ship with a micro-USB cable for charging and silicone rubber earbuds in four sizes in addition to the arc supporters.

SOURCE: Sony

Why Is Sony Going under and How Can It Save Itself?

Posted by egzthunder1 January - 22 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

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One of the most iconic names in the mobile industry has always been the Japanese giant, Sony. Over the years, we have seen this company going from an icon, to an evil empire going after poor developers (yeah, yeah… different division), to one of the most friendly giants a developer could hope to have as a friend. Over the last couple of years, Sony has shown the developer world (and really the entire world) that being a ginormous global corporation should not prevent you from keeping in touch with the people who have helped to make you big in the first place. You can be friendly with lesser groups (us :p) and you can also do simple things like play by the rules (ie following GPL as they should). However, it seems that the old saying “good guys finish last” does hold some truth to it. Unfortunately, a few days ago, a report came out stating that Sony is considering selling their phone division. This comes out not long after Sony’s sale of their laptop computer division. So, it seems that Sony is trying to trim down the fat in order to survive. But, is this the right way of surviving?

According to various reports floating around on the web, Sony will have lost roughly US$1.9 billion dollars this coming March, which is a ridiculously large amount for any company trying to make a living by selling… well, anything. Now, Sony is a company that has branched out into so many areas that “Jack of all Trades” falls short in comparison. They do have some rather profitable areas such as their Playstation division as well as their cameras. When it comes to TV’s, they are getting their behinds handed over to them in a silver platter, courtesy of Samsung and LG. And of course, you have other areas such as Sony Music, which will keep the brand alive for the foreseeable future. However, this alone is not enough to keep the entire company afloat.

As mentioned earlier, they axed their Vaio division not too long ago due mainly to dismal sales and increase in competition in markets where they had some levels of dominance. Acer, Asus, Lenovo and others began pushing out cheaper products, which basically pushed Sony into a corner. On top of all this, the former Ericsson division, which was completely acquired a couple of years ago by Sony, has been currently trying their hardest to look alive. Multiple device releases per year with a yearly flagship, new innovative tech (submersible devices, screen tech, and more) have been paramount for them since the introduction of the Z line (and even a little before). Despite all their efforts, the company seems to be giving up as it simply cannot win against the likes of Apple and Samsung, both of which dominate the markets worldwide with vast percentages.

Focusing solely on their phone division, it is actually not hard to see why they are where they are right now. After quickly browsing through the 4 major US carrier’s websites, one can tell what is going on. Out of the 4, only two of them offered Sony devices (T-Mobile and Verizon). Each one of them offered 1 device (each) – the Xperia Z3 (and Z3v for Verizon) whereas they offered about 9 variants of Galaxy devices and 6 others of iPhones (and a slew of other brands including HTC, LG, etc). They have 0 penetration in the US markets as their only other outlet would be to sell unlocked directly from Sony stores or via other venues such as Amazon, eBay, etc. And yes, we do realize that the US is not the only nor the largest mobile market in the world, but it does represent a very large portion of it.

xperia-z3-dual-waterproof-intro-8d4e3aafe600b84720524df7abc78ef4-940The other issue with Sony’s model revolves around their support structure. This, as it is always the case, is a typical scenario for ymmv (your mileage may vary). Some people hate them and you do also get the mixed stories about successful repairs with minimal to no hassle. However, if anyone browses through their support forum, they will quickly realize that they are not exactly all that great. And since there is never a second without a third, you have the issue (which beautifully magnifies the effect of the support issues) of build quality concerns. Point and case, did you know that the first generation Xperia Z’s processor heated up so much that it warped the glass back and unset the glue holding it together? Well, whether Sony admitted it or not, the issue was there with lots of reports and they flat out denied it.

So, Sony… you have the trifecta of death unfortunately: low sales, poor customer support, and quality issues. How to fix this? Well, obviously marketing would do you wonders mainly because people cannot buy your product if they do not know it exists. You are in the money losing wagon at this point and I don’t believe you will outbudget Samsung or Apple in marketing dollars. But, as a last resort, I would try one final push, going out through the big door, going all out, etc, etc. You have to somehow convince the people that you have better bang for their buck, which brings me to my next point… price. Most of your devices (newer ones) hit the shelves grossly overpriced (when compared to your competitor’s flagships for instance). Stop doing this! There is no worse buyer’s repellent than overpriced hardware. Also, own up to possible mistakes. You’ll look better in the end by admitting that there may be something wrong than trying to deny the existence of a sheet with over 700 entries of people reporting the same issue. And no, water cannot get past a water indicator without activating it (true story btw, I actually got this from Sony techs after sending my Xperia Z in for water damage which had gotten in through the warped glass in the back, which they graciously denied to repair or replace).

I am not sure if you will be able to save the phone division, but taking the steps above might throw you a line to survive a bit longer. Who knows? You might even be able to beat HTC or even LG by bringing some of your mid range devices into the US market as well, thus breathing some life into those deep red numbers of yours.

If you were in Sony’s shoes, what would you do? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

The post Why Is Sony Going under and How Can It Save Itself? appeared first on xda-developers.

Purple variant of the Sony Xperia Z3 announced for Hong Kong

Posted by wicked January - 22 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

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Sony has announced a new variant of their Xperia Z3 smartphone that will be headed to Hong Kong by the end of the month. The new version introduces the color purple to Sony’s portfolio of Xperia Z3 devices and has been officially dubbed the Purple Diamond Edition. Sony also struck a deal to pre-load some content from Disney’s Frozen movie on the device.

The new Purple Diamond Edition will sell for HK$ 4,998 ($645 USD) when it is available for order.

source: Sony Mobile (Facebook)

Come comment on this article: Purple variant of the Sony Xperia Z3 announced for Hong Kong

Sony launches Purple Diamond Edition Xperia Z3 in Hong Kong

Posted by wicked January - 22 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

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Purple your favourite color? Like the look of the Xperia Z3? Then Sony’s new Purple Diamond Edition Z3 will certainly appeal to your tastes. Unfortunately, you will have to live in Hong Kong and have a spare HK$4998, about USD$645, lying around before you can get your hands on one.

Sony had offered some previous Xperia Z smartphone models in purple right from release in certain regions, but perhaps the color wasn’t popular enough to warrant a global release this time around.

Although there aren’t any actual diamonds hammered into the smartphone’s case, Sony has thrown in a small selection of new themes for free with this edition of the Xperia Z3 as well. They all originate from various Disney movies, including one for the hugely popular Frozen film, as well as Cinderella and Mickey And Friends themes. Sony has also included an amethyst phone strap in the package, for color co-ordination and what have you.

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Other than that, the Purple Diamond Edition is exactly the same as the regular Xperia Z3, featuring a 5.2-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 801 SoC, 3GB RAM, and a 20.7 MP camera.

The very purple Sony flagship will go on sale in Hong Kong on January 31st.

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