Sony has always had a tough time selling phones in the U.S., mainly because the company hasn’t cultivated strong carrier relationships. Out of the big four network providers here, only T-Mobile has carried Sony’s handsets on a semi-regular basis. That’s about to change for the better: Both Reuters and the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Sprint will offer the next Sony Xperia phone model.
Working with the current number-three U.S. carrier is a step up and can help boost sales, of course. A bigger coup, though, would be getting Sony Xperia phones on the shelves at either Verizon or AT&T — or both.
Still, I’m sure Sony will jump at the chance to gain any additional carrier support here for its products. Aside from T-Mobile selling the phones, customers can buy Sony products at the company’s online store directly — not ideal because only customers who know they want a Sony Xperia and pay full price up front will do so.
It’s likely that the first Sony Xperia phone Sprint will carry hasn’t been announced yet. Sony has a press event scheduled for next month’s IFA show in Berlin — we’ll be attending — where it’s expected to debut the Xperia Z3, a follow-up to the company’s current flagship phone running Google Android. Assuming that happens, Sprint will be offering the latest and greatest that Sony has to offer. Perhaps that will help provide an uptick for Sony’s sales, which fell to just 2.1 percent of the global smartphone market in 2013, according to Gartner.