Sony began selling an unlocked version of the Xperia Z in its online store last month, giving customers the opportunity to pick up its flagship smartphone without waiting around for a carrier to launch it. There's still no word on when the Xperia Z might be offered by a U.S. carrier or which operator might stock it, but The Verge notes that Sony CEO Kaz Hirai has teased that some official news on that topic isn't far off. Speaking at the D11 conference, Hirai said that Sony will "will make an announcement about the Xperia Z with a carrier very shortly." No other details were given.
We'll just have to wait for Sony and its mystery carrier partner to make their announcement before we know for sure which U.S. operator will be the one to stock the Xperia Z. However, because the Xperia Z has already been spotted with T-Mobile branding both in the wild and in the FCC, T-Mobile seems a likely candidate for an Xperia Z launch.
In other Xperia news, Sony today announced on its official @SonyMobileNews Twitter account that updates to Android 4.1 are now rolling out to the Xperia S, Xperia SL and Xperia acro S. The updates appear to be rolling out through Sony's computer software, known as PC Companion on Windows and Sony Bridge for Mac, so owners of these three handsets will likely need to tether their phones to their computers to get their Jelly Bean bumps.
It doesn't look like Sony has posted any official changelogs for these updates quite yet, so Xperia S, SL and acro S owners will just have to go ahead and pull the update trigger to find out exactly what's packed inside these bundles of software. Since the phones are moving up to Android 4.1, though, users should see new goodies like Google Now and expandable notifications after the update dust settles and the installation is done.
In addition to announcing the start of the Xperia S, SL and acro S updates, Sony has said that the Xperia ion's bump up to Jelly Bean is set to follow the updates that are rolling out today. There's no word on when the ion's Android 4.1 rollout might actually begin, but hey, at least owners know that their time in the Jelly Bean spotlight is nigh. Stay tuned and I'll give you a shout once we've got more info.