Sony needs to ditch the carrier exclusives

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| March 29, 2014


We have a lot of new smartphones to look forward to launching this year, a few of which have already come to fruition: the LG G Flex, Samsung Galaxy S5, and HTC One (M8) just to name a few. However, another device that has been widely discussed, yet not seen (statewide) at least, is the Sony Xperia Z2 smartphone. Although there is still no real confirmation that the phone will be released in the U.S., there hasn’t been any real evidence to say that it won’t either.


Last year, Sony surprised us with the launch of the Xperia Z1 smartphone, one of the first smartphones to really strut its stuff by being both waterproof and dustproof without having to release a separate device (like the Galaxy S4 did). The device also managed to look sleek, and it featured a physical camera key on the side of the device. There was a lot to love about the 5-inch Sony Xperia Z1, but there wasn’t a whole lot of people who would be lucky enough to love it seeing as the Z1 launched in the U.S. as a T-Mobile exclusive.


It was a good move for T-Mobile, perhaps, but not such a great move for Sony. With Sony not gaining much edge here in the U.S., I can only assume that the main reason behind it is because they’re only tailoring their flagship Android device with one carrier, and the carrier with the least amount of subscribers (for the moment) at that. By doing this, they ended up closing a lot of doors for many smartphone users in the U.S. looking for an upgrade.


It’s a lesson learned, though. Gone are the days when Apple was able to take a chokehold on the industry by being an AT&T exclusive. There is no clear winner anymore on who makes the best smartphone or the best platform. It’s all about personal opinion at this point, so when it comes to holding carrier exclusives for a smartphone that should be a big hit, there’s only one way to solve it: getting rid of carrier exclusives altogether.


There’s already a rumor going around that the Xperia Z2 may end up being a Verizon exclusive in the U.S., which still doesn’t make any sense to me. The reason that Samsung is able to sell as many phones as it does is partially because they’re not exclusive to any one carrier; the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note devices are available across the board, although they might not all be released at the same time. HTC finally got its act together last year with the One by releasing one single flagship (with size variants, of course) across the board as well, and while they might not be at the superstar level that Samsung is at, they’re making way in the right direction.


The solution for Sony to make any headway in the U.S. is to at least try and get rid of the carrier exclusive stuff. I think that the Xperia phones are some of the better made Android phones on the market, but in order for everybody to see that it needs to be available to them. Maybe that’s not possible right now for Sony, but until it is I don’t see Sony making any big headlines anytime soon.


Readers, what are your thoughts on the Xperia line? Do you think Sony should try to ditch the carrier exclusives? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


Images via CNet

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