Can Verizon give Sony the push it needs in the U.S.?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
Some of my favorite phones to carry "back in the day" were devices released by the duo known as Sony Ericsson. Some of their devices were just the coolest to use. They were colorful (because that wasn't such a strange thing back then), and many of them had some pretty unique designs. It wouldn't last forever, though, and eventually Sony decided to go forward as a one-company-show.
There's no denying that Sony's a household name, even here in the States. They've got TVs and . . . Walkmans. Walkmans are still a thing, right? No? Oh, well . . . Hey, they've got a cool new console, that you can put underneath those Sony-branded TVs! Okay, but in all seriousness, Sony's a company that most everyone knows, one way or another. Unfortunately, at least here State-side, that doesn't really revolve around smartphones.
Sony's been looking for a way to break into the smartphone market here, but it's been an arduous search. The company has had agreements with carriers in the past, usually with T-Mobile USA and AT&T, but none of the devices they've launched for those carriers have really taken off. Related: None of those devices were heavily marketed, and many of them weren't the best options from the company. Not compared to the devices they were busy launching in other, international markets.
And that's a real shame. Sony's been on a bit of a roll lately with their high-end devices, especially with the Xperia Z1 and, most recently, the Xperia Z2, and it's been unfortunate for the masses that they haven't been able to get their hands on the handset(s) to try out.
With the Z2, Sony confirmed not too long ago that they'd be bringing the new handset to the United States by the Summer months, but nothing beyond that was really confirmed or announced. We knew they'd be selling it unlocked through their digital store, but no one really expected much from that. It's a nice option, but for the general audience? They need a phone in a store they can check out in person before they pull out their wallet.
So, Sony's future here in the U.S. was still something of a toss-up.
And now, I can't help but see a bit of a spark, thanks to the recent revelation (courtesy of Sony themselves!) that their Xperia Z2 would be landing on Verizon Wireless' store shelves soon. We're still waiting for the finer (most important) details, like how much it'll cost or how and when they'll be able to buy one, but it's a good start. Verizon is still the largest wireless carrier 'round these parts, so to have that support for the Xperia Z2 is a very good thing.
It won't hurt to get other networks on board, mind you, but this is a good place to start. It's been a long while since we've seen a Sony-branded device available for Verizon, and considering how much of a powerhouse the Xperia Z2 is, well, there's a chance it can start to pick up some momentum before it finds its way to other carriers. If it ever does, of course.
I want Sony to do really well. I guess I still have a soft spot for them. I think it would be pretty great, for instance, if they got a shot at creating one of the Nexus-branded devices. (But, apparently, that might not ever happen now.) With devices like the Xperia Z2, Sony definitely deserves a bit more attention here in the United States, and hopefully the carrier can work with them to get it done. Verizon's a good place to start, but let's hope it's only the beginning.