Sony: High-end Android is the future

Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai has said he plans to make Sony Mobile profitable, with the move out of feature phones and into the high-end of Android.

Talking to reporters in Japan, Harai said: "We basically are out of the feature-phone business and in the Android-based smartphone business.

"We are more in toward the high end of the market as opposed to trying to get into the commoditised portion."

Sony Mobile launched the Sony Xperia Z at CES 2013 in Las Vegas last week, looking to compete with the likes of Samsung for the Android crown.

READ: Sony Xperia Z pictures and hands-on

The Xperia Z has been well received so far, although it probably won't go on sale in the UK until March 2013. But it does outline a commitment, coming soon after the August announcement of the Xperia T, the previous flagship device.

"I believe we still have a lot of room to grow," said Harai, who plans to boost smartphone sales by 51 per cent. "We need to have products that wow people, move people emotionally."

The Xperia Z might just be that device, but the smartphone market isn't going to get any easier. HTC is rumoured to be lining up a rival device, the HTC M7 for a February launch, and there's the dominance of Samsung, which will be looking to stay on top with the next Samsung Galaxy handset.

With Mobile World Congress 2013 coming up in February, it's going to be a busy time for smartphone launches.