Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was more pertinent to Sony than some may have initially realised. A new Xperia range of smartphones called the X series were announced at the show, believed to sit below the flagship Z line. However, it has now been confirmed that the Z5 will be the last within the Z range.
Yes, you read that right: there will be no Xperia Z6. Instead the company is "turning to the next stage with the Xperia X series", Sony Mobile's senior product marketing manager Jun Makino told uSwitch. He said: "I can't comment on the future, but we will not be releasing a Z6."
Makino also told uSwitch that Sony Mobile is turning its focus to "bringing the next generation of Xperia Series of intelligent smartphones", with more phones planned sporting the new branding.
Sony Mobile first issued a statement neither confirming or denying the news, before later confirming that the Z6 is indeed not happening.
In a statement to Xperia Blog, Sony said: "The Xperia Z line has reached its culmination - Xperia X series represents a new chapter and evolution of our product strategy. Whilst the Xperia Z series was all about bringing the best of Sony’s advanced technologies to smartphones, Xperia X series is based on bringing smart, adaptive Sony user experiences across camera, battery performance and hardware / software design."
The Sony Xperia X and Xperia XA were launched alongside the Asia-only Xperia X Performance at MWC. All three sport a metal design with a glass front but they follow the signature OmniBalance design that Xperia Z devices have been associated with.
As soon as we saw these new phones from the X series, we believed that the design changes could indicate what we might see from the Xperia Z6. Better change that to next flagship device instead, as it certainly seems as though the Xperia Z6 is not to be.
Farewell, Xperia Z, hello Xperia X.