According to The Express, the new Sony Xperia flagship devices may be undergoing a major design change, only days before their expected announcement at World Mobile Congress (WMC) 2018. The new rumors follow a filing by Sony with the FCC, requesting that they remove all grants for a device with FCC ID PY7-00718V, citing a “design change.”
If rumors and leaks about Sony’s latest Xperia devices are true, Sony is already planning a major shakeup to their typical design with the newest range; while the Xperia phones announced at CES 2018 in January, the Xperia XA2, Xperia XA2 Ultra, and Xperia L2, have thinner bezels on the side, they still feature Sony’s iconic and somewhat unfortunate large top and bottom bezels. Leaked images, supposedly of the Xperia XZ2 and the Xperia XZ1 Premium, show a very different device, one with a much wider screen surface and an aspect ratio of 18:9, akin to Samsung’s iconic Infinity Display.
Some of these changes will probably come as a disappointment to Sony fans, but may ultimately prove good for the Japanese company, which has never managed to break into the global smartphone market in a more than marginal way in spite of manufacturing some very competitive devices. And while it remains to be seen if Sony can change that, a redesign to more modern standards won’t hurt; both Samsung and Apple, the two top players in the global smartphone market, have gone largely bezel-less.
If Sony already has a major design change in the works, what is the FCC filing about? While it is unclear which device the filing refers to, and it is almost certainly one of their upcoming flagship Xperia devices. Or it could refer to a previous “design change” filing with the FCC for an as-yet unknown device, known as ID PY7-21831A, which was revealed by leaked schematics. It could be due to the removal of the device’s 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of a combined-function USB-C port, a trend that many manufacturers are embracing after Apple took the first plunge. It’s a fair bet that Sony may be removing the headphone jack from all of their upcoming devices.
Meanwhile, phone blog Gizmochina suggests something rather different; that it’s too late in the day to be making major changes to the phone’s design, and that Sony may instead be changing the specs of the device’s radio, the internal components which connect phones to the network. Although they also admitted that rumors of the new Xperia shipping with a 4K OLED display, and that Sony might be abandoning that design in favor of a traditional LED panel have come out.
Whatever the case, it will be interesting to see what Sony pulls out of their hat for the next generation of Xperia devices.