After the Xperia Z3+ launched as the rebranded version of the Japan-only Xperia Z4, Sony explained why it chose to do so.
When Sony launched its new-generation Xperia Z4 smartphone last month, many felt like the new iteration didn't feature big-enough improvements to be the new flagship. Moreover, it was also curious that Sony quietly unveiled the handset only for Japan, without making any mention of a global release.
Before the Xperia Z4 became official, rumors hinted at a top-notch flagship with a new design, a better display with QHD resolution (2560 x 1440), and several other significant improvements. While the Xperia Z4 does sport some better specs than the previous Xperia Z3, it was not exactly the big flagship most were waiting for.
This, in turn, sparked rumors that the Xperia Z4 might in fact not be the company's flagship smartphone for 2015, but just a refresh of last year's model. The handset then tipped to make its way to global markets as the Xperia Z3+, and Sony just made the rebranded version official a couple of days ago.
Speaking to The Inquirer upon launching the smartphone in UK, Sony has also explained why it chose to rebrand its Xperia Z4 and launch it as the Xperia Z3 in markets outside Japan.
"The main reason for the name difference here (UK) is down to Sony being such a dominant force in the Japanese market [where] consumers crave flagship devices with the latest features as soon as they can be delivered. Xperia Z3 continues to perform well as our flagship device across the rest of the world. To address those customers that would like to have the very latest features and refinements, we have introduced Xperia Z3+ as a premium addition to our existing flagship Z3 series," said the company.
Japanese consumers apparently find the Xperia Z3 upgrades notable enough over the Xperia Z3 as to consider it the new flagship. Other markets, meanwhile, think the Xperia Z4/Z3+ is just an iterative upgrade over its predecessor, and not worthy to be a new flagship model.
As a reminder, the Sony Xperia Z4/Z3+ does bring a few important updates over the previous Xperia Z3, including a new 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, a capless USB port, faster LTE Cat. 6, and a smaller and lighter design.