Sony Xperia Z3 to launch on Sprint in U.S., SoftBank in Japan

31 August 2014, 5:49 am EDT By Alexandra Burlacu Mobile & Apps

Sony's upcoming flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z3, will reportedly hit Japanese telecom giant SoftBank when it makes its official debut.

SoftBank has never sold any devices from Sony's Xperia lineup so far, but a new report now claims that this will change very soon. At the same time, SoftBank also owns a majority stake in U.S. carrier Sprint, which indicates that Sprint will get the new smartphone as well.

With the big IFA 2014 trade show coming up in just a few days, a slew of companies are expected to take the wraps off their latest and best devices next week. Sony is one of them, and the company is expected to introduce its new Xperia Z3 flagship smartphone at an IFA press event in Berlin next week.

A new report from Reuters now cites people familiar with the situation and claims that the upcoming Sony Xperia Z3 is definitely coming to SoftBank's network in Japan later this year.

"Japan's SoftBank Corp and its U.S. mobile carrier Sprint Corp will offer a Sony smartphone for the first time, sources with knowledge of the matter said, as the two technology titans confront daunting challenges in the U.S. market," reads the report.

"The deal could give a much-needed boost to Sony's struggling mobile division, which last month said it no longer expected to make a profit in the year to next March. It will also bolster Sprint's handset line-up as it seeks to stem a flight in subscribers."

While SoftBank is one of the most important carriers in the world and the second most valuable company in Japan, it has yet to offer any device from Sony's Xperia lineup. It remains unclear why it hasn't carried Xperia devices so far, but the Xperia Z3 should mark a big change. In the U.S., meanwhile, Sony has so far relied on T-Mobile to offer its devices, but an Xperia Z3 launch on Sprint should make a notable difference.

Reuters further points out that SoftBank is pushing price cuts and promotions at Sprint, while also offering joint smartphone deals to help boost the third-largest carrier in the U.S.

Sony is expected to make several device announcements at its IFA 2014 press conference and various rumors and reports have tried to shed some light on the matter, but nothing is official at this point. The Xperia Z3 is rumored to come as a disappointing upgrade over its predecessor, the Xperia Z2, but it remains to be seen whether such claims turn out to be accurate.

With Sony's press event just a few days away, however, we'll soon know all there is to know about the company's new-generation devices straight from the source. We'll be covering the Sept. 3 event and bring you the latest news as soon as they become available, so stay tuned.

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