Japanese smartphone maker Sony is finally making big moves in the Android world, announcing a new user interface concept for the Xperia Z3. A private beta-test is currently available in Sweden, where Sony’s R&D office is located, which will feature on the next editions of Sony’s smartphones.
In the past three years, Sony has not made any major changes to the Xperia UI it uses on top of Android. The iterative changes are more to do with changes by Google, instead of Sony stepping in to offer something different.
Sony has not shown any preview shots of the new UI, but it looks to be an overhaul of the Xperia UI skin. This may be for the best, considering some of the icons and animations were getting mundane compared to big changes on TouchWiz and Sense, Samsung and HTC’s skins for Android.
The Xperia Z3 will be the testing phone, since the Xperia Z3+ or Xperia Z4 (depending on region) is still not available in Sweden. We expect the new UI will appear on the Xperia Z5, cited for a late 2015 launch.
Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai commented on the mobile industry, claiming it will remain in the business for as long as possible. This shut down rumours that Sony was planning to sell the division to focus on image sensors, video games and TVs.
That said, if Sony doesn’t start showing numbers it may well have to shut the entire division down. It is still way back in the rankings compared to other Asian manufacturer, and has spent the last three years releasing iterative updates that fail to compete heavily against other flagships.