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Sony: Two flagship phone refreshes per year ‘isn’t sustainable in the long term’

Sony has finally acknowledged what we have all known to be true for some time, updating its flagship phone line twice a year ‘isn’t sustainable in the long term’.

The Xperia Z3 was officially unveiled last week, with the latest high-end handset being introduced just six months after the Xperia Z2. Aside from winding up those who have just splashed out on a Z2, this short turnaround has resulted in an incremental update with few major improvements.

As such, Sony has acknowledged that this ridiculous habit of updating its flagship smartphone can’t go on much longer.

“The replacement ratio [on our flagship phones] is about six months,” Calum MacDougall, Sony’s Director of Xperia Marketing said while addressing TrustedReviews recently. “This time last year we were talking about Z1, we’ve since moved to Z2 and now Z3.

Looking at the thought process behind these twice annual updates, he added: “I guess what’s driving us is wanting to bring new experiences to the consumers and believing we need to refresh every six months to bring something fresh into the market.

“This might not necessarily be something we continue in the long term, but for now, in the beginning of the Z series, we believe we can bring experiences which are fresh and new and relevant, and justify for the consumer buying a new product.”

Despite trying to spin a story on the benefits of such regular updates, MacDougall has admitted these quick refreshes mean major improvements and core new features are often lacking.

“Of course that means the step up from product to product is not necessarily as big as you might see if you kept it over a year,” he told us.

He added: “It is not a sustainable strategy over the long term.”

Although MacDougall has said Sony can’t continue in this vein in the long-term, he has failed to confirm when the company might revert to more traditional, annual updates.

Read More: Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review