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Sony Gets Boost as Verizon Signs Up to Sell Its Latest Flagship Phone

In a key boost for the Japanese phone maker, the No. 1 U.S. carrier will start selling a version of the Xperia Z3.


Sony, which has struggled to convince U.S. carriers to subsidize its phones, is getting a boost from Verizon Wireless.


The No. 1 U.S. carrier plans to offer a version of Sony’s latest flagship — the Xperia Z3 — starting Oct. 23. The device will sell for $199 with a new two-year contract.

The phone — technically known as the Z3v — has all the bells and whistles found in a high-end Android device along with a 20-megapixel camera — and, unlike most smartphones, it’s waterproof. Unique to the Verizon version announced Thursday is a wireless charging option; the Z3v also packs a larger battery.

“It’s really important,” Ravi Nookala, president of Sony’s U.S. mobile unit, said in a phone interview, shortly after announcing the Verizon deal in New York. “The U.S. is a strategic market for Sony Mobile.”

Prior to this launch, T-Mobile had been the only carrier offering a high-end Sony phone, selling the Z1s. T-Mobile has said it will also carry the Z3.

Verizon was already selling Sony’s Z2 tablet; with the launch of the Z3v, Verizon is offering those who buy Sony’s new phone a $200 discount on the purchase of a Z2 tablet.

Sony is also using the launch of the Z3v to talk about its “One Sony” effort to create deeper ties among the Japanese company’s various units. The Z3 family, for example, can support remote play of Playstation 4 games when it is on the same Wi-Fi network as a console. Sony is also bundling six movies from the company’s entertainment unit.

Although Sony’s phone unit has been struggling globally, Nookala said that its business in the U.S. is growing more solid with the addition of Verizon.

“This is our time now,” Nookala said.

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