2016 will be the year that Sony’s Xperia Z6 will come into the world, but it looks to be the year that their Z tablet line leaves it. The rumor is spreading that Sony will be discontinuing their tablet line. This rumor originated from the manager of a Sony store in Japan; stating in his blog that sales of the Xperia tablets will end in march of this year. The blog referred to only Wi-fi variants and not cellular variants being dropped, so the jury is out on whether they’ll continue to support the cellular variants. From an economical standpoint, it would seem impractical to offer only cellular tablets, as more people buy Wi-fi only models. Production for other models is marked as only “pending” so it’s likely that they will be dropping the whole line instead of just leaving the cellular models available.
Why is Sony possibly discontinuing their tablet line? The Sony Xperia tablets are a line of beautifully crafted devices; well built, nice specs, and an all around decent software experience. The problem is that the tablets are not bringing much money to the company. A person posted this to Xperiablog.net:
“We know that tablets made just 5% of Sony Mobile’s [revenue] back in 2013 and that was expected to shrink even further. Given the R&D costs of developing and supporting new devices, Sony may feel that producing another tablet for 2016 might not be commercially viable.”
It would be logical for Sony to discontinue their tablet line if it’s costing more money to produce and market than what comes in from sales. That, coupled with the fact that tablet sales in general are struggling, justifies canning the Z tablet line. This comes as a bitter blow to fans hoping for a Z6 version of the tablet. Sony will be holding a press conference during MWC, so we will hopefully be getting some more information on this new development.
While this rumor is waiting to get its final confirmation, most of us can be confident that the final nail in the Xperia tablet’s coffin will be struck come March. If the line will be cut for the benefit of the company as a whole, then it’s definitely worth it, but many of us are hopeful that – even if it’s cellular only – we’ll see another Sony Xperia tablet down road.