Finally. We were waiting for something interesting to come out of this Sony hack, and here it is. It appears that promotional plans for Sony’s next flagship phone can be found within marketing documents for the next James Bond movie.
According to Gizmodo's perusal of Sony's leaked internal emails, the company was initially planning to debut the fourth-generation Xperia Z4 smartphone around the same time that Spectre is slated to be released theaters—around "May/November." (We don't get that time frame either.)
The Spectre marketing package apparently contained product-placement pitches, complete with design concepts for the next Xperia smartphone. The visuals were needed to help movie producers figure out how to make the phone a part of the movie.
The phone pictured above appears to sport a very futuristic design—almost like a cleaned-up version of the recently released Sharp Aquos Crystal. Apparently, there’s even mention of the ability to change the color of the smartphone's metal chassis from the lock screen. It sounds cool, but I’m seriously skeptical about how that would work in real life.
Other leaked images portray a phone that looks nothing like the futuristic metal example. These Xperia Z4s feature a soft-colored chassis with rounded corners. Frankly, this would bode well for the otherwise rectangular slabs we’ve been seeing from Sony for the past few years.
It's also worth noting that the leaked emails contain mention of a product-placement fee. Sony would have to pay Daniel Craig—this generation’s James Bond—about $5 million just to hold the phone in the movie.
While previous iterations of the Xperia flagship were a bit unspectacular, phones like the Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z3v illustrate that Sony has vastly improved its smartphone game. At least the leaked concept designs suggest Sony is still hard at work in attempting to deliver a game-changing product.
Or maybe it's all just the makings of movie magic.
The impact on you: We’re not entirely convinced that we’ll be seeing a refresh of the Xperia flagship family at next month’s CES, like the rumor mill hopes. Hopefully, Sony sticks to its plans (despite the bad press its endured with this hack), and focuses on delivering an Android-powered smartphone worthy of your consideration.