Sony might be a big smartphone brand in some parts of the world, but the same can’t be said for the United States. With a limited U.S. presence, often the only way to get ahold of a Sony handset is to buy it outright and unlocked.

If you were hoping that situation would change starting with the Sony Xperia Z1, Sony has now officially dashed your dreams. Speaking to the press, Sony has confirmed they will continue to put most of their focus on Japan and Europe.

Does that mean you won’t be able to get the Sony Xperia Z1 directly from a carrier? While the phone might not be coming to all the big carriers, it will make its way to T-Mobile – at least if a new leak proves correct.

Courtesy of famed tech news leaker @evleaks, an image of a T-Mobile branded Sony Xperia Z1 has now hit the web. We have to admit we aren’t too surprised to hear that the Z1 is coming to the uncarrier. After all, the Sony Xperia Z’s only U.S. launch partner was also T-Mobile.

Keep in mind that neither Sony or T-Mobile have yet to confirm their plans for the Xperia Z1, so speculation is still advised. We also have no clue when the Z1 will show up on T-Mobile’s network.

For folks that are more interested in buying outright from Sony or a retailer, the news of a T-Mobile Xperia Z1 might actually be a bit of a downer, as it means that the LTE version of the Xperia Z1 will likely be exclusive to T-Mobile in the states. On the bright side, for those that don’t mind rocking the HSPA+ version, you can pick it up unlocked now from Newegg for $730.

So how about it, are you interested in picking up the Sony Xperia Z1 if it does end up available through T-Mobile? Conversely, is the lack of more carrier options holding you back from seriously considering Sony mobile devices?

Andrew Grush
Andrew is one of the three Managing Editors of Android Authority, primarily responsible for the overseeing of US team of writers, in addition to several other projects such as VR Source and more. He loves tech, gaming, his family, and good conversations with like-minded folks.
  • MEHqualityScreen

    that’s a very nice looking oem screen protector there sony! /s lol next time use Gorilla glass

    • James Silva

      What the hell did I just read?

      Sir, you are horrible. Sony would not market a smartphone, top of the line at that, with cheap glass. This certainly isn’t cheap. It may not have an identical feel to Gorilla glass, but who cares? I’d trade that off for durability at this level.


      The drop test did not break the screen on this phone. Granted the phone wouldn’t power up but the guy dropped it 3 times from 5 feet. Gorilla glass would not have stood up to that.

  • Brendon Brown

    It would be silly to not put your device out there because a phone like the Z1 should be everywhere. Sony does have a point though to not spend all their time on the US market which is being dominated by Samsung and Apple. Although Sony should be up there aswell !

    • Colby Leong

      Its tough to get it in the US Market, even getting a foot in is tricky. Sony did horrible last year, this year is an almost 360 for the company. I think they would rather stick with making more money before jumping in. Plus in a country so overly saturated in iPhones and Galaxies , maybe Sony is banking on there European and Japanese popularity it make it into the states. I do think they could do some damage, just not the damage Sony is looking for.
      PLUS: Mentioned on another site, but why is there a second speaker on the back?

  • titan

    Or buy the C6903 through many other US outlets, or from the UK, and have LTE without the T-Mobile locked Bootloader (it surely will be) and bloatware. Yes, when it finally comes to T-Mobile, it will most likely retail below $730, but by then it will be that much older than the month it already is. I would anticipate a Holiday release. Other alternative is the more elusive, and expensive C6906 that has support for AT&T’s LTE 700, as well.

    • Colby Leong

      I figured the C6906 would be released by the end of this month.

  • Seth Forbus

    Gah. I just bought the xperia Z from T-Mobile lol. Thank god I have jump.

  • LuvMusic

    I would be interested in getting a TMO Z1. TMO sure has upped it’s value proposition lately, I’m really excited about their new global roaming offering since I travel to Europe about once every 6-8 weeks. I suspect all three of my most exciting phone will be on TMO by the end of the year; G2, Nexus 5 and Z1. That’s a pretty strong lineup. Oh yeah, they have that Samsung stuff too! ;)

  • Z1addict

    I need it now!!! I don’t want to wait anymore!!! I’ve been phoneless for a couple months now and I’m just waiting for this phone to finally drop before I buy a phone. I don’t want any other phone out right now. Not the Nexus 5, not the HTC one, not the S4, not even the LG G2. I know for sure I can’t wait for the Xperia Z2 so this will have to do. Come on T-mobile at least give me a release date.

  • ColinW

    I was waiting for a Z1 to upgrade my phone so are they telling me it’s pointless ? Why on earth would any fool not use the N. American market, do they make too much money or what ?