Determined to come out of the slump that has plagued them for the better part of the year, Sony had an epiphany and it involves flashes of images of a mob of Android enthusiasts shouting, demanding for a more affordable Xperia phones from the Japanese. The latter didn’t actually take place in real life, but it’s apparently the direction that Sony will be taking.

Industry sources have let out a secret or two about Sony’s next plan to DigiTimes. According to them, Sony is working on bringing out entry-level smartphones that should cost no more than $200. Helping Sony out to dip its toes in the sub-$200 market are Taiwan’s Foxconn, Arima Communications, and Compal communications.

The cheaper Xperia phones – in price, not in quality – are expected to hit markets in the first half of next year, with Sony hoping to ship millions of them.  Wishing is one thing, but in reality several ODMs believe that the shipment target will have to be realistically cut down due to Sony’s extensive product portfolio.

By our counts, Sony has released 14 Xperia phones (including upcoming ones) so far in 2012, with more expected at the latter part of the year. Releasing Xperia phones under $200 will certainly appeal to the demographic that loves Sony’s award-winning designs, but doesn’t want to break the bank or risk starvation for a month. We’ve all been there at one point.

Do you think this move will disturb Sony’s loyal fans, who would like the brand to stay somewhat premium?

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