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Since the debut of the Xperia Z series, we’ve grown accustomed to twice a year flagship releases, even if not everyone thinks that is the best business model. That’s why it was a bit of a surprise when Sony made it clear that the Xperia Z4 wouldn’t be showcased at MWC 2015. While plenty of rumors and reports have popped up claiming Sony is moving to a more traditional 12-month release cycle, this isn’t necessarily accurate. Sony Mobile’s VP of Global Communications & PR, Tim Harrison, recently revealed that Sony hasn’t exactly moved to a 1-year release cycle, hinting that we should expect to see the Z4 sometime before September.

In other words, the VP’s comments suggest Sony might not be aggressively keeping its 6-month cycle, but instead will simply release phones whenever their ready — whether that’s six months, nine months or a year after their predecessors. We can’t say for sure whe the Xperia Z4 might surface, but a new a new alleged leak of the Z4’s chassis suggests, if accurate, that the Xperia Z4 will be thinner than its predecessor. Reportedly the Z4 is 1mm thinner than the z3, which would mean the phone is even thinner than the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

Sony’s Omnibalance language is still very much present, looking at the frame, but Sony has switched a few things up. For starters, the microUSB port has been moved to the bottom and appears to be exposed, taking on the same capless design seen with the Xperia M4 Aqua and Xperia Z4 tablet. The Xperia Z4 will apparently have only one port flap, which will likely contain the microSD and nano-SIM slots. For what it is worth, some tech publications are speculating that Sony might be dropping microSD, but we wouldn’t rush to that conclusion just yet.

It goes without saying that we can’t confirm the validity of the Z4 frame leak, but the big takeaway is that Sony isn’t necessarily waiting until September to release its next flagship phone. However, they do appear to be taking their time to ensure that the Z4 is a more impressive upgrade than say the Z2 to the Z3. What would you like to see from the Sony Xperia Z4? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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