1/26/2016

Sony owns up to absent Xperia Z5 fingerprint scanners for US release, offers non-explanation

A couple weeks back we got what sounded like good – if not just a few months later than we’d like – news: Sony was just about to bring some of its latest flagship hardware to the US as it prepared to start sales of the Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact. Better late than never, though, right? Well, if these were the same Z5 and Z5 Compact as we’d seen elsewhere, perhaps we could learn to be happy that we were getting them at all, but it wasn’t long before a new wrinkle developed in this tale, as we got word that Sony had altered the construction of its phones and removed one of their most interesting features: the side-mounted fingerprint scanners integrated into the phones’ power buttons. Now Sony’s provided a statement to us where it confirms that news, while offering a explanation for its decision that’s a lot less than satisfactory.


Just as initially reported, Sony confirms that the fingerprint scanner will be missing for both the Xperia Z5 and the Xperia Z5 Compact as sold in the US. Some initial confusion over spec sheets suggested that the Compact’s scanner might survive, but we can now confirm that won’t be the case.

As for that “explanation,” how’s this for an empty narrative: Sony tells us that not giving the US editions of these phones their expected fingerprint scanners “was a business decision.” That’s it.

Well, we’d certainly hope it was a business decision, and not merely “Jerry from engineering forgot to order enough scanners for the next manufacturing round.” Of course, the juicy bit we’re trying to get at is why Sony made such a bizarre business decision, but the company’s not offering any further insight into the matter. Not very satisfying, we know, but that’s as far as Sony’s letting us peek behind the curtains at the moment.