We had previously learned that HTC is ready to step up their game moving into the new year, and it looks like another smartphone maker may be doing something similar. The other company is Sony Mobile and according to recent statements from Stephen Sneeden, Sony Mobile is looking to become a “premium smartphone provider.”

For those not familiar with Sneeden, he is the Xperia product marketing manager for Sony Mobile. According to plan, Sony Mobile is looking to make this move within the next two years. This of course, means that the lower-end devices that we have seen released with Xperia branding will be going away. Or at the very least, just not being introduced moving forward.

According to Sneeden, the entry level is where you lose the “Sonyness.” And at that entry level they are not always able to implement everything they want and keep the cost down. Sneeden suggested that they “might leave the very entry tier to some other manufacturers.”

All of this is certainly not set in stone just yet. In fact, it seems that while Sony Mobile may desire to be a premium smartphone provider, they are also willing to become a “mid-to-premium tier” provider. In fact, further statements from Sneeden suggested that this is because some of the features on the premium/flagship devices will likely make it down to mid-range devices.

And all of this comes just a short time after we saw Sony Mobile announce the Xperia Z, which seemed to make a decent splash during CES. Moving away from the bad pun considering the Xperia Z is waterproof and instead focusing on the high-end specs which include a 5-inch Full HD display, quad-core Qualcomm S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM and a 13 megapixel rear-facing camera.

[via CNET]