Scarsella said Sony's mishaps with Verizon and T-Mobile might have led the company to work with retailers instead of carriers, which is "better than nothing." Still, he said other unlocked handsets like the Nexus 5X, Moto X Pure and ZTE Axon offer similar specs at lower prices.
"There is no doubt in my mind that the Z5 devices are a class above these other handsets in terms of power and design," he concluded. "However, the lack of branding, marketing, direct financing and previous mishaps at Verizon and T-Mobile will make these devices a hard sell to the average U.S. smartphone buyer."
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.