We may soon see Sony double down on premium smartphones, jettisoning entry-level handsets in a play to compete with the big boys.

"We're ready to be a premium smartphone provider, logically then, at the very entry level is where you lose the 'Sonyness,'" Stephen Sneeden, Xperia product marketing manager, told CNET Asia in a recent interview.

"And it's where you cannot implement some of these wonderful ideas from Sony at such a low cost, we might leave the very entry tier to some other manufacturers."

That's not to say Sony phones will only occupy the upper stratosphere of the handset market: Sneeden said the likely strategy is for it to have arms in the mid- to premium tier range as features from the top trickle down.

Z leads the way

Sony used last week's CES to introduce the Xperia Z, a powerful phone with hugely impressive specs and one that serves as Sony's debutante into the top manufacturer conversation.

The phone with a 5-inch display will serve as Sony's flagship for some time and help spread the story of Sony as a premium phone maker.

As more companies look to scuttle lower-end devices in favor of a few signature offerings, Sony is reading the trends right to move into that space with gusto.

A sharper focus for Sony could see it seriously compete with Apple and Samsung in the next two years (or at least that's what Sneeden wants to see), and if it keeps bringing out devices like the Z, that hope isn't too far off.