Sony, what's going on with the Xperia 1 III release date?

Sony Xperia 1 III
(Image credit: TechRadar)

The Sony Xperia 1 III has had a weird timeline - after being launched in April 2021, pre-orders began in July for an August 19 release date. 

That's a long time between launch and release, especially when you compare that to most other phones that usually land weeks after a reveal.

But it seems the Xperia 1 III might eschew that release date, because a couple of Reddit users have reported their phones showing up on their doorstep, over a week early.

Through the last few weeks, some users of the r/SonyXperia subreddit reported the expected arrival dates of their Xperia 1 III pre-orders were far ahead of the official launch day. 

So the phones didn't arrive totally out of the blue, but it's still surprising to get a pre-ordered device early.

Some not-so-lucky Redditors had their pre-orders rewarded not by a shiny new phone, however, but by a last-minute email pushing back the expected delivery date - so if you're waiting on your new Sony phone, don't get your hopes up for it turning up on your doorstep way early.

Analysis: This isn't on Sony

While Sony can certainly be blamed for the Xperia 1 III's weird release pattern, it's not actually at fault for this. If your handset has come early, or has been delayed again, don't thank or blame Sony.

When TechRadar asked Sony what is happening, the company confirmed there has been no change to the official release date of August 19.

So this seems to be an issue with the individual retailers who ship the phone, and it's an issue (or blessing, depending on how you look at it) that affects shipments for other pre-order products too, like books or video games.

Sometimes shops will jump the gun and ship a product ahead of time, without official comment from the company or even its awareness at times.

Judging by the comments we've seen in various places online, far more pre-orders have been postponed than have been fulfilled right now, especially in the US where we can't find a single report of an Xperia 1 III arriving early (if this is you and you've received your phone, do email in to let us know).

If you haven't received your new Xperia 1 III, you likely won't have long to wait with the official release date just a week and two days off at the time of writing. And if it has shown up in the post early - enjoy!

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.