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Sony aims to build Xperia phones in India, including budget models

The Japanese behemoth reportedly is hoping to take advantage of India's quickly developing market with local manufacturing of its Xperia line, as well as some cheaper alternatives.

Sony's Xperia Z5 smartphones. César Salza

Sony's high-end Xperia Z5 range has been catching plenty of attention at the big IFA tech show in Berlin, but it looks like the company won't be entirely about premium smartphones for long.

According to the Economic Times, the Japanese electronics giant hopes to start manufacturing handsets in India, the country that's pegged to be the world's second biggest smartphone market by 2017.

The publication's sources say that Sony is planning to release several sub-$150 devices for the region by year's end to compete with Indian budget smartphone makers like Micromax and Intex, which produce devices priced between $50 and $200.

The reported move is another strong sign of how lucrative and important the budget and midrange phone markets are, particularly in India and China. Xiaomi, for instance, has managed to build itself into the world's fourth largest smartphone maker almost entirely off the sales of the sub-$300 Mi range in its native China.

Sony is reportedly also interested in manufacturing handsets in India to take advantage of the country's Make In India incentive, which will give the company a tax benefit of up to 6.5 percent on the phones.

"Sony officials have informed us that very soon they would commence assembling of smartphones in India due to duty benefits from local manufacturing and will also launch one or two models in the entry segment," an anonymous CEO of one of India's leading retailers told the Economic Times.

The Playstation maker this week has been busy showing off its Xperia Z5 smartphone line at the IFA convention in Berlin. Particularly striking is the Z5 Premium, a luxurious 5.5-inch powerhouse with a 4K screen, which along with the Z5 and Z5 Compact will be available in November.

Sony hasn't provided pricing details for its Xperia Z5 devices, but their features and specifications suggest that they won't come cheap.

The company was not immediately available to comment on the report out of India.