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Sony vows new flagship will challenge iPhone and S3 in 2013

Sony promises a flagship follow-up to the Sony Xperia T that will rival the the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3.

Sony admits it's failed to challenge the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S3 yet, but promises a flagship follow-up to the Sony Xperia T that will rival the best of the smart phone best.

"We will create in the near future a flagship Sony model that can compete with Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy S3," said one of Sony's mobile phone bosses.

Speaking to the Financial Times in Germany, Sony exec Dennis van Schie also confirmed the company could begin making Windows Phones as well as Android phones, should Windows Phone 8 prove successful enough to bother with. "If it succeeds," says Sony, apparently referring to the work it's already done on developing a Windows Phone, "we won't be caught off-guard."

Sony hasn't exactly taken the phone world by storm since ditching long-time partner Ericsson and striking out alone in the phone market. A new line of one-letter Xperia phones led by the Xperia S have been perfectly adequate Android blowers, but when its brief appearance in the latest Bond film Skyfall is the most exciting thing about the line-leading Xperia T, you know something needs to change.

That promised new phone will appear in the new year at CES, the annual technology extravaganza in Las Vegas in the second week of January. We'll be there, so keep it CNET for all the latest!

Sony is also planning new Android tablets, but acknowledges that "it has become very difficult to earn money with tablets" -- not since Google started selling them so cheaply. Sony is one of the few manufacturers to try something different for its Android slates, with the unusual Sony Tablet S and Tablet P, but sadly they didn't pay off. Judging by the quality of the Vaio Duo 11 hybrid tablet, Sony could have more success with Windows 8 devices.

Now playing: Watch this: Sony Xperia T

Can Sony defeat the iPhone or S3? What's missing from Xperia phones that needs to be fixed? And how can Sony stand out from the rest of the Android pack? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our flagship Facebook page.