For a company with such an illustrious history, Sony's smartphone business is a curious failure. Xperia handsets accounted for less than 1% of the global smartphone market at the end of 2019, while market research from IDC and other companies continues to bundle it into the 'Other' category.

Despite this, there are no signs that Sony will follow LG's lead and pull out of the phone market. The company still has a core group of loyal fans, while simplified product lines have allowed it to focus on fewer products of (hopefully) higher quality.

However, Sony has launched three phones already this year, even if we had to wait many months for them to actually go on sale. The Xperia 1 III, Xperia 5 III and Xperia 10 III were all announced back in April and are finally available in most place.

News of an October event came as quite a surprise, and it's not immediately clear what Sony will announce. A fourth Xperia handset of 2021 seems the most likely, but the company could have some more surprises up its sleeve. Here's how you can watch the event live.

When is the Sony Xperia launch?

The next Xperia launch will take place on Monday 25 October or Tuesday 26 October, depending where you're based. Specifically, that's 12pm in Sony's native Japan (Tues), 8pm PT (Mon), 11pm ET (Mon), or 4am (Tues) BST. 

If you're interested in watching live from the UK, make sure you set your alarm. For context, the last Sony Xperia event lasted just 35 minutes, even with three new phones launching.

How to watch the Sony Xperia launch live

Sony is livestreaming the event around the world on its official Xperia YouTube channel. We've embedded the video at the top of this page, or head straight to YouTube if you'd prefer.. 

What to expect from the Sony Xperia launch

Sony has dramatically simplified its smartphone lineup in recent years, so it's usually easier to predict which new devices will launch at the event. However, the Xperia 1 III, Xperia 5 III and Xperia 10 III have already launched this year, so it's hard to know what will be on the agenda. 

The livestream is titled 'A Brand New Xperia Announcement', suggesting the main event will be a device we haven't seen from Sony before. Rumours point to it being known as the Xperia Alpha, with Sony again using branding from its popular camera range. According to NotebookCheck, it'll act as a supercharged version of the Xperia 1 III, surpassing even the Xperia Pro on specs and features. It's based on extensive leaks posted on Weibo and then shared on Twitter:

Sony may choose to only focus on this new handset at the event, but there's a chance we'll see a new budget phone launch. Last year's Xperia L4 is due an update, and there has been some suggestion we'll see the Xperia L5 before the end of 2021.