Sony Ericsson were once one of the most popular handset makers in the world. They had a long string of hit after hit, culminating with the (still superb) Sony Ericsson K800i. With the still-growing popularity of the Walkman series of phones, they’re one of the best-known feature phone manufacturers in Europe. However, is all of that about to change, and with horrific results?
News surfaced today that the Carphone Warehouse is to stop offering the Sony Ericsson Satio, due to instabilities within the software. Naturally, SE are working quickly on a fix and Carphone Warehouse will restock the device when it’s up and working properly.
You would assume that this is not that big of a deal then, as some phones (most notably Nokia’s) seem to be released too early for most people’s liking, with the first set of phones being seen as ‘test’ devices – advanced prototypes, if you will. However, it may surprise (and worry) a few of you to find that this is definitely not the first Sony Ericsson device to be recalled on a massive scale.
a worrying trend
In the past 3 years, there have in fact been 3 Sony Ericsson devices recalled by the manufacturer and “issues” with the handsets have been acknowledged.
The first recalled device was the Sony Ericsson K850i, spiritual successor to the K800i. It was nowhere near as good as its predecessor, featuring fiddly touch-sensitive soft keys, slow interfaces, and a pretty average 5mp camera that didn’t improve much upon the 3.2mp offering on the K800i. Around 6 months after it was released, the phone was phased out of the networks stores and Sony Ericsson were inundated with devices being sent in by angry users complaining of the non-working soft keys and buggy firmware.
Next to suffer the public’s wrath was the C905. Another flagship camera phone, it was an 8mp offering that was actually very impressive. It still has one of the best cameras seen on a phone despite having 12mp competition around these days. Sadly, the firmware was the problem this time – with Sony Ericsson recalling the devices earlier this year.
And now we come to the Satio. This too is a flagship phone, although its intended to be a jack-of-all-trades. While not only being a master of none, the phone doesn’t feature a 3.5mm headphone jack as seen on all high-end phones these days, and the UI is a heaily adapted version of Symbian, more commonly seen on Nokia devices. While most recent Nokia devices are having a few small issues with firmware and such, with the N97 being the biggest case of this (suffering both firmware and hardware issues, which have been resolved now) Sony Ericsson have reported the software being the issue. This would suggest that the problems lie in the software they themselves have included.
These are very worrying times for Sony Ericsson I would imagine. Not many manufacturers have to recall 3 devices in the same number of years – and the more this happens, the less confident consumers will be in choosing their handsets over someone else’s. At least they seem to be on form with the Xperia X10 (running Android) and Kurara (another Symbian device) – although I wouldn’t like to speak too soon.
Do you own a Sony Ericsson device? Are you satisfied with how it performs, or have you had plenty of issues with it? Feel free to leave your stories in the comments section.