10/30/2008 10:29:00 AM
Sony Ericsson returns spook retailers
Retail staff have said they are anxious about selling Sony Ericsson’s current handsets on the back of an exceptionally high level of returns of the manufacturer’s recent handsets.
Freezing and crashing issues beleaguered the C902, the W910i and the K850i in the summer, with some retailers claiming as many as 50% of handsets were being returned in some areas.
The software faults could mean that future Sony Ericsson customers will be more cautious about taking on new hardware.
But Sony Ericsson is confident that, after stringent testing, its new products will operate smoothly.
It will take longer for the amendments to reach retailers in the case of original and older stock. These models still carry the old software faults and need to be re-flashed with new software.
The longevity of the problem has caused some retail staff to suggest that they would not sell Sony Ericsson devices with the same enthusiasm as they did last year.
One Vodafone staffer said: ‘I’ve lost a lot of faith in Sony Ericsson.’
One independent dealer said: ‘Sony Ericsson used to be very reliable, but with the last few phones they aren’t.’
David Hilton, marketing director of Sony Ericsson, acknowledged there was a problem: ‘We had issues on those handsets; now all the ones we’re shipping have had those issues addressed. We are much more confident about new products and are confident we can reverse the apprehension.’
Sony Ericsson has reacted swiftly, claiming to have put new versions of software on recent phones in an attempt to reassure operator and retail handset buyers.
Sony Ericsson’s key Christmas handsets – the C905 and X1 Xperia – have undergone more rigorous testing on the back of faults on the previous handsets.