As we reported
the other day, U.K. retailer Car Warehouse-Europe's largest cellphone retailer-stopped sales of the Sony Ericsson Satio due to a software problem. Phones 4U, another UK retailer, followed suit. With its 12.1MP camera, the Satio is one of two devices that the joint venture was counting on to drive handset sales this holiday season. And now the other device, the Sony Ericsson Aino, is having problems of its own. While both models have been released unlocked in the U.S., neither have had any complaints made about them stateside. The Aino is equipped with an 8MP shooter and offers a remote hook-up with the Sony PlayStation. UK owners of the latter model are having problems with the touchscreen according to a report by Reuters. "Obviously we are working as quickly as possible to solve it (the issue)," Sony Ericsson
spokesman Mattias Holm said, adding the issue affects only a small number of customers in Britain. The problem for the joint-venture is that the clock is ticking on the 2009 holiday shopping season and any problems keeping the models off the shelf is going to hurt the joint-venture. Consultant Geoff Blaber from CCS Insight
agrees by saying, ""Aino and Satio are Sony Ericsson's key products for the final quarter. These problems couldn't come at a worse time -- just as the marketapproaches the highest volume weeks of the year. They have days notweeks to fix these issues."
Sony Ericsson's Holm says that because only a small number of handsets are involved, the brand should remain untouched by the software issue. "At the moment, we don't see any damage or harm done," Holm said. "Itis a contained issue affecting only a small number of consumers."Smartphones are a major part in Chairman Bert Nordberg's goal of returning the firm to black ink next year. In the last quarterly report covering the third quarter, Sony Ericsson reported a loss equivalent to $297 million. The joint-venture has not had a profitable quarter since Q1 in 2008.Sony Ericsson Satio Specifications
| ReviewSony Ericsson Aino Specifications