Carphone Warehouse halts Satio sales after glitch


The Carphone Warehouse has suspended sales of the Sony Ericsson Satio after a flood of returns.

Europe's biggest mobile phone retailer said an unusual number of irate customers had returned the Satio citing an unspecified software issue. Sony Ericsson said it is was dealing with the issue as its "utmost priority".

In a statement released yesterday, Carphone Warehouse said: "From time to time, we experience issues with new handsets and their software, which may result in a customer experience that is below our usually high standards."

"We want customers to have complete confidence and satisfaction in the handsets they buy from us, which is why we have temporarily withdrawn the Satio from sale," it added.

Sony Ericsson confirmed that "a small number of customers" had experienced issues with the Symbian-based Satio. "Sony Ericsson is giving this matter its utmost priority and is working toward solving it as soon as possible," the handset maker said in a statement.

At this stage it appears Carphone Warehouse is alone in freezing Satio sales. A spokesperson for Vodafone confirmed the service provider was aware of the issue, but had no plans to issue a recall of its own.

"We have experienced some returns, but not an exceptionally high level. We will keep a close track and continue to monitor, but we are still selling Satio at this stage," the spokesperson said.

The Satio certainly isn't the first mobile phone to experience teething problems, but the publicity couldn't come at a worse time for Sony Ericsson. After five consecutive quarterly losses, the flagship Satio was central to its Christmas sales drive, and a key part of its long-term strategy in the increasingly competitive smartphone market.

Carphone Warehouse said it was working with Sony Ericsson to replace affected handsets and restock the Satio as quickly as possible. At the time of publication we were waiting for an update on the situation from Sony Ericsson.

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