The complexities of today's smartphones are forcing operators to update their quality testing with the result that Vodafone and Orange have recently announced they will no longer be offering two devices from Nokia and Sony Ericsson.
After having signed an exclusive distribution deal, Vodafone has revealed that it will not launch the Sony Ericsson X2 after the vendor slipped delivery dates from Q4/09 into early this year. Vodafone said that the delivery date of the Windows 6.5 device did not meet "pre-Christmas delivery due to a series of technical issues, and we have taken the decision not to go ahead with the launch as it no longer fits with our planned portfolio."
This comes as yet another blow to Sony Ericsson, which last month saw its newly launched Satio dropped by Carphone Warehouse after software glitches prompted high returns. The manufacturer recently confirmed it was delaying the launch of the X2 until early January, claiming that the software worked satisfactorily, "but when we started integrating it with some of the network specific apps, it threw up a few issues that we're working to fix."
Meanwhile, Orange has rejected Nokia's N97 Mini smartphone after experiencing a high number of returns. While the company declined to provide details, insiders claim that the device failed because of numerous issues, not just software problems, and was failing Orange's rigorous ongoing tests.
The operator community will typically tolerate a returns rate of one in 10 devices--at best. It is believed that, while the N97 Mini passed initial testing, returns since launch in December have reached 20 per cent and forced Orange to withdraw the device.
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