updated 09:05 am EST, Tue November 24, 2009
N97 and Satio pulled due to quality issues
Symbian has been dealt setbacks in recent days as both Nokia's N97 and Sony Ericsson's Satio appear to have been pulled due to likely quality concerns. The former isn't available on most carriers and is now no longer selectable through Vodafone UK; while visible online, choosing it redirects shoppers to the N97 mini. No explanation has been given, but it's suspected that the more stable Symbian release on the smaller, newer phone is the cause while the original N97's initial firmware was the cause of numerous complaints.
The exit is supported by word that the Satio has been pulled from third-party British retailers Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4U due to software concerns. Buyers at both stores have reportedly been returning the phone in significant numbers as a bug shuts the phone down when launching some apps and doesn't yet have a downloadable fix.
Sony Ericsson has acknowledged the problem but has claimed that it should have a patch in place before the holidays. Senior marketing manager Richard Dorman also noted that the carriers offering the Satio in the UK, including Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone, are still selling the phone themselves. A "fairly low" number of Satios are affected, he added.
The two are blows to Symbian, which is counting on both of the touchscreen phones to bolster its sagging reputation in the face of more modern platforms like Android and the iPhone. Sony Ericsson in particular is counting on the Satio as it has recorded "strong" sales from the device since it first shipped and is still losing money due to a very small smartphone lineup and lackluster conventional handsets.