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Sony Ericsson budget handsets scarce after parts shortage

A shortage of parts will mean a scarcity of Sony Ericsson feature phones in the run-up to Christmas, a spokesperson confirmed.

Bad news if you were looking forward to getting your hands on a budget Sony Ericsson blower this Christmas -- a shortage of key components means there'll be a scarcity of certain handsets, reports Reuters.

A spokesperson said it was nothing to do with Thai floods that have hurt companies like Toyota.

"We are experiencing a shortage of key components used in some feature phones," the spokesperson said.

They wouldn't confirm which parts were in short supply, but the handsets affected are the Sony Ericsson Xperia txt, Xperia txt pro, and Mix Walkman. Analysts said the problem was specific to Sony Ericsson, that there were no industry-wide shortages.

"We have not heard of any supply chain constraints affecting feature phone devices," Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi told Reuters.

All three affected handsets are budget offerings, not like the company's flagship smart phones. The txt and txt pro feature Qwerty keyboards, the former with a 2.55-inch screen, the latter a 3-incher. The Mix Walkman is a music mobile, with Sony Ericsson's Walkman software onboard.

Last month Sony announced it would be buying the Ericsson part of the joint venture for £918m, taking control of its phone business. The venture has been in effect since 2001. Recently its focus has been on smart phones like the Xperia Arc S and Xperia Ray, but low end 'feature phones' still make up 20 per cent of its sales.

Earlier this week rumours emerged of an Xperia Arc HD -- or Nozomi -- a new handset with a 720p HD screen, and Full HD video recording. Seeing as 720p is also the native resolution for Ice Cream Sandwich, it would also make sense for it to update to that version of Android soon after launch.