Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo delayed until July, as Arc and Play supplies squeezed

The UK launch of the Xperia Neo smart phone has slipped from April to July, while stocks of the Xperia Play and Xperia Arc are likely to be limited, Sony Ericsson has admitted.

Stuart Dredge
2 min read

Looking forward to getting your hands on Sony Ericsson's new Xperia Neo Android smart phone? You'll have to wait a little longer, unfortunately. The company has confirmed that the handset has slipped to a third-quarter release date, although online retailer Clove says that will mean a July debut in the UK.

The cause of the delay is the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which has had an impact on Sony Ericsson's production process. It's not just the Xperia Neo that's been affected either: the Xperia Play and Xperia Arc are also mentioned in the company's official statement.

"As Sony Ericsson continues to assess the impact of the situation in Japan on its business, we have communicated to our operator customers and distributors that some volume of Xperia Arc, Xperia Play and Xperia Neo phones has been affected," explains the statement.

"Xperia Neo has already been introduced to the marketplace in limited quantities. However, due to supply-chain disruptions resulting from the situation in Japan, we have shifted the timing of Xperia Neo's broader launch and it is now planned for early Q3."

Sony Ericsson will give more information when it announces its next set of quarterly financial results on 19 April. In a blog post, UK retailer Clove stated it has "now had official confirmation from Sony Ericsson that the Neo will not be launched until July in the UK market", although that date sounds provisional.

"They are working to find alternative supply solutions but, at this time, July is the earliest release date that Sony Ericsson wish to commit to. The situation could change, but they have taken this action to, in the long term, improve the supply rather than having an unstable launch of the Neo with poor stock," wrote Clove.

Last week, Clove said it was expecting the Neo to be available on 19 April, with a SIM-free price tag of £360.

The production issues come as no surprise, particularly in the case of the Xperia Play. It was due to go on sale in the UK on 1 April from a range of operators, but both Vodafone and Three delayed its debut due to what was described at the time by Sony Ericsson as "a freight issue".