Sony Ericsson's touchscreen turmoil

Two prominent Sony Ericsson handsets have been returned en mass to retailers in the UK, with customers concerned about issues regarding the phones' touchscreens.

Joseph Hanlon Special to CNET News
Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies.
Joseph Hanlon
2 min read

The back half of 2009 saw Sony Ericsson launch two well-featured and highly desirable touchscreen smartphones, but reports from overseas are suggesting that both the Satio and Aino are suffering from some very frustrating software issues.

Sony Ericsson Aino and Satio
The Aino and Satio are both suffering technical difficulties in the UK. (Credit: Sony Ericsson)

CNET UK reported last week that the Sony Ericsson Satio had been pulled from two of UK's largest mobile phone retail channels, Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U, with Carphone Warehouse releasing a statement saying its decision to pull the Satio was due to issues which may "result in a customer experience that is below our usually high standards".

The Aino is now also under scrutiny with customers reporting touchscreen problems, and blogs including Edgadget and the Boy Genius Report reporting that Carphone Warehouse had once again pulled stock from shelves, although the company's online store still lists the Aino as being for sale.

So far there has not been the same response regarding software issues from Australians who have purchased either the Satio or Aino, which may indicate that the problem is isolated to a batch of products shipped to the UK.

Update: Sony Ericsson Australia has replied to these concerns noting that the problems with Satio and Aino do seem to be isolated to UK cusotmers and that "this issue affects only a very small number of handsets." In response to concerns about the Satio, Sany Ericsson has made the following statement:

"Sony Ericsson confirms that it has been made aware that a small number of consumers have experienced software issues with its Satio handset when using certain applications. Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4u have temporarily removed the handset from sale to ensure that future customers do not have an adverse experience. Satio is still on sale with Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, 3 and O2 in the UK, but Sony Ericsson is giving this matter its utmost priority and is working toward solving it as soon as possible."