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Vodafone fakes theft of Xperia Play shipment

Thursday, May 19, 2011 - 10:01:28

In a particularly odd episode, network provider Vodafone's New Zealand arm was found to have faked news that a shipment of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play smartphone was stolen ahead of its Antipodean launch.

Using its official Twitter account, Vodafone New Zealand made the announcement this week that it had unfortunately had its smartphone shipment stolen and Engadget points out that this comes shortly after UK deliveries of the Xperia Play were mysteriously held back for unexplained reasons.

Vodafone had initially shown some CCTV footage of what it claimed was the theft taking place, but it was not long before people were crying foul play and the network was forced to admit that it had faked everything, from the security images to the news about the theft itself.

Obviously it is not going to be easy for any network or retailer to announce that the release of an anticipated mobile phone has been delayed, but Vodafone has surely damaged the relationship it has with its customers over this debacle involving untruths and faked footage.

The performance of the Xperia Play since its UK launch has not been as impressive as manufacturer Sony Ericsson might have hoped. Going into the market as an unchallenged, gaming-focused handset might have seemed like a sure fire way to win over consumers, but the lack of a killer app in the most appropriate sense of the word is continuing to cause problems here and abroad.

What is perhaps most unusual about this whole incident is that for once, the spurious information is coming from official sources. Plenty of leaks and rumours are generated by the online community, with fake prototypes and wishful mock-ups guessing at the future mobile launches, but Vodafone has taken this ethos and applied it to the much more serious world of big business.




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