Sony Ericsson and its Fall from Grace


My journey of using cell phones began in 2001, when I bought the Ericsson R600. Soon after, Ericsson partnered up with Sony, and Sony Ericsson was born. Although a vast majority of the people in India used Nokia phones (heck, they still do), I used Sony Ericsson phones for nearly 6 years. After using 4 different phone models from the company, I bought my 5th and final SE phone – M600i. This was the first time I owned a Smartphone, and that too with a touchscreen.

M600i ran on the UIQ3 platform, based on the Symbian operating system. The feeling of using this phone was great. There was so much I could do with it, and touchscreen was the cherry on top! However, after a few days of normal usage, shortcomings started to appear. The phone was buggy, and could not multitask very well. It was clear the phone had not been properly tested before release.

I, like many other loyal users of SE, had faith that they would soon release firmware upgrades and resolve the issues. To our unpleasent surprise, SE did little to address the problems. Firmware upgrades were few and far in between, and while they would fix some holes, they would also introduce several new bugs with every subsequent release! Informed powerusers of the platform gave regular feedback to SE through various channels, but it fell on deaf ears. SE’s customer support service is a bad joke!

Still, the adorers of SE (like me and thousands others) did not lose faith – we knew something was coming. Much to our horror, in less than 9 months of launching the phone and issuing 4 buggy firmware upgrades, SE dropped support for all UIQ3 models present at that time. Apart from M600i, it also included W950i, and their much-hyped flagship P990i. Not only this, SE also modified their white papers to delete some of the stuff they had falsely claimed their phones could do!

This created an uproar amongst users. Online protests followed, and angry users threatened to sue the company. After a struggle of 3 months, SE announced that it would issue one final upgrade for only the P990i. The users of other first generation UIQ3 models were abandoned. Soon after, peeved users of the platform came together and drafted a letter addressed to the new CEO of SE. This was a diplomatic business letter signed by more than 500 users. A hard copy of the letter was couriered to the CEO’s office, a soft copy was emailed. Till date, the letter has not even been acknowledged by SE!

More than having a buggy phone, what really pisses me off about the whole situation is SE’s attitude towards its customers. I have decided to voice my opinion with my wallet. I will never use Sony Ericsson phones again!

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My Cell Phone Journey


If you have wasted 2 minutes of your life reading my “About Me” post, you would know that I am a gadget freak! In my opinion (that’s what this blog is about anyway!), in a list of all the smart gadgets one can own, cell phones top the list! They are your style statement, an integral part of most of our lives – organiser, information manager, gaming console, internet kiosk, camera…uh…and a phone too! Everybody has one these days.

I bought my first cell phone in 2001 – Ericsson R600. Can you believe a phone like that was one of the coolest things people had seen at that time.? I can’t…not anymore! And the reason for that is the amazing advancement that has taken place in past few years in cell phone technology – both in terms of functionality and form factor.

Soon after I bought my first phone, Ericsson partnered up with Sony, and Sony Ericsson was born. Although a vast majority of the people in India used Nokia phones (heck, they still do), I used Sony Ericsson phones for nearly 6 years. I adored the phones from SE – features, design, everything.

From the original R600, I moved to T610, my first camera phone. Then I moved on to K700i, which similar to T610, only with a better camera and FM radio, and a poorer build quality. After it aged out (which was pretty soon), the obvious upgrade was the K750i – one of the better phones I’ve ever used! I liked it so much that after somebody flicked it out of my pocket on a train, I bought myself another piece. After using 4 different phone models from the company, I bought my 5th and final SE phone – M600i. This was the first time I owned a Smartphone, and that too with a touchscreen. For the technically inclined, it ran on the UIQ3 platform, based on the Symbian operating system.

The phone had a brilliant interface, and was good with normal use. But pretty soon, some very annoying bugs started to show. SE never corrected the issues and abondened its users with an unfinished product. I swore never to buy from SE again! After the M600i lived out its life, I bought myself the HTC S710 in September 2007, and am using it till date. The phone runs on Windows Mobile Standard, and has a slideout QWERTY keyboard. I can say with assurance that this is the best phone I have ever used. When this phone eventually wears out, I will surely be staying with Windows Mobile platform – I’ve got my eyes on the HTC Touch Pro and the HTC S740 now. Drool 🙂