It's a well hidden gripe of mine (well, until now) that I find it infuriating when waiting to get my hands on the newly announced all seeing, all doing handset only to be told that it's not yet available. Not only does it make for hard work when planning our next issues of Mobile Choice, but, if I just put my consumer hat on for a moment, I don't want to have to wait another six or seven months until we can decide whether the handset has warranted its hype.
Now, we've been in the game long enough to appreciate that a certain amount of hysteria needs to be generated by the manufacturers prior to launch and, to be fair, some of the turn arounds from press release to having the phone in your hands is actually pretty quick. Take the LG Arena for example. Officially announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February, we've already reviewed the phone, which becomes available for purchase on 9 March. In contrast, the Nokia N96 took a whole eight months from launch to arriving on shelves.
However, arguably the biggest culprits are Sony Ericsson. For example, the Xperia X1 was announced in February 2008, but didn't actually hit shops until October. While there was an initial wave of excitement about this QWERTY and touch-screen sporting handset, by the time it did go on sale, it had died down to nothing more than a fleeting interest.
So why do it? Perhaps it's a case of reviewing the software and realising that it's not quite right, or perhaps it is simply a misreading of the market. Either way, it seems lessons haven't been learnt from the Xperia X1 saga.
MWC 2009 saw Sony Ericsson unveil their interesting concept phone the Idou, a handset that most certainly fits into the aforementioned all seeing and all doing bracket. However, with a launch date of Q3 at the earliest, we hope the manufacturer hasn't over estimated the patience of its customers.