December could prove problematic for Sony Ericsson as it has emerged that the world's fourth biggest mobile phone manufacturer is having issues with the Aino, shortly after sales of the Satio, its flagship 12-megapixel camera phone, were halted by major retailers.
Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U have already suspended the sales of the Satio pending further investigation after the rate of return of the phone was found to be abnormally high with a glitch apparently caused by the handset's firmware.
Now the Aino, a mobile phone whose main characteristic is its native PS3 support including the popular Remote Play, has apparently been suffered the same fate as its bigger sibling with a software glitch affecting the phone's touchscreen.
The issues couldn't come at a worse time. UK is a vital market for Sony Ericsson as it is the largest in Europe and the company, which has suffered a Eur 199 million loss in the last quarter, is betting on the end of year sales to improve its fortunes.
Even more damaging is the fact that Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U represent all the main mobile phone networks and manage a significant number of smaller websites.
Losing this ecosystem could be catastrophic for Satio sales although other networks selling the phone like Three Networks or Orange have yet to say that they were halting Satio sales.
Sony needs to sort out its acts fast as there's a number of other smartphones coming out including the X10 that could make or break the company. They will be using Android, a completely new platform for Sony Ericsson which could spell even more trouble.