Facing massive infrastructure disruption caused by the earthquake and tsunami last month, Japanese manufacturer Sony has been forced to cut back production on all of its upcoming Xperia devices.
The Xperia PLAY and Arc are both going to be in short supply at launch, just how short Sony Ericsson will come up on shipments is unknown. This could be a massive blow to the much-hyped Xperia PLAY, which Sony has spent a bundle advertising here in the US and abroad.
The super-thin Xperia arc will also be feeling the crunch, having launched in the UK with its US-debut presumably right around the corner.
Finally, the Xperia neo has actually been delayed because of supply chain issues. While Sony did let the phone go on sale briefly in some markets, new shipments of the device won't start up again until Q3 - so July at the earliest. Regardless of how individual devices have been affected, this is probably worse news for Sony than for consumers. Sony Ericsson's Italian Facebook had this to say:
As Sony Ericsson continues to assess the impact of the situation in Japan on its business, we have communicated to our operator customers and distributors that some volume of Xperia arc, Xperia PLAY and Xperia neo phones has been affected. Xperia neo has already been introduced to the marketplace in limited quantities. However, due to supply chain disruptions resulting from the situation in Japan, we have shifted the timing of Xperianeo's broader launch and it is now planned for early Q3.
We will address this topic at the time of our Q1 financial results announcement call that is scheduled for April 19, 2011.
Sony's first generation of Xperia Android phones generally received lukewarm reviews, but the company's revamped lineup has had us thoroughly excited, particularly since all of Sony's new Xperia phones ship with Gingerbread. Hopefully this announcement errs on the side of caution, and Sony will have enough PLAYs to go around when the device lands on Verizon in the US next month.