Earlier this morning, news broke of a horrible deed - the entire stock of Xperia Play phones was allegedly stolen from Vodafone NZ, leaving hundreds of giant-thumbed customers button-mashing nothing but air for the foreseeable future. We deliberately skipped this story, even though it was spreading like fire, but what happened next prompted me to grab my pen keyboard and give this crime some coverage.

Remember those missing devices? Yeah, never happened. The whole event that started with last night's post on Vodafone's own Facebook page, later augmented with video footage of the alleged attack, was a carefully orchestrated stunt by the company. People around the web grew suspicious and started examining the recording, which, as it turned out, had an unusually high frame rate and horizontal lines that were made to look as if the video were recorded via a low-resolution security camera. Additionally, no timestamps could be found, all pointing to a fake.


Why did Vodafone think this was a good idea? The following comment, posted about 40 minutes ago, should clarify a few things - an Epic Quest is about to be launched, with 6 prizes. Have you guessed what they are yet? That's right - 6 Xperia Play phones, which you are supposed to help Vodafone find.


Lame, Vodafone, quite lame. We know @DroidLanding did the scavenger hunt and was quite successful at it, with Google following suit (@GoogleNexus), but neither of them lied about the planted phones, pretending to be victims of a horrible crime. Perhaps your strategy is working, but it's left quite a bad taste in our mouths. Don't let us catch you red-handed in a similar mess again, OK?

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • http://www.droidmatters.com DroidMatters

    Damn..I feel bamboozled for writing about that one :-).

  • Josh xD

    Being in NZ I'm quite glad to know that we will actually be getting the Experia Play

  • Lee

    And here I was expecting eBay to suddenly get a flood of Xperia Plays (eBay being a den of thieves of course).

  • Ruben

    You get tricked by somebody, then you get all puffy chested and rant. Relax, you never said how this went over in NZ. Maybe they thought it was funny. It's a way to advertise. For someone who loves Google you think you would be used to ads invading all parts of our lives. All those that wrote about this early, just failed at due diligence. Maybe should have called someone in NZ, or perhaps checked their news sites to see if it could be verified. Its the writers mistakes. Vodafone did not tell CNN thier phones were stolen, you guys (bloggers) took a twitter post and ran with it.

  • mintvilla

    " you guys (bloggers) took a twitter post and ran with it."

    Whats this i see? a request for internet bloggers to actually check to see if a story is valid? like all well respected journalists do?.... thats a good one.

    There is a lot of junk websites and blogs around the internet that will report anything to just get a few hits on their site.

    Thats why i think its important to find the good ones, and only view these websites.

  • Tom

    With all of the real security breaches that have happened recently, (Sony being a huge one), I cannot accept a company lying about having a "major security breach" no matter what kind it was.

    How do any of us know, if they ever have a real one, they won't lie to us then (again just like Sony).

    Vodafone, you're on my permanent shit list.