Xperia Play shipment stolen, Sony Ericsson announces US launch; UPDATE: Theft was a stunt

xperia play launchThe wait for the Xperia Play just got a little longer: Vodafone announced this morning that the Sony Ericsson gaming phone’s New Zealand launch will be delayed. If it’s any consolation, the setback isn’t due to any corporate hiccup or technical malfunctions – the shipment of Xperia Plays destined for shelves was stolen.

On its Twitter this morning, Vodafone posted a notice reading: “…Regret to advise the Xperia Play launch will be delayed. Major security breach. This shipment of phones has been stolen.” But this most recent hitch isn’t the end of Sony Ericsson’s shortage issues. The manufacturer started off with a limited supply as a result of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, and also held off on its UK release due to a software glitch.

vodafone nz storeVodafone New Zealand also posted a tiny photo to its Facebook Page of the store’s damage (at right). But in an interesting twist, Vodafone external communications manager Matthew East gave New Zealand publication TechDay a cryptic explanation of the events, saying “Fear not, all will be revealed on Facebook tomorrow.” Is this part of some marketing ploy? And if so, Vodafone would be wise to remember Dell’s disastrous publicity stunt that ended in police charges being filed. The lesson: Mixing viral marketing with faux illegalities treads on some dangerous and possibly embarrassing territory.

In better news, the Xperia Play finally has a US release date. The PlayStation phone will make its stateside debut in stores May 26 (available for order online May 19), and will launch with Verizon Wireless. It will retail for $199.99 when users sign up for a two-year contract.

[UPDATE]

The entire thing was indeed a marketing ploy. Vodafone’s Matthew East told The Australian this morning the alleged Xperia Play theft was a stunt. Good one…?

Mobile

Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.
Mobile

Is this the first image of a Galaxy S10 being used in real life?

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Mobile

The Note 8 and S8 range now have access to the Android Pie beta

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

Keep up-to-date with the best news apps on iPhone and Android

Are the days of traditional newspapers and broadcast news dwindling? With apps this good, maybe. Catch up on the latest headlines on any platform with the best news apps on iOS and Android.
Business

Google is buying mysterious smartwatch tech from The Fossil Group for $40 million

Google is about to step up its smartwatch game. The company has agreed to buy an unnamed smartwatch technology from The Fossil Group for a hefty $40 million. Considering the acquisition, it's clear Google is serious about smartwatches.
Mobile

Here’s how to take a screenshot on an iPad, step by step

The ability to capture screenshots may not be the iPad's most glamorous feature, but it's one of its most useful. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to take a screenshot on an iPad, whether it's an iPad Pro from 2018 or an older iPad model.
Mobile

5G phones make a lot of promises. Here’s what to really expect

There has been a lot of marketing copy expounding the potential benefits of 5G networks, but a lot less on the practical implications of 5G smartphones. There's a reason for that.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Social Media

Here’s how to save someone’s Instagram Story to your phone

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Wearables

Lack of regulation means wearables aren’t held accountable for health claims

As fitness trackers become more like health monitors, some physicians are concerned they can lead to over-diagnosis of non-existent problems. It’s already happening with wearable baby monitors.
Mobile

Here’s how to download podcasts and listen to them on Android or iOS

Podcasts have become a cultural staple. Here's how to download podcasts and listen to them on your Android or iOS device, and which apps to use if you're looking to get the most out of the format.
Business

Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Mobile

Windows 10 Mobile support ending: Switch to iOS or Android, Microsoft says

A Microsoft support page detailed the company's plans to end support for Windows 10 Mobile in less than a year. Users with devices powered by the platform are suggested to switch to iOS or Android devices.
Mobile

How to use iOS 12’s Passwords and Accounts tool to autofill passwords

Keeping track of all your passwords and accounts can be a real chore. If you use an iPhone with iOS 12, then you don't have to. Here's how to use iOS 12's own password manager to autofill passwords.