Xperia Play delayed on Vodafone NZ after entire shipment of phones is stolen

Vodafone New Zealand has confirmed that it's delaying its launch of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play after thieves managed to swipe the first shipment of phones in its entirety. Vodafone described the incident as a "major security breach", and isn't yet able to offer any updated release schedule for the device.

This isn't the first time an Xperia Play launch has been held up due to unforseen events. Stock has been in short supply following the natural disasters in Japan earlier this year. Elsewhere, "freight issues" delayed the phone's launch on many British carriers by several weeks, and and O2 UK is still working to iron out software kinks that are preventing the Xperia Play from launching on its network.

Source: @VodafoneNZ

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • Wow Sony can't catch a break huh?
  • How many were they shipping, 25? Enough phones for the entire expected sales in New Zealand would be a little hard to carry away and harder to fence. Unless they weren't actually expected to sell all that well. Somehow those serial numbers are going to get blocked i suspect.
  • Well, bear in mind that it was only the first shipment; I'm thinking more like 250 rather than 25. I imagine the perp(s) probably just loaded them up in a small truck or van and drove away with them. I expect that they probably will sell well; I was just in NZ last year, so I know firsthand how limited their selection of phones is, at least from what I saw, so the arrival of any new device would be kind of a big deal there. Some devices really are hard to get down there, esp. the high-end models. But the nice thing about NZ is that carrier exclusivity is illegal there, so you can buy any device unlocked, and then you just get a SIM card separately from whichever carrier you choose. That needs to happen here in the US ASAP. Smartphones tend to be quite expensive in NZ; electronic items in general tend to cost more, as it costs more to ship them all the way down there. NZ's closest neighbor, Oz (Australia) is about 2000 km (1,200 miles) to the west. It took me nearly 13 hours to fly down there (LAX to Auckland).
    And I think it also bears mentioning that there are only so many of any given model of smartphone that *could* be sold in NZ, as it has a population of only about 4.2 million, last I checked, in a country roughly the size of California, with the largest concentration of people living in the Auckland area (about 1.4 million). So NZ isn't that big of a market down there, compared to, say, the US, UK, EU, China, or Japan. If you could sell, say, 1 million of any device in NZ, that'd be nearly a quarter of that whole market.
    They'll probably bust those guys soon enough, once they start selling the phones and the serial numbers get blocked (as you've just noted) and traced back to whomever sold the stolen devices.