When an upgrade is a downgrade: Sony Ericsson replacement program
Posted on 11-Mar-2004 19:12.
Filed under: News
Everything started with a note on Engadget, where we found out about an AT&T Wireless program to upgrade mobile users to a line of mobile phones supporting the newer GSM 850MHz band.
It seems that the company rolled out part of its network using the GSM 850MHz available to GSM carriers, but did not sell mobile phones working with this band in other areas where the 1900MHz was available. As it could happen users were not able to roam from one coverage area to another, and complains started appearing - leading to churn. But this is now the predominant band used by the operator.
The popular mobile phones models that lack the 850MHz band include the Nokia 3650, Nokia N-gage, the Windows Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition, Motorolaís MPx200 Windows Mobile Smartphone, and the BlackBerry communicators. Of course it includes other featured phones (non-smartphone), including the Sony Ericsson T68i.
It seems that Sony Ericsson is now running its own program to "upgrade" the T68i with a newer model, sending a free mobile phone to registered T68i owners in the US, as found through Pocket PC Addict.
On the Sony Ericsson website it reads "Nothing says youíre valued like a gift.Thatís why weíre giving you a free upgrade to a Sony Ericsson T226 mobile phone with access to our improved AT&T Wireless network. Your new Sony Ericsson T226 offers new polyphonic ringtones and improved picture quality. And itís compliments of Sony Ericsson and AT&T Wireless. Thanks again for being a great customer."
The problem is that the upgrade is actually a downgrade. By visiting the Sony Ericsson web site we found a comparison table where it lists the new T226 as not having Bluetooth, not having Infrared, and having half of the memory available in the T68i. Not only that, but the T68i works in other countries too, but the T226 works only in the United States.
Other things the T226 miss are built in GPRS modem, Calendar, PC Synchronisation, SyncML client, voice activated dialing. The phone book on the "upgrade" model contains only three fields, while in the "old" model it has seven fields.
Because this is a free upgrade users are not required to accept it. In Brad Isaac, from Pocket PC Addicted, simply returned the phone.