By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: Telstra has been forced into an embarrassing backflip, removing the Blue Tick of coverage for rural and other non-metro areas from the popular Motorola Defy smartphone.

In a note sent to customers this week, Telstra conceded that the phone does not meet the requirements for this accreditation.

“Recent testing has shown that, due to a manufacturing change (designed to improve performance across international frequencies), we’ve had to remove the Telstra Blue Tick rating,” reads the official statement.

“However, our testing shows that this device still provides strong coverage performance across Telstra’s entire handheld coverage footprint, including immediately in and around major regional centres and towns.”

This is particularly embarrassing for both Telstra and Motorola as this phone has been promoted as an all-weather, all-action smartphone, with a huge above the line advertising campaign based around the tagline “summerproof”. This is supposed to be the phone that one can take into the bush or to a faraway beach, which you can still do, although you might not get reception.

Our source of this information was not to distressed by this development, however, as he tells us his Defy had recently malfunctioned anyway, with the handset speaker breaking, meaning all calls have had to be conducted over speakerphone.