Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sony to challenge Apple with two tablet computers

Kunimasa Suzuki, Sony’s deputy president, said the company’s new tablets, codenamed S1 and S2, would use Google’s Android operating system and will go on sale this autumn.

The S1 is a 9.4-inch tablet computer with a tapered design that is thick on one end and thin on the other. The S2 is a clamshell style tablet that opens to reveal two 5.5-inch touchscreens. Sony said the two tablets might not launch at the same time.

Both tablets will have WiFi connectivity and 3G mobile internet, as well as 4G where it is available.

Mr Suzuki said: “We’ve tried to expand the possibilities of a tablet.”

The tablet market is currently dominated by Apple, whose iPad 2 was released earlier this year. However, Sony will hope that it can add features that will make its own tablets a tempting alternative, such as the ability to play PlayStation games and read e-books from the Sony Reader store. The company also has a music and film streaming service, called Qriocity, that could be added to its tablet computers.

Last year Sony said its aim was to be second to Apple in the tablet market by 2012. That will mean overtaking rivals including Samsung, whose first Galaxy Tab went on sale last year, Motorola and RIM, manufacturers of the BlackBerry PlayBook.

Analysts Gartner say that tablet sales will quadruple to about 294 million by 2015.


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