Sony Teases Upcoming Tablets

Consumer electronics giant Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) made its tablet debut Tuesday, previewing two 3G- and 4G-capable Android 3.0 tablets, due out in the fall:

Sony is looking to stand out with its unique hardware design, although it notes that this is subject to change as both are still working prototypes.

The top-heavy S1's 9.4-inch screen wears a piece of molded plastic down the back to prop the device up, while the S2 features two 5.5-inch clamshell screens, similar to Kyocera Corp. (NYSE: KYO) Echo smartphone. Sony says the screens can be used independently or combined as one large display.

The company also plans to leverage its diverse electronics business and its experience in home entertainment to differentiate its new tablets. Both will support Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) and be the remote control for other Sony A/V devices, as well as support its cloud entertainment service, Qriocity, and PlayStation.

Why this matters
It is interesting that the new tablets are coming from Sony, not its phone-focused joint venture, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications , which is also relying on Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) to expand into higher-end devices. But the Sony name does carry brand cache, which Sony Ericsson has lacked in the high end, that could help it make up for lost time. Sony hasn't said what it will do to differentiate the operating system. Any viable Android tablet going forward will have the tablet-specific Honeycomb OS -- or by fall, potentially a new version of the OS -- so Sony needs to make its mark here as well.

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— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:06:41 PM
re: Sony Teases Upcoming Tablets

I know development cycles are long, but it's weird that Sony is just showing PhotoShopped pics of what the devices could look like - not promising they will. We'll probably have to wait 6 months to see what the end result is. Why bother announcing them now at all?

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