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Sony unveils its first tablets in bid to compete with Apple's iPad

post #1 of 95
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Sony revealed Tuesday two Google Android-based touchscreen tablets, which will released this fall in an attempt to catch up to Apple's year-long head start with the iPad.

The tablets, dubbed S1 and S2, were unveiled at a media launch in Japan, Reuters reports. Sony will attempt to leverage its successes in the gaming industry to drive sales of the tablets, as both the S1, which sports a 9.4-inch display, and the S2, which features two 5.5-inch displays, will be compatible with select PlayStation games.

Sony deputy president of consumer products and services Kunimasa Suzuki indicated that the devices will run the tablet-designed Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system, as he pulled a prototype from a jacket pocket at the launch.

In an effort to distinguish itself from the growing list of Android-based iPad competitors, such as the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab, Sony has developed two unique form factors for its tablets. The S1 has an "off-center of gravity form factor," while the S2 features a foldable dual-screen setup.



The two devices will be marketed under the "Sony Tablet" brand and will feature heavy cross-promotion of Sony's Qriocity media suite.

The S1 will feature a Tegra 2 processor, Wi-Fi and 3G/4G cellular data capability. IT will also include an IR port for AV controls with Sony's line of Bravia televisions and support for the Sony-initiated Digital Living Network Alliance standards. Sony held off on revealing further details on either the S1 or the S2, disclaiming that "design and specifications are subject to change without notice.

The devices are slated for a global release in the fall of this year.



In January, Sony surprised attendees of the Consumer Electronics Show when the company declared its intentions to take the No. 2 spot in the tablet market within a year, despite not having released a tablet.

Earlier this year, Sony unveiled the next-generation version of its PlayStation Portable, dubbed the NGP in hopes of striking back at Apple, whose popular iOS devices have quickly begun cannibalizing Sony's share of the gaming market.

The Japanese electronics giant also took the wraps off a partnership with Google and other Android handset makers that will produce the PlayStation Suite, an Android-compatible content platform that will bring both classic and new PlayStation games to the mobile operating system.

"Users will be able to enjoy PlayStation content on an open operating system for the first time in PlayStation history," the company said in a statement in January. The move is a break from precedent from Sony, which has preferred its own proprietary formats over open ones.

Sony faces an uphill climb against Apple, which has attracted crushing demand for the iPad 2. Apple COO Tim Cook told investors last week that the iPad 2 is experiencing "the mother of all backlogs." Supply constraints caused Apple's quarterly sales of the iPad to decline to 4.69 million in the first quarter of calendar 2011, but Apple is still expected to sell 40 million iPads this year.

In April, research firm Gartner revealed that it expects Apple's iPad to continue to dominate the tablet market through 2015. The market is expected to grow to 294 million tablets in 2015, with Apple maintaining an estimated 47 percent market share.

post #2 of 95
I shake my head in disappointment with Sony's S2. It's gonna make the most nastiest burnout when as it burns through the atmosphere.

Will Sony stick with tradition and infest it with DRM-laden everything, resulting in possibly good hardware, but crippled with horrendous software? If anyone can butcher Android to a level worse than what it is already, it will be Sony.
post #3 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

I shake my head in disappointment with Sony's S2. It's gonna make the most nastiest burnout when as it burns through the atmosphere.

Will Sony stick with tradition and infest it with DRM-laden everything, resulting in possibly good hardware, but crippled with horrendous software? If anyone can butcher Android to a level worse than what it is already, it will be Sony.

Hmm the issue with Sony is that it is way too diversified. Well, another day, yet another iPad "competitor". Will be watching this from the sidelines with relative disinterest.
post #4 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Sony held off on revealing further details on either the S1 or the S2, disclaiming that "design and specifications are subject to change without notice.

After looking at those mockups I cant help but think, No shit! They are very impractical, IMO.

The S1 is pretty slick looking providing the sides are merely indentions. That design lends the potential for good camera and speakers. Beyond that I dont see much good I can see about them. The cons are pretty endless but Ill stop with saying the S1 will feel uneven in portrait mode and will ed up thicker at the thinnest point to accommodate the battery.

The S2 just looking wrong in every way.The curve, the hinge, the side bezels which I assume are touch controls. Its like someone opened up their eyeglass case and said, I have an idea."
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post #5 of 95
Dear Sony,

Please die the cold and miserable death your inane actions have meritoriously warranted over the past few decades.

Warmest Regards,

The World.
post #6 of 95
Wow, these look slick!
It's a little refreshing that they are trying a different form factor and not simply copying Apple to a T.
I like the idea of a tapered back. This way when you put it on your lap you don't have to hold it at a comfortable angle.
Apple has a pretty good solution for that too if you buy the new case... but building it into the form factor is interesting.

As far as sflocal's comments about the DRM bullshit are concerned - couldn't agree more.
Who knows thou, maybe Sony has finally learned it's lesson and that's why they are running with Droid... maybe pigs will fly one day also.

I consider the design to be progressive.
Who knows thou if it's balanced in a way that is comfortable. Will have to hold one to know.

Do they track your every movement thou?
post #7 of 95
Seems that Sony will be using the Playstation angle to market its tablet. But wait wouldn't people rather play on their PSP if their mobile?
While Sony is a known name I don't believe that their tablet will create the desired effect they're looking for. After all Android 3.0 leaves much to be desired.
post #8 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

I shake my head in disappointment with Sony's S2. It's gonna make the most nastiest burnout when as it burns through the atmosphere.

Will Sony stick with tradition and infest it with DRM-laden everything, resulting in possibly good hardware, but crippled with horrendous software? If anyone can butcher Android to a level worse than what it is already, it will be Sony.

Samsung are far more diversified than Sony will ever be, yet they do well. I hope, however, that Sony can pull something out.
TouchMyApps - All things iPhone for those who like to touch
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post #9 of 95
Quote:
"Users will be able to enjoy PlayStation content on an open operating system for the first time in PlayStation history," the company said in a statement in January. The move is a break from precedent from Sony, which has preferred its own proprietary formats over open ones.

I guess this was before Google decided to make Android "not as open".

Mind you I can't see this working out. Once the basic OS is cracked and people can download and install games at will for free. Sony will start loosing money hand over fist.

Give it 6 months tops before it's playstation feature is killed off.
post #10 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Sony revealed Tuesday two Google Android-based touchscreen tablets, which will release this FAIL in an attempt to catch up to Apple's year-long head start with the iPad.

fixed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSHMAN4 View Post

Seems that Sony will be using the Playstation angle to market its tablet. But wait wouldn't people rather play on their PSP if their mobile?
While Sony is a known name I don't believe that their tablet will create the desired effect they're looking for. After all Android 3.0 leaves much to be desired.


Dude- if they ever get their PSN up..

hackers utterly pwn3d the fuk out of it. It's been down since the 20th with zero ETA for restoring the service. I can't wait for mainstream media to finally pick that story up. any day now...
post #11 of 95
At least Sony are trying something different with these, and for what it's worth, I kind of like the industrial design of both of them.

The playstation gaming angle is a dead end though, as PS1 games require buttons galore. Far too many to work in any way on a touch screen only device. They should focus PS gaming on the Xperia Play, but they messed that one up with a botched launch with no PS store, no PSN support, and just a handful of PS1 games on the Android Marketplace. The final kick in the teeth is that any PS1 game you've already bought from the PSN store you have to re-buy for the Xperia. What a mess.
post #12 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Hmm the issue with Sony is that it is way too diversified. Well, another day, yet another iPad "competitor". Will be watching this from the sidelines with relative disinterest.

Looking at them all, I'm still half expecting Mattel to come out with yet another iPad copy, or even Etch A Sketch.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #13 of 95
Although I think that Android is ok its really killing innovation from companies like Sony. Rather than investing in their own OS they are going with Android with a little front-end on it. Rather than trying to be different or innovative they are just shipping another Android box, its like windows all over again.

Give RIM and HP their due, at least they are doing something different and should be commended for doing so.

Android truly is the "beige box" of the tablet world.
post #14 of 95
Sony is a love/hate company. They do some things that are great innovations and at the same time they attach something to it that...well destroy the product. They manage to Create the PSP with great graphics addictive games. To top it off they added to it UMDs, A media that failed faster then any of the pre-android iPhone killers. They also don't realize that their media stick is over priced and is only used by Sony products. Sony's PS3 was an all around great product that was killed by its outstanding price. It cost far to much to be a game console at release. But the hardware they use is up there. I love my PS3 and my PS2 and PSX still works. I love that company right now my list of hardware makers is:

1: ASUS & AMD
3. Apple
4. Sony
post #15 of 95
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post #16 of 95
Apple's advantage is innovation. Only now, that they have shown the way, can these other punks follow.
post #17 of 95
I think Sony could be the most credible competitor Apple yet has in this market. Unlike just about all the other Android cloners (and unlike Google itself) Sony actually has experience creating and supporting a large, profitable computing platform (the playstation). I think that type of experience is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for competing with Apple's iDevices in the long term.

Having said that, Sony is merely a shadow of its former self. A healthy dose of skepticism is certainly warranted regarding just about anything they do these days.
post #18 of 95
At least they are blatant iPad rip offs in design.
post #19 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Although I think that Android is ok its really killing innovation from companies like Sony. Rather than investing in their own OS they are going with Android with a little front-end on it. Rather than trying to be different or innovative they are just shipping another Android box, its like windows all over again.

Give RIM and HP their due, at least they are doing something different and should be commended for doing so.

Android truly is the "beige box" of the tablet world.

An OS has to hit critical mass before developers really start creating apps for it. These companies could create their own OSes but the most likely scenario is none of them achieve large enough sales for developers to really bother. Nice looking hardware is no longer enough, it is now about the entire ecosystem.
post #20 of 95
To watch all these wannabe guys trying to come up with their own version of the thing. Some great variety there:
Asus: WTF is that contraption?
RIM: Ho hum
HP: it's the slate, no wait it's a palm....
Xoom: looks and feels like a cheap piece of sh*t.... It ain't cheap though
Sony: interesting.... But why would anyone buy it?

If I were to get anything android it would be a nook. Cheap enough to play around with, light, and can be used as a reader/browser. But then again, why bother?

How will these android tablets going to differentiate themselves from each other is beyond me. Pricing will be cutthroat competition, hardware is all the same pretty much... Features can be easily copied. I don't see them going anywhere for a long time.
post #21 of 95
I saw the Moto Xoom at staples last night and that Honeycomb is an effing disaster. The scrolling through web pages was on point but other than that it was a snoozefest!
As for Sony, well expect their crap to be virtually DOA. Just like the pspgo.
That clamshell option is stupid. What you going to do when that sh** breaks at the hinges?
Lol!
post #22 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

I saw the Moto Xoom at staples last night and that Honeycomb is an effing disaster. The scrolling through web pages was on point but other than that it was a snoozefest!
As for Sony, well expect their crap to be virtually DOA. Just like the pspgo.
That clamshell option is stupid. What you going to do when that sh** breaks at the hinges?
Lol!


I hate Sony having had a lifetime of using their products, DVD players that refuse to play discs, PS3s that stop displaying video, proprietary storage/ media, that's all the guts of the machines but I have to say the enclosures are all really robust.
post #23 of 95
Android? Good luck with that Sh1t, Sony.

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post #24 of 95
Hrm....Coming out this fall, 6 months behind comeptitors...Tegra 2 processor which is already out of date and way slower than the A5 in many important ways...Man that form factor better help you win the lottery or slice bread or something!
post #25 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by macwise View Post

Dear Sony,

Please die the cold and miserable death your inane actions have meritoriously warranted over the past few decades.

Warmest Regards,

The World.

Plus eleventy billion from anyone who has tried to access the Playstation network over the last six days.
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post #26 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Although I think that Android is ok [...]

Sorry buddy. Lost ya there for a minute.

Quote:
Give RIM and HP their due, at least they are doing something different and should be commended for doing so.

RIM and HP each own their hardware and their software stack. So yes, they should be commended for controlling their own destiny. I just hope, for HP's sake, that they don't release alpha-quality unusable junk like RIM tried to do. It's too late for RIM. RIM has now learned, the hard way, that if you control your own destiny, you have nobody to blame but yourself when you fail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Android truly is the "beige box" of the tablet world.

Completely wrong. The "beige boxes" of the pee cee world were all nearly identical. That generic uniformity was the key to Windows' success in the '90s.

But that was then and this is now. Every Android phone runs a different splinter version of Android and/or uses a different UI layer and/or sports a different screen geometry. Yes, fragmentation heads its ugly rear everywhere you look in the droid phone universe.

Rubin knows this. He's attempting to douse the dumpster fire of fragmentation that is already raging in the droid iPad clone space. He's trying to force hardware and software developers to limit their rampant noodling. There won't be any real "beige box" in the droid iPad clone universe until there's only one version of droid that all the cloners use.

Honeybomb, if it ever gets out of alpha, might be the ticket. But that's a year or two down the road. Too little, too late. Meanwhile, Apple is extending their lead. By standardizing. Which makes it easy for developers to program to iOS, and easy and intuitive for users to use iOS and its apps. And those are two concepts that are out of reach in the droid universe.

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post #27 of 95
so these Sony tablets are going to use Tegra 2 platform. The one that's less capable than the ipad 2 by at least a fact of 2-3 performance-wise.

Not a very good start, especially given that the iPad excels in the more important area of user experience!
post #28 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Completely wrong. The "beige boxes" of the pee cee world were all nearly identical. That generic uniformity was the key to Windows' success in the '90s.

I can see what he really meant. He meant box-builders. There was almost nothing to differentiate the competitors except a slightly different case. Everything else was identical and on a level playing field. Leading to the good old "race-to-the-bottom" on price/profit, leaving Apple with the lion's share of the profits, for next to no marketshare!
post #29 of 95
Seriously an iPad 3 in late September or the following month would give a lot of CEOs ulcers or worst. Just imagine a super iPad hitting the market just in time for Christmas shopping and to take all the media interest as the competitors start to release hardware.

Yeah I know this is the year of iPad2 and all but we can wish. As it is I have this sneaky feeling that come time for the fall iPod release we will hear about an entirely new iOS device added to the iPod line up. I wouldn't be shocked one bit if it was a device of about 5" in size.
post #30 of 95
"Year of iPad2" is a very clever, and probably last-minute, addition in the presentation that there's no iPad3 in 2011. It works on 2 levels; as a slogan for 98% of the population about domination and as a hidden message to the 2% of people who read blogs that there's no new device this year.
post #31 of 95
Not even cool Wiz - I just got my iPad 2 on Friday! I need more time to enjoy being at the top of the hill before Apple releases the next 300 pound gorilla.
post #32 of 95
I smell fail.
post #33 of 95
Zzzzzzz . . .
post #34 of 95
I find the S1 has a beautiful design.
post #35 of 95
Interesting projection. Gartner believes that tablet market sales volume will reach nearly 300,000,000 units annually by 2015? I suppose it's possible...

Assuming a world population of about 7 billion people, that means roughly 4.25% of all humans on the planet will be buying a tablet in the year 2015?

And, according to their projections, in the years between now and 2015, what % of humanity will have purchased one as well? 15%? More...?

Are these numbers realistic?

If they are, and Apple is seen as owning at or above 50% of that market until 2015...... well then. I guess it's time to buy their stock at any price.
post #36 of 95
It would be interesting to find out if Sony is including PowerVR SGX543M4 graphics chips ... this chip set is double the graphic processors of the iPad2. Of course by the time all this vaporware is available, who knows what Apple has in store.

It is obvious the gaming platform is a key focus. Also there is no mention of battery life which is what so many of us real enjoy. My pc laptop (14") is lucky to get 2 hours before needing recharge. My next laptop will be an AIR.

I don't know how many know that the A5 is scalable and they can easily increase the processor frequency... yes it will impact battery life, but it can be done in a turbo fashion (upon demand) by proper software guidance. I wonder what iOS5 can do.
post #37 of 95
Quote:
Dude- if they ever get their PSN up..

hackers utterly pwn3d the fuk out of it. It's been down since the 20th with zero ETA for restoring the service. I can't wait for mainstream media to finally pick that story up. any day now.

It is an unbelievable public relations disaster to headline a vapourware product not due to be released until fall during the outage of PSN.

There is an interesting commentary on the outage in the reddit blog:
http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comme...ecom_the_real/

I remember back when the Walkman (remember them?) was the coolest accessory to own and Sony had its own stores (precursors f the Apple Stores). Trinitrons were the best TVs and lasted over 20 years. Sony video cameras TRV900 led the field. Sony then had all the marketing cachet that Apple has today.

Then they brought in an opera singer as CEO, who led them down the primrose path of CDs and DRM. That's when the rot set in.
post #38 of 95
memory. stick. duo. pro.
post #39 of 95
I don't know about slick, but at least Sony is not taking the let's just copy Apple approach. I don't see the purpose of the second device (though I don't think it looks bad), the first design seems more usable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mode View Post

Wow, these look slick!
It's a little refreshing that they are trying a different form factor and not simply copying Apple to a T.
I like the idea of a tapered back. This way when you put it on your lap you don't have to hold it at a comfortable angle.
Apple has a pretty good solution for that too if you buy the new case... but building it into the form factor is interesting.

As far as sflocal's comments about the DRM bullshit are concerned - couldn't agree more.
Who knows thou, maybe Sony has finally learned it's lesson and that's why they are running with Droid... maybe pigs will fly one day also.

I consider the design to be progressive.
Who knows thou if it's balanced in a way that is comfortable. Will have to hold one to know.

Do they track your every movement thou?
post #40 of 95
Quote:


Been loving this for a couple years now. My all time favorite Onion video. I showed it to my girlfriend a few months ago. We went shopping for a TV and while we were at the store we saw some Sony internet enabled TV device thingy with a controller loaded with approximately a hundred buttons. We promptly picked it up and began quoting the user experience from the video..."f***. F***! F*******!"

Granted...these devices look a bit less complicated.
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