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

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
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.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 94
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,823member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 94
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 94
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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 can?t 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 don?t see much good I can see about them. The cons are pretty endless but I?ll 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. It?s like someone opened up their eyeglass case and said, ?I have an idea."
  • Reply 4 of 94
    macwisemacwise Posts: 84member
    Dear Sony,



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



    Warmest Regards,



    The World.
  • Reply 5 of 94
    modemode Posts: 163member
    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?
  • Reply 6 of 94
    bushman4bushman4 Posts: 835member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 94
    shigzeoshigzeo Posts: 78member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 94
    -ag--ag- Posts: 123member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 94
    macrrmacrr Posts: 488member
    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...
  • Reply 10 of 94
    kotatsukotatsu Posts: 1,010member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 94
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,428member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 94
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,603member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 94
    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
  • Reply 15 of 94
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Apple's advantage is innovation. Only now, that they have shown the way, can these other punks follow.
  • Reply 16 of 94
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,488member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 94
    bedouinbedouin Posts: 331member
    At least they are blatant iPad rip offs in design.
  • Reply 18 of 94
    orlandoorlando Posts: 601member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 94
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 94
    maccherrymaccherry Posts: 924member
    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!
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