Can Sony's New Tablets Take a Bite Out of Apple?

By Cindy Waxer April 26, 2011

Can Sony reinvent the Walkman? Well, the electronics giant is hoping its new line of tablet computers will create the same fanfare.

Sony has revealed its first tablet computers, the S1 and S2, in hopes of ousting Samsung from its No. 2 ranking as a top tablet provider. The No. 1 position is now firmly held by Apple’s iPad.

The S1 boasts a 9.4-inch screen with 1,280 by 800 pixels resolution and is shaped liked a wedge for easy handling. The S2 is a folding device featuring 5.5-inch screens, each with 1,024 by 480 pixels resolution. Both tablets are equipped with the latest Android 3.0 (aka ‘Honeycomb’) which is designed for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets. In addition, both tablets are WiFi and WAN (3G/4G) compatible.

Whether or not Sony can catch up to Apple’s one-year lead in the tablet market remains to be seen. In fact, last month Apple released its second incarnation of the iPad, the iPad 2, which, according to, “comes with several improvements over the original version” and “looks much like the first iPad, only with a sleeker, lighter body with a curved back. Among changes is the inclusion of cameras, one on the front and one on the back.”

Strong iPad sales also have led to Apple’s iOS making up some 69 percent of media tablet operating systems during this year, Gartner said in a statement. The device will also make up 47 percent of the media tablet market in 2015, Gartner predicts. And some 83 percent of the tablets sold in 2011 will run Apple's iOS, Gartner said.

In the meantime, Sony’s cash cow, the PlayStation, has been encountering difficulties this week. The Sony PlayStation Network has been difficult to access for six days now and the network remains down. The culprit: an “external intrusion,” according to Sony.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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