Print 18 comment(s) - last by CZroe.. on Jan 10 at 2:30 PM

Tablet wars  (Source:
Analysts are saying otherwise, since Sony did not present a tablet at the Consumer Electronics Show

After crowning Apple's iPad as the king of tablets, Sony is looking to snag the number two spot in tablet devices by 2012. Now they just need to make one.

Sony, the Japanese multinational manufacturer of consumer electronics, has been considered to be a bit behind other electronics makers when it comes to some high-end products. Sony CEO Howard Stringer and Computer Division Head Kunimasa Suzuki both agreed that the company had big plans to catch up in the race for second-best tablet.

"For sure the iPad is the king of tablets," said Suzuki. "But what is the second? What is the third? Who is taking the second position? That is our focus. We would like to really take the number two position in a year."

But this is a pretty bold statement coming from an electronics manufacturer that didn't have a tablet to present at the Consumer Electronics Show this week at all. Sony had investors disappointed when there was no product to back up these plans, and analysts are saying that 2012 will be a stretch if they have nothing developed yet. 

"Many electronics makers have already unveiled tablet devices since last year, and it would be extremely difficult to come up with products that are different from the others and to steal market share from the far-and-away front-runner, Apple," said Takao Hattori, T.I.W. senior analyst. "To attract consumers, Sony would have to come up with features that are totally unexpected."

As far as features go for Sony's hypothetical tablet, Stringer said Sony has been taking their time deciding on whether it should have 3-D capabilities or not, and did not allude to any other possible features. 

"If I want to differentiate it from others, do I release it tomorrow, or do I wait till I differentiate it?" said Stringer.  

Sony may or may not have some tricks up its sleeve, but the competition should be fierce when it does release a tablet, especially with competitors like Samsung releasing tablets like the Galaxy Tab, which some are already calling an "iPad killer." But Stringer claims that the Japanese manufacturer will have a tablet worth the wait before he is expected to step down from CEO in 2013. 

The 68-year-old CEO was rumored to have been asked to become chairman of the BBC, but Stringer denied it while at the Consumer Electronics Show, saying he was content with focusing on Sony for the time being. 

"I am not a candidate," said Stringer. "I'm not worried about the future. I am still very excited about what we're doing here. For me, this is the culmination of a dream that started five years ago."

The Playstation phone was also mentioned at the Consumer Electronics Show, but Suzuki declined to comment further regarding the subject.

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Yeah right
By Flunk on 1/7/2011 12:04:39 PM , Rating: 2
If they're number 2 tablet maker in a year I'll eat my hat. I'll be surprised if they're even in the top 10.

RE: Yeah right
By borismkv on 1/7/2011 12:57:22 PM , Rating: 3
With the speed everyone else is going getting to the tablet table, I'd be surprised if they even *have* a tabled in a year.

RE: Yeah right
By micksh on 1/7/2011 1:11:42 PM , Rating: 5
LG already claimed in August that they would make a tablet better than iPAD. So, I guess, it means Sony will be the second after LG.
Or, wait. Acer also said that it was "going to overthrow Apple from its dominant position". Since Acer said it before Sony the Top 3 tablet vendors must look like this:
1. LG
2. Acer
3. Sony

RE: Yeah right
By fteoath64 on 1/9/2011 8:52:41 AM , Rating: 2
Not to miss out products that are close to releasing like the RIM Playbook, and Motorola Xoom. Either one or both of these could run for third place after SamSung with the Galaxy Tab. (Shipping 10M units claimed)

So the Acers, LG and Sony have to "fight" their way into the market. Both Apple and Samsung have the luxury of dropping prices as they have shipped in volume and can do incremental iteration of the new releases. Sony might have meant 2022 rather than 2012!!!.

PS: Missed out HTC and maybe even Google...

Wait aspiring to something is newsworthy?
By namechamps on 1/7/2011 1:42:29 PM , Rating: 4
I aspire to be a millionaire by next year. Given Sony track record I likely have a better chance (somewhere between slim and none) of pulling it off.

By Aloonatic on 1/7/2011 4:26:22 PM , Rating: 2
Mangetout, mangetout, Del Boy.

(I'm sure this will mean nothing to anyone outside of the UK, so please don't judge me to harshly if you haven't see "Only Fools and Horses")

By Aloonatic on 1/7/2011 4:26:23 PM , Rating: 2
Mangetout, mangetout, Del Boy.

(I'm sure this will mean nothing to anyone outside of the UK, so please don't judge me to harshly if you haven't see "Only Fools and Horses")

This is a rotten attitude to have
By Solandri on 1/7/2011 2:22:21 PM , Rating: 2
"For sure the iPad is the king of tablets," said Suzuki. "But what is the second? What is the third? Who is taking the second position? That is our focus. We would like to really take the number two position in a year."

Aiming for the #2 position means you're just emulating the leader. Companies which do this are perennial also-rans.

Companies aiming for the #1 position are the ones which innovate to bring new features and products to market which don't yet exist. They are the leaders and drivers in technology. If Sony (inventors of the Walkman, the mass-market VCR, the camcorder, the 3.5" floppy, and synonymous with high-end monitors and TVs) is giving that up and content to be an also-ran, then they will never again be the company they once were.

RE: This is a rotten attitude to have
By bfellow on 1/7/2011 3:02:05 PM , Rating: 2
By the way Sony didn't invent the VCR. They try to get people to use Betamax!

By Solandri on 1/7/2011 5:24:40 PM , Rating: 2
Betamax was the first mass-market VCR. VHS was only developed when Sony, realizing they had a monopoly in the making, refused to license the Beta format to other manufacturers.

By Alexstarfire on 1/8/2011 3:03:33 PM , Rating: 2
I'd hardly consider Sony a high-end monitor and TV company these days, but I do get your point. I actually was going to make a nearly identical comment. Who seriously aspires to be #2? That just sounds moronic.

You're there already, Sony!
By MeesterNid on 1/7/2011 11:56:31 AM , Rating: 5
Don't strain too hard there, Sony. You guys have a been a Number Two for a while now!

RE: You're there already, Sony!
By bigboxes on 1/7/2011 8:39:48 PM , Rating: 2
Hehe... nice! A +6 for you. I've had that opinion for quite some time.

By damianrobertjones on 1/7/2011 2:23:27 PM , Rating: 2
Fair enough. Good luck to them.

On another note, MS won't be up there as the top Touch platform if this is anything to go by:

Engadget went hands on with a Windows tablet: Someone made a comment

"Embarrassing. Sam says a Windows tablet has no on-screen keyboard? Dude- the tab to bring out the on-screen keyboard was right there at the top left on the screen. How do you get a job for Engadget when you know nothing about a major OS like Windows?"

If THAT is the level of technical expertise that these web pages have, MS has NO chance at all. (Shakes head)

RE: Word
By KoolAidMan1 on 1/9/2011 1:54:25 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is that even when you bring up the on-screen keyboard with Windows 7, it sucks.

I tried out the new Asus i5 tablet at CES yesterday. It is a disaster, and the platform will continue to be a disaster until Microsoft turns Windows into a good touch OS. Despite all of their efforts making Windows friendly for touch, it is still executed horribly.

By sxr7171 on 1/8/2011 7:33:12 AM , Rating: 3
So big consumer electronics company Sony aspires to be number 2. Whatever happened to at least aspiring to be number 1? I guess its just an admission that even they think Apple is untouchable in the tablet market.

Well the one that might have a chance if marketed correctly is the WebOS tablet. But Sony will aim for 2 and be 10 at best.

By vision33r on 1/8/2011 10:01:59 PM , Rating: 2
Which ever company that has the best software development will succeed in the tablet business. It isn't a hardware race, if companies think they can beat Apple at the hardware game, they are dead wrong as the Samsung GalaxyTab is a major fail imo. I am using a Dell Streak and beats the GalaxyTab in every way and find the 5" Streak > 7"

However the magic in the iPad isn't much in the hardware it's the software. My Android is fulltime phone but the iPad is my tablet.

The multi-touch touchscreen works better than any Android device. All the iPad apps are not some stupid oversize or stretched Android apps.

While Android fanboys are still racing each other with with Quadrant benchmarks. Even with my Dell streak getting 1440 on Quadrant still can't match the iPad in smoothness and responsiveness.

Waiting for Honeycomb.

"PST" - Playstation Tablet
By CZroe on 1/10/2011 2:30:54 PM , Rating: 2
The only way they could be number 2 in a year is if they are planning a Xperia Playstation Tablet of some kind to launch alongside the Xperia PSP phone. Even then, they'd need luck because it would need to be a near run-away success at Apple's expense.

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