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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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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.

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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