Sony who are looking to deflect criticism away from their Playstation network debacle, has officially unveiled its first two tablet computers – both running on Google’s Android “Honeycomb” operating system.
The move to announce the two tablets the S1 and the S2 appear to have been made recently, with the company admitting that despite the overnight announcement, the devices will not go on sale till the end of the year.
The news is not new, Sony deliberately leaked the information on their tablets along with images two months ago to a variety of publications.
The Guardian newspaper in the UK described the announcement as ‘Sony bidding for the record in the time lag between announcing a tablet and actually putting it on sale’.
Sony said that the S1 and S2, will have access to online content like videos, music, digital books and other entertainment supplied via Sony and would be compatible with PlayStation games, Sony said.
The S1 will have a 9.4 inch (24cm) screen, and front and rear cameras, while the folding clamshell S2 will feature two 5.5-inch colour touchscreens and be small enough to fit into a pocket.
“This design is particularly relevant for reading digital books whose content is displayed on screen as two pages side-by-side,” said Kunimasa Suzuki, Sony’s deputy president of consumer products.
The S2 has two 5.5-inch screens, each with 1024×480 resolution, Qriocity, PlayStation Certification, and – hey, get this product differentiation – its email app splits the inbox to the bottom screen and the messages on the top screen!
The Guardian said that in terms of announce-to-sale hiatus, that’s going to be some stiff competition for RIM, the current hiatus record-holder at seven months (announced the PlayBook in late September, shipped in April in the market but still to be shipped in Australia) and of course HP (announced the TouchPad in early February, shipping in “late summer”). Actually, we can see a scenario where “late summer” and “autumn” could easily overlap, since only the slightly berserk ship new products in August, so we’ll guess at HP’s products arriving in September.
The Guardian has even gone as far as claiming that if the Android market tanks then Sony can quietly can the project, and sells off the few ones its factories turn out and mark it down to experience.
Charles Arthur in the Guardian wrote: “Here’s the interesting thing about Sony’s position in this market: it’s just like the iPod. When Apple first came up with the iPod in October 2001 and pushed into the market, one of the companies Steve Jobs specifically mentioned during his introduction was Sony.
“Interestingly enough in this whole new digital music revolution there is no market leader,” Jobs said. “There are small companies like Creative and Sonic Blue, and then there’s some large companies like Sony that haven’t had a hit yet. They haven’t found the recipe. No one has really found the recipe yet for digital music.”