Sony To Roll Out Android Tablet This Summer

By summer 2011, Sony plans to jump aboard the tablet bandwagon with its own tablet PC dubbed ‘S1,’ boasting Android Honeycomb and a cutting-edge design, reports have revealed.

The news emerged from Japanese newspaper Nikkei, which cited Sony CEO Howard Stringer as saying the S1 tablet will be rolled out by summer’s end. However, rumours have spread that the S1 will come with a curved back (pictured), making it similar to “an open paperback stuffed into the back pocket”.

Picture by Engadget

Acknowledging Apple’s iPad as “the king of tablets,” the Japanese electronics giant is determined to win the second position in the crowded tablet market this year, most likely by distinguishing its device from its rivals.

“If I want to differentiate it from others, do I release it tomorrow or do I wait till I differentiate it?” said Stringer, adding the company will take sufficient time in development.

Playstation-certified ‘S1’ and dual-screen ‘S2’

Powered by Google’s Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), Sony’s forthcoming tablet will reportedly feature a 9.4-inch screen display and an Nvidia Tegra 2 processor. It is also said to be entertainment-centric, offering Sony’s music, games, eBooks and video-on-demand service, as well as Playstation integration.

Besides the S1, however, speculations are also surrounding Sony’s dual-screen tablet, the ‘S2’. Citing ‘highly trusted and proven sources,’ Engadget revealed that the electronics giant plans to roll out two tablets this year, with the second one sporting a pair of 5.5-inch displays, and resembling an oval cylinder when closed.

Similar to the S1, Sony’s clamshell-shaped tablet will reportedly have an Nvidia Tegra 2 processor. It will offer Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, and feature front-and-rear-facing cameras on the outside.

Android tablets winning Apple’s iPad

While Sony is working hard to grab a slice of the tablet market, Forrester Research predicted Apple will dominate the tablet industry throughout 2011.

By 2014, however, Apple will get beaten by Google, with its market share ranking second to Android-powered tablets of variable quality, according to analyst Mike Abramsky at RBC Capital Markets.

“There are a lot of these Android tablets flooding the market so that’s heading for an inevitable shakeout,” said Abramsky.

He also predicted that 40 percent of the 2014 market will be using Android, closely followed by 34 percent from the iPad.

Pichayada Promchertchoo

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