Sony unveils two iPad killers; ‘S1’ and ‘S2’ Android 3.0 tablets coming this fall (with photos)

Sony has announced the “Sony Tablet.” Sony is developing two tablets including S1 (codename) which is “optimized for rich media entertainment” and S2 (codename) which is intended for “mobile communication and entertainment.” “Sony Tablet” will become available in the global market starting in fall 2011.

“Sony Tablet” is equipped with Google’s Android 3.0 (Honeycomb).

MacDailyNews Take: You know, because Sony doesn’t have their own OS and because Honeycomb is so great in Motorola’s Xoom. 😕

Both tablets are WiFi and WAN (3G/4G) compatible.

"Sony Tablet" S1 (Left), S2 (Right)
"Sony Tablet" S1 (Left), S2 (Right)

S1 has a 9.4-inch display. Sony claims the S1’s “off-center of gravity design realizes stability and ease of grip as well as a sense of stability and lightness, offering comfortable use for hours.” S2 has two 5.5-inch displays that can be folded for portability.

“‘Sony Tablet’ delivers an entertainment experience where users can enjoy cloud-based services on-the-go at any time. We’re aiming to create a new lifestyle by integrating consumer hardware, including ‘Sony Tablet’ with content and network,” said Kunimasa Suzuki, Corporate Executive, SVP, and Deputy President of Consumer Products & Services Group, in the press release.

“Sony Tablets” are intended to use the Sony’s “Qriocity” music and video service, Sony’s “PlayStation Suite” (first generation PlayStation titles) for games, and Sony’s “Reader Store” for digital reading devices.

Related articles:
More blood on Apple iPod’s touchscreen: Sony axes PSP Go – April 20, 2011
More blood on Apple iTunes Store’s play button: Sony disconnects Connect – June 17, 2007
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Sony’s Walkman Bean is cooked – February 13, 2006

54 Comments

    1. Even if it is as light as vapour, visually both tablets are much thicker than my liking.

      Also, shifted centre of weight is not that good idea, for my opinion, since you take the device from different sides.

    1. Design? What the crap is that folding-design abomination?

      At least they had the guts to make something that didn’t mimic the iPad in every way, but the folding-concept is idiotic.

  1. Any idiot can draw an illustration of a “tablet” it’s another thing to walk on stage and actually demonstrate/use one in front of the entire world ala Steve Jobs. Can you say vaporware.

  2. “They are intended to use the Qriocity music service”

    You mean when they get it back online. I am very excited about a device that relies on a service that has been offline for 5 days and counting.

  3. Sony really doesn’t have a choice here. As a public company, I’m sure one of the pressing questions at board meetings was: “Where’s OUR tablet!!!???”

    Every hardware maker today is really forced to go into this market, otherwise, the shareholders will think they have no clue how to react to new markets and dump shares. With Apple blasting a whole new product category wide open, other manufacturers simply have no choice but to try and compete in it, as poor and ill-conceived as their offerings may be.

    1. “Where’s OUR tablet?!!” What a laugh. Like Michael Dell, they never saw that one coming. Ignorance, denial, and then the lies.

      It’s been as plain as day that most companies never had a clue about the tablet market until Steve stood on stage and showed the iPad. That’s when the mad scramble started. They all figured they could just cut the keyboard from a netbook and build their own tablets in a few months and undercut Apple’s $499 price with ease. Now 18 months later, they’re all coming to grips that it’s not as easy as it looks and it actually does take some long-range planning to get EVERYTHING in place for a feature-rich consumer product.

      If they’re depending on Google’s Honeycomb to give them a tablet edge, forget about it. They’ve got dozens of other companies using the exact same OS. Good luck with that strategy.

    2. Astute observation. (did you also notice, one of them has a butt-ugly hinge?)

      For some executives however, they’re dragged along kicking and screaming and it must be unnerving for those who are expected to deliver a competing product. There is tremendous pressure from shareholders, the media, and consumers all clamoring for theirs.

      MDNs headline proclaims, Sony unveils two iPad killers… This has become a running joke for MDN. They’ve decided to jump way out in front of the story and write off this product before it has even hit the production line.

      Sony’s CEO would probably cringe at MDNs use of the phrase “iPad Killer”, even though they would just like to compete in this space and not attempt to dethrone iPad. Just get something out there, back it up with a massive content library, and sell a few million by Christmas.

      However, MDN and many here perceive this news as an affront to Apple, an unstated challenge that must be ridiculed and bullied before it’s begun.

      Can Sony compete in this space? Yes. Do they have a massive content library? Yes. Is their product plausible enough, and good enough, to be competitive? Perhaps.

      Some of us here have been waiting for a competitor to challenge Apple, to push them out of their comfort zone and keep them thinking outside the box they are building up around themselves.

      We’re coming up on the five-year envelope Jobs spoke about and sooner or later, a company like Sony will introduce a product that will serve as a conduit to their content. Once a company like Sony shows the rest of the field a formula for success, much the way Compaq did in the Eighties with the first IBM clone, Apple will begin to lose its grip.

      The idea that the OS is crucial to a products success flies in the face of history. Stability and UI are critical components but they aren’t the end to the means, it’s content and Sony has a lock on that aspect.

      It only takes a “good enough” device to win favor in the market and once it’s made, there’ll be a scramble in the market to gobble up anyone and anything that is a delivery mechanism for content. For example, Netflix will not survive much longer. All the while they are eating up struggling content holders, bigger companies are looking at Netflix for a solution to a logistics nightmare.

      A complacent Apple could fall from grace, if it stops envisioning where it could be and starts reminding us why they’re the best, and will have jumped the proverbial shark, if and when they release their “Greatest Hits”.

      Without content, hardware is a doorstop.

      1. Traditionally Sony has been much better in hardware design that it has on Software and smooth UI integration. They made a challenger to the iPod as well. They used their own proprietary UI and encoding rather than industry standards. It was a flop pretty much everywhere but maybe Japan. Having the content and the hardware does little good unless you can execute the UI flawlessly and we all know Android is not a flawless execution, why do you think Motorola is trying to get out from under it?

  4. In Sept? Holy cow – that’s 18 months after the first iPad was released.
    By that time Apple will already have 50M units in users hands.
    The big difference between the tablet and phone market is that the carrier is not a big factor in buying. No subsidies available and the 2 biggest carriers in the US already offer it (can’t speak for the rest of the world for coverage).
    M$ will probably have a new tablet out by 2014 🙂

  5. Must be designed to try and freeze the market. This would only work if they are going to bring out a product that does something much better than the iPad. The released products do not appear to do anything better, so, this just seems to make Sony look afraid, needing to get into the market and say “me to” I have a tablet!!!!!!

    The only market these guys (sony, dull, HP, et al) are freezing is the portion of the market that won’t buy Apple anyway, because of their Anti-Apple midset.

    1. Well, Sony tried to make a “go” of it with their PSP Go against the iPod Touch and look how that turned out. They should have learned their lesson now that the PSP Go is gone, goodbye. I would absolutely not have my company building a product that competes directly with the iPad. There’s honestly nothing to be gained from such a strategy except pain and loss.

      1. I would absolutely not have my company building a product that competes directly with the iPad.

        And you’d be looking for a new job too.

        If an entertainment/electronics company like Sony can’t compete in the tablet space then perhaps you’re not fit for the job.

        CEOs can no longer say no to the shareholders. Times have changed and shareholders have united under a democracy and are now exercising their voting power.

        Predrag is right. All it takes is for a question like, “Where’s our tablet?” to gain momentum and as CEO, you’re expected to deliver.

        So, your choice would be to throw some designs into the skunk works, or step down.

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