Sony Tablet Update: Are The Rumors True?

May 17, 2010, By Intermaggio

We’ve been hearing a lot of speculation recently about a tablet from media giant Sony, but what’s fact, and what’s fiction? Well to start things off, the picture below is not the rumored Sony tablet.

…But you probably already knew that. The image about is a Sony Dash- which is in many respects a very basic tablet- you can browse news headlines, check the weather, etc. It was revealed at CES this year, and costs about $200, depending on where you go.

Sony is hesitant to make a “grown-up” tablet that it could market to people wanting a legitimate computer to work on, and for good reason. Senior VP of Information Technology, Mike Abary, had this to say:

“We have been taking a deep look at developing a tablet for a number of years, not just because of Apple but because it creates some interesting opportunities. The iPad has created a new opportunity. Now we can get a good judgment as to whether the market is truly accepting of it. [We are] not convinced there is a large enough market to justify bringing out a tablet.”

Which is fair. They want to make sure that such an expensive venture would be profitable to them- I mean, ultimately their job is to make money, right? But why are they so hesitant to make a tablet? Let’s take a look at some reasoning:

  • Tablets are generally large, multitouch screens, and just the development of the screen and its functionality can get very expensive.
  • Sony doesn’t have its own OS. This means that there will be significant software development somewhere along the chain- and whether it’s Sony, or a third part, you can bet it wont be cheap.
  • Dedicated tablet computers do have a very limited, and still maturing market. It’s hard to tell just how well a given product would sell.
  • Knowing Sony, they’d probably want to create something on the mid to high-end, marketing in the $500-1000 range, which could potentially flop badly if they don’t do it right.

So we may not know a whole lot about the Sony tablet just yet- but we’re certainly excited to see another tech giant getting interested in the tablet market!

Do you think a Sony tablet would be a hit?

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