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Sony still taking wait-and-see approach to fighting iPad

updated 02:10 pm EDT, Fri May 14, 2010

Sony not convinced 1m-plus iPads a real market

Sony is still only contemplating the idea of creating a tablet to challenge the iPad, the company's IT products senior VP Mike Abary said this week. Despite Apple selling over 1 million iPads in a month, the executive said Sony was "not convinced" the market was large enough for tablets. He also admitted that Sony had been thinking about a tablet for "years" but hadn't committed to the idea.

"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," Abary told Bloomberg. "The iPad has created a new opportunity... now we can get a good judgment as to whether the market is truly accepting of it."

Instead, Sony would keep focusing on its Reader models, which include a pair of touchscreen models with one of these carrying 3G for downloadable books. It hoped to bolster Internet access and might have a color E Ink display as soon as early 2011.

The statements echo those from Sony Japan three months ago.

Sony has sometimes followed Apple into different device categories but has often taken a conservative approach that has cost it control or influence in the market. It lost the lead in MP3 players in Japan until brief period last year by depending too heavily on MiniDisc-based Walkman players and saw the iPhone and iPod touch impact Sony Ericsson as well as the PSP.

by MacNN Staff



  1. socritic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sony is a joke

    a HAHAHAHAHA. Sony. Hey, there's always 2020. well i'm not waiting and seeing your products , haven't since 1995. good luck with that

  1. akulavolk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    How long do they plan to wait?

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969



    And Nero fiddles while Rome burns...

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You all laugh and mock all the companies that are rushing out tablet competitors, and you laugh and mock the companies that aren't rushing out tablet competitors.

  1. charlituna

    Joined: Dec 1969


    the real problem

    is folks making anything with the goal of 'fighting' a particular product. That's just the wrong way of looking at it. and a way that typically fails.

    This is one way that Apple wins. They don't do things because everyone else is doing it. they don't do things because they want to compete in this or that market. they create what they want, how they want, because they feel it has something to offer to their customers. sometimes they fail, but more often than not, especially recently, they have been correct and had huge sales.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Everyone was criticizing Apple for not

    building a netbook because everyone else was doing it and Apple was going to fail by missing out on such growing (money-losing) market. So instead, Apple went on developing its tablet and the iPad basically took that empty market by storm. All these companies are just blind copycats. They don't really know why they're following Apple into the tablet market except they think they're going to make money by stealing iPad market share. That's it. That's their great plan. They should just continue doing their netbook thing since they thought that was such a great idea, too. Rushing a product to market just because another company's product is successful is just foolish if they don't know why people are buying them.

    I doubt if there really is a generic tablet market. Only an iPad market. Most of those copycat companies don't even have an ecosystem strategy or retail plan. All those new companies introducing tablets probably don't even have a user base of loyal customers like Apple has that will buy anything Steve Jobs says is cool. iHaters mock Apple customers about how they'll foolishly buy anything from Apple sight unseen, but that is one thing that Apple has in its favor to launch new products and generate big numbers in a hurry.

    Sony is right about one thing. There definitely isn't a big enough tablet market for Sony tablets to generate much revenue for them. They'd better concentrate on getting the PSP back on track.

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I don't criticize Sony for not rushing out with a tablet - it's the indecision. He says they've been taking a deep look at it for years, but the implication is that they haven't been building prototypes. They certainly don't have a vision.

    They still haven't decided if there's enough market for it - they're going to wait and see how successful the iPad is before deciding whether to proceed.

    That doesn't give me very much confidence that Sony could come out with a decent product. Certainly not an innovative one - it looks like they're just waiting for the right moment to copy Apple. Yeah, maybe they'll add an FM receiver and call it an improvement.

  1. dimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Probably a good idea

    With all the recent issues that PC based tablets have been having (either cancelled or delayed) Sony is probably taking the right approach: watch the market when these devices do come out, and learn from their mistakes. Cheap R&D really. The basic question of whether to ship a "me too!" device based on Windows or develop an in-house OS should have an answer pretty soon.

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