updated 09:55 am EST, Thu February 4, 2010
Sony hints at iPad rival in works
Sony while discussing its latest results today said it would like to compete against the iPad. Company CFO Nobuyuki Oneda said Sony is "very interested" in producing a tablet and is "confident" that it can produce a device that competes with Apple's hardware. He didn't provide significant clues as to how far along in development the Sony device is, if at all, but acknowledged it would trail behind the iPad's late March ship date.
"Time-wise we are a little behind the iPad but it's a space we would like to be an active player in," Oneda commented.
Sony is familiar with touchscreen devices and has produced relatively advanced products such as the Walkman X1000 and a touchscreen iPod-capable clock radio, but it so far has little experience with large touch-based hardware. Historically it has lagged Apple by a year or more in developing handhelds.
Oneda sees less pressure as its flagship e-book device, the Reader Daily Edition, has been receiving "great acclaim" and should grow. It uses a touchscreen interface and has built-in 3G to get books through a subscription.
Outside of the tablet plans, Sony's executive also alluded to mobile devices shipping in October that will hinge on a unified online store that will supply e-books, games and media across the Bravia, Reader, VAIO and Walkman lines.