Can Sony compete against Apple's iPad with its own tablet PC?

Summary:Everyone seems to be getting into the tablet PC game, hoping to steal some mind (and wallet) share from Apple's iPad, and that includes Sony. According to reports from PC World and the Financial Times, Sony's CFO Nobuyuki Oneda recently stated that “Sony is very much interested in this segment of the market and we have [the] necessary technology.

Everyone seems to be getting into the tablet PC game, hoping to steal some mind (and wallet) share from Apple's iPad, and that includes Sony. According to reports from PC World and the Financial Times, Sony's CFO Nobuyuki Oneda recently stated that “Sony is very much interested in this segment of the market and we have [the] necessary technology."

Considering that Sony completely whiffed on its chances to compete with the iPod and failed miserably with the Mylo family of mobile communication devices (remember those?), it might not be the best competitor to take on Steve Jobs' latest creation. On the other hand, Sony's e-book readers have been well received, and the company is a major laptop player. One strike against the Japanese electronics giant: Oneda already admits that "There is no denying that we are running a bit behind" Apple's forthcoming launch.

So how can Sony compete when Apple clearly has momentum (from its built-in fanboy audience, if not a more skeptical general public) and may be able to create an iPad ecosystem of customized apps that extends the successful iPhone infrastructure? It may release a tablet with its own app store, but Sony's previous attempts at these marketplaces (be it for music or otherwise) have flopped. It could create one running a version of Windows 7, though that wouldn't necessarily have apps that are specifically designed to run for the device. Let's not forget that there have been Windows-based tablets for some time now, and they've only attracted a niche audience.

Is Sony the top company to challenge the iPad? If not, who else is best equipped to rumble with Apple, tablet style? And how can they beat the iPad at its own game (running simultaneous apps would be a good place to start)? Or can they? Let us know in the TalkBack Section.

Topics: Laptops, Apple, Hardware, Mobility, Tablets

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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