Sony joins Android tablet army: Is Honeycomb up to the task?

Sony joins Android tablet army: Is Honeycomb up to the task?

Summary: Sony on Tuesday became the latest PC and electronics vendor to enter the tablet market with a bet on Google's tablet-focused Honeycomb flavor of Android. The big question: Is Honeycomb up to the task?

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Sony on Tuesday became the latest PC and electronics vendor to enter the tablet market with a bet on Google's tablet-focused Honeycomb flavor of Android. The big question: Is Honeycomb up to the task?

For sure, Sony has two interesting tablet designs including one focused on dual screens. Sony is also talking about connecting its networks---PlayStation, music, video and e-books---to these tablets to reach entertainment nirvana of some sort. Sony sees these tablets, which land in the fall, playing nice with its TVs and other consumer electronics.

Add it up and we have an increasingly crowded Honeycomb tablet bandwagon that now includes:

The rub: Motorola stormed the field with its Honeycomb-powered Xoom tablet and promptly tripped. The biggest complaint: Honeycomb was buggy and there was a lack of apps.

Judging from hardware makers, the fix here is to put an overlay on Honeycomb. Lenovo will gussy up Honeycomb for its ThinkPad tablet. Sony is betting on its network. HTC will have its Sense overlay.

Bottom line: There are going to be a few fragmented experiences here in team Honeycomb. In addition, there are no leaders emerging. If team Honeycomb were a pro football team it would be a losing one today with some upside to become mediocre.

The good news so far is that it's early in the tablet game, but Apple isn't standing still. Apple operating chief Tim Cook said on the company's earnings call that Android devices expect the customer to be the systems integrator. So far, Cook's assessment is about right since tablet makers haven't put all the pieces together just yet. Will Sony be the big winner?

Topics: Android, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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11 comments
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  • RE: Sony joins Android tablet army: Is Honeycomb up to the task?

    Larry,

    Do you own one of these Honeycomb tablets or are you just blowing smoke? The like of Touchwiz, Sense and Motoblur were not to make the platform more stable but to differentiate them from the rest of the Android Group...

    As for Tim Cook, he's the Acting Chief at Apple, What the hell do you think he's going to say?

    Seriously, right now Honeycomb is Decent to very good... The built in Apps for Honeycomb, need improvement! That improvement will come by the end of May and it will emerge as the top Mobile OS in Tablets just like it did with Phones (will this be immediate? Nope, it might take a year or two just like the phones but it will be tops).
    slickjim
    • RE: Sony joins Android tablet army: Is Honeycomb up to the task?

      @Peter Perry Ha ha ha! Thanks for the morning laugh
      browser.
    • honeycomb will beat Apple's iCrap by the end of this year

      @Peter Perry
      in a few years the iCrap will be a distant memory and honeycomb will overtake windoze on the desktop!
      Linux Geek
      • That's not possible

        @Linux Geek Please keep up. Apple has already purchased 60% of the world's capacity for tablet displays. More capacity is being built, and even more is planned. But none of it will show up in time to make your prediction come true.
        Robert Hahn
    • RE: Sony joins Android tablet army: Is Honeycomb up to the task?

      @Peter Perry I don't own a Honeycomb tablet, but have tried out the Xoom, but your point about the overlays makes my point. There's no unified experience here. The biggest challenge is for Honeycomb is that it has a tough benchmark with the iPad on price and performance.

      And your point about improvement at the end of May also indicates these tablets have to be improved on the fly. Launching an unfinished product and then handing out a software IOU is a tough sell at Best Buy. That goes for the PlayBook too. I'm not anti-Android, but I'm not going to pretend that it is off to a swimming tablet start.
      Larry Dignan
      • RE: Sony joins Android tablet army: Is Honeycomb up to the task?

        @Larry Dignan Okay, but think about this... Android 2.2 was just as feature rich as iOS on the iPad and yet Apple claimed it wasn't a true tablet experience... So Google said, Okay... We'll make it a better experience than anything out there...

        Right now, the majority of the features that match the iPad Feature set are stable and sound... I never, never, have an issue with the Honeycomb OS itself... I do however have a few flakey issues with the Browser and without the fastest possible connection the youtube app tends to be the most problematic.
        slickjim
      • You might want to read HC reviews: it is glitchy, not ready for the release

        @Peter Perry: HC will be ready only in a month or so. Nothing will crash by that time, but not now.

        Also, the bigger problem is that there is still almost no tablet applications, and the choice will be much purer than for iPad this whole year and possibly further.

        As of now, iPad 2 is the fastest technologically and richest in terms of ecosystem/apps/media library/accessories platform. There is simply no basis how competitors can fight it.

        Not now, not this year -- even the likes of Gartner and IDC understand that and project that Apple's share in tablets will be 60-70%. Lets see the actual results early next year.
        DDERSSS
      • RE: Sony joins Android tablet army: Is Honeycomb up to the task?

        @Larry Dignan

        There doesn't need to be 'a unified experience' you're basically assuming that in order to be successful a product has to be exactly like Apple. Have you ever thought that maybe people want an ALTERNATIVE to Apple?
        Doctor Demento
      • RE: Sony joins Android tablet army: Is Honeycomb up to the task?

        @Doctor Demento

        Just having an alternative to Apple is not going to fly. Windows and OSX are proof people like unified experiences as opposed to Linux on the desktop. Anybody can pick up an iProduct and figure it out. Can people say the same about any Android device? If my mother-in-law has a question about her iphone, I can instantly walk her through it because I know where everything is without ever seeing her device.

        Now if I had a Android phone running Touchwiz and her Android phone was running Motoblur, it wouldn't be so simple...
        jmiller1978
  • RE: Sony joins Android tablet army: Is Honeycomb up to the task?

    <i>Sony is betting on its network.</i><br><br>As of recent, I wouldn't take that bet.
    jmiller1978
  • Honeycomb up to the task?

    It depends on who you ask, but given its lackluster reviews by alot of people on the technology blogs I wouldn't bet on it.
    Will Farrell