Actually, the Japanese company is not merely planning to launch some tablets, but to become a leader in this market. In the words of Sony computer division head Kunimasa Suzuki:
"For sure iPad is the king of tablets. But what is the second, what is the third? Who is taking the second position? That is our focus. We would like to really take the number two position in a year."
It seems Sony has a plan to achieve these heights by unveiling a highly innovative tablet, presumably with a heavy integration of casual and social gaming, which is said to be "an area of interest" for Sony. Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony, commented why Sony hasn't announced a tablet during CES with the words:
"If I want to differentiate it from others, do I release it tomorrow, or do I wait till I differentiate it?"
With the iPad going from strength to strength, the Galaxy Tab selling well and the fact that quite a few manufacturers are set to launch their own tablets - among them Motorola with the dual-core XOOM tablet and RIM with their PlayBook, which received a lot of positive feedback - it's hard to predict whether Sony's bold predictions are realistic.
T.I.W. senior analyst Takao Hattori is not convinced:
"Many electronics makers have already unveiled tablet devices since last year, and it would be extremely difficult to come up with products that are different from the others and to steal market share from the far-and-away front-runner, Apple. To attract consumers, Sony would have to come up with features that are totally unexpected."
Sony definitely gave a statement of intent with the unveiling of the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc, and the XPERIA Play (a.k.a. the PlayStation Phone) seems to be on its way as well. Do you think Sony will be able to get a sizeable part of the tablet market in a year time?