Sony Enters Tablet Market with S1, S2 for Autumn Release

The Japanese electronics manufacturer aims to be number two in tablets by next summer.

TOKYO – Sony announced its long-awaited entry into the tablet computer market on Tuesday, with two models – currently named S1 and S2 – to be released worldwide in the autumn.

Both tablets will have Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity and run Google’s Android 3.0 operating system. Google’s Andy Rubin was on stage to demonstrate the new devices.

The S1 has a 9.4-inch screen and is wedge-shaped to give the feeling of holding a magazine, according to Sony’s Kunimasa Suzuki, vice president of the company’s consumer electronics division.

Designed for home use, the S1 will also work as a remote control for Sony home entertainment products, and allow for the streaming of movies to television sets. It will also feature a front and rear camera, and have 512MB of RAM and 32GB of memory.

The S2 has two 5.5-inch screens and the device folds up like Nintendo’s DS portable consoles. It will be compatible with some PlayStation games, and when being used as a console the upper screen will display game-play while the lower one will work as a touch-screen controller.

To drive the point of its handy size home, Suzuki produced the S2 from his jacket pocket when unveiling it at the event.

Suzuki, one of the "Four Musketeers" appointed by Howard Stringer to revitalize Sony, declared at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that Sony would be number two in the tablet market by next year, despite not yet having a product in the space.

Sony didn’t announce pricing or launch dates at the event.