Sony laughed out of tablet market

Analysts have been channelling the mock turtle on Sony’s attempts to get into the tablet market.

Sony’s standard philosophy of releasing a product which is more expensive than the competition is making the outfit suffer.

Two versions of Sony’s main tablet cost $499 and $599, the same price as two lower-end Apple iPad models. Sony said the S tablet is unique because of a universal remote inside the computer that can be used to control stereos, cable television boxes and TV sets.

It has a 9.4-inch screen, weighs 1.33 lbs and has front and rear cameras.

A 16GB version of the tablet will cost $499 in the United States, while the 32GB version will sell for $599. In Europe, the S will cost 479 euro.

Sony’s second tablet, the P, comes with 4GB of memory and looks like a girl’s purse. It has two 5.5-inch screens that can be folded together.

The tablet has a 4G cellular service. In Europe, the P will cost 599 euro and be out in November. Sony said it would be in stores in the United States later this year, but did not provide a date or price.

This is leading Gartner to point out that while consumers might want tablets, for those prices they might as well buy an iPad.

Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi told Reuters that despite the brand and different design, with its pricing so close to the iPad, it is challenging for Sony.

For that comment you can read, that repeating the game plan for the PS3 with tablets is just plain daft, the only thing Sony could really do is undercut Apple.

Sony is already late to the game with its first tablet. Its gear hits store shelves in September, more than a year and a half after Apple launched the iPad and almost a year since Samsung came out with the Galaxy Tab.

Sony CEO Howard Stringer dismissed worries the company waited too long to get into the tablet market. He claims that it was not who made it first that counts, but who made it better.

Unfortunately reviews indicate that Sony might have cocked up on that too.

While the S Tablet does have a neat folded-back magazine look, the hardware is pants.

Paraphrasing one review, the tablet is about as plastic as Paris Hilton and it was scratched easier than a dog with fleas. It is also possible to find a tablet that can do more for the price.