Apparently, another Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) product launch has been undermined due to another broken Sony product. Several media report that the Xperia Tablet S has a flaw. There is a space between the tablet’s case and its screen. Sony’s reputation as one of world’s largest corporate bumblers remains firmly intact.
ZDNet reporters point out the problem:
[It] is particularly unfortunate for a tablet that counts being splashproof as a major selling point.
And Reuters reporters write:
Sony Corp said it has halted sales of its Xperia tablet PCs, a month after its launch.
As the technology consumer moves away from the traditional desktop and laptop, the companies that make these old-world devices cannot thrive unless they replace the aging products with smartphones and tablets. The consensus among analysts is that most people will use the more portable products as new age PCs, and faster and more powerful processors and new 4G superfast wireless networks will accelerate the adoption.
Sony joins a number of large consumer electronics and PC manufacturers that fumbled early in attempts to capitalize on the radical change in tech purchaser behavior. Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) and Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) are at the top of that list.
Sony made the effort to enter the tablet market, but almost nothing hurts a consumer electronic product launch as much as a significant flaw in the new product. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has survived one or two product defects in its iPhones, but demand for Apple’s products and the power of its brand are unmatched. Sony remains at the opposite end of the spectrum. Consumers and industry analysts alike are skeptical that the Japanese company can successfully move back into the mainstream of creating products for which there is very large demand.
New Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai has tried to break with the long list of failures engineered by his predecessor Sir Howard Stringer. Hirai needs a few highly visible and successful product launches to begin that process. The Xperia Tablet S flaw has just made the turnaround much less likely.
Douglas A. McIntyre